Around 15% of adults sleep on their sides, while the majority sleep on their stomachs.
Sleeping on your side can be a good way to fall asleep quickly and prevent snoring.
If you are a side sleeper, you must take the correct steps to prevent discomfort and pain.
Continue reading to discover the best tips for sleeping on your side so that you can have peaceful dreams all night long!
1. Choose the Left
If you are a side sleeper and often deal with acid reflux, it is recommended that you sleep on the left side.
Sleeping on your left side puts your stomach in a more natural position that allows you to digest your food. Sleeping on the right side can slow down digestion and increase your chances of getting acid reflux.
It is also recommended to sleep on the left side to reduce lower back pain. Throughout the night you should be rotating positions to avoid too much pressure in one area. Sleeping on your stomach is the least helpful for your health and can put a strain on your spine and organs.
Since the digestive system functions best on the left side, it can also help with bloating, constipation, and heartburn.
2. Get the Best Mattress
Although it will vary for each person, it is typically recommended that you sleep on a medium-soft mattress.
Having a soft mattress that you sink into can provide little support and leave you achy every morning. A firm mattress can also cause pain for side sleepers and hurt the shoulders and hips.
You will have to try out several mattresses to find the best one for your needs. Somewhere between soft and firm you can find a mattress that will provide support and give you enough fluff for shoulders and hips. The best mattress for side sleepers shouldn’t be difficult to find.
3. Use an Extra Pillow
One of the best tips for sleeping on your side is to grab an extra pillow and put it between your knees at night.
Sleeping on your side without enough support can put pressure on your hips and legs. It can also damage your spine from it not being properly aligned. A pillow between your knees can help straighten your spine and relieve pressure.
If you don’t want to use a full pillow between your legs you can use a small one. Fewer pressure points are effected when a pillow is between your body and the bed.
4. Stretch in the Morning
If you want to continue sleeping on your side with minimal pain it is recommended that you stretch in the mornings.
Sleeping on the side often involves a fetal like position with a curved spine. When the back and shoulders are curled up the can cause pain and compress the spine. Stretching can help straighten out the spine and prevent further damage from happening.
Reaching up to the ceiling, touching your toes, and practicing yoga are all excellent ways that you can stretch. Don’t be afraid to find a stretch that helps you the most and customize your morning routine to back health.
5. Get off of Your Arm
Although it is tempting to sleep on your side with your arm under the pillow it is not recommended.
Sleeping on your arm can cause numbness and pain, leading to pinched nerves and back problems. While you are sleeping it is hard to notice when your arm starts to fall asleep, and many people don’t wake until it becomes painful.
Another reason that you should get off of your arm is that it misaligns your head and neck with the spine. Your arm lifts the head and shifts it into a different position that puts pressure on areas around the neck and shoulders.
The best way to avoid having to sleep on your arm is to add more pillows to your bed to provide optimal support.
6. Purchase Proper Pillows
To sleep on your side comfortably you must get supportive pillows for your head as well.
Many factors can disrupt a side sleeper slumber, and not having the right pillow is one of them. You should have a pillow that prevents your head from bending too far and causing strain on your neck and spine. Many people fall toward their shoulders and the bed, so you must maintain good posture while laying down.
You should have a firm pillow under your head that offers support while on the side. Don’t forget your pillows for your knees and as well!
7. You Can Breathe Easier
If you are a side sleeper you likely have an easier time breathing.
Sleeping on your side opens the airways and can help prevent symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. With more access to oxygen, the brain can also benefit and become more healthy.
It can be difficult to breathe at night while sleeping on your back if you have allergies. Sleeping on your side allows you to take in more oxygen and prevents drainage from accumulating. No longer will you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air.
How to Be a Side Sleeper
Whether you already sleep on your side or are wanting to sleep on your side you must do it the right way.
Without the proper support and mattress, you could wake up achy every day and misalign your spine. Pillows can come in handy and help distribute weight so that pressure doesn’t hurt your body.
If you sleep on your side you should have a medium mattress with a firm pillow to support your head, otherwise, you may have sore shoulders and hips. A side sleeper uses pillows and stretches to also help the spine stay straight.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles on getting a restful night of sleep and how to improve your health!