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Side Sleeper Tips: How to Sleep on Your Side Without Waking Up Sore

Side Sleeper Tips: How to Sleep on Your Side Without Waking Up Sore

Research is rife with sleeping positions ideal for restful slumber. Contrary to popular belief, side sleeping is equally beneficial. However, you can only enjoy the advantages of side sleeping if you do it right.

The Best Practices for Side Sleeping

Choose the Appropriate Mattress

The best mattress for side sleeping is a medium-firm mattress. It allows for better contouring of your body's natural curves while providing ample support. It also alleviates pressure points on the shoulders and hips.

A medium-firm mattress also helps prevent excessive sinking or sagging, which can contribute to poor spinal alignment. It provides enough resistance to support the body's weight and keeps the spine in a neutral position throughout the night. You can increase your mattress's firmness by placing plywood underneath.

Pillow Positions

Add a firm pillow for head support, spine alignment and strain reduction on the neck muscles. Placing an additional firm pillow between your knees can stop hip and knee joint collapse, improving your spinal alignment. This position is particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing lower back pain.

Arm, Hand, and Shoulder Posture

Position your arms and hands below your head and neck, ideally parallel to your sides, to maintain proper spinal alignment and reduce strain on the neck and shoulders. This sleep posture can prevent discomfort, numbness and potential nerve compression, allowing for a more comfortable and restful sleep.

Ensure your ears align with your shoulders while your chin remains neutral to enhance comfort and reduce neck strain and stiffness. Avoid tucking your chin into your chest or lowering your head for proper spine alignment and neck, back and muscle tension reduction.

Knee Posture

Keep your knees slightly bent towards your chest to alleviate pressure on your lower back. The posture also supports and enhances your comfort while you sleep.

The Side Does Not Matter

You can sleep on your left or right side. Ensure to shift through both sides while you sleep to avoid muscle cramps and stiffness.

Benefits of Side Sleeping

Improves Back Alignment

Side sleeping is beneficial for maintaining open and unobstructed airways, which can help reduce snoring and alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. The sleep position aligns your back and spine minimizing restrictions on the air passages, allowing for smoother and uninterrupted breathing during sleep.

Ideal for Posture for Pregnancy

It is impossible to sleep on your stomach when pregnant. On the other hand, resting on your back interferes with circulation and breathing. Lateral posture maintains blood circulation and aligns your spine during pregnancy, keeping your airways functioning. You can improve your sleeping posture by placing a pillow between your legs for more comfort and reduced strain on your lower back.

Reduce Neck and Back Pain

Side sleeping prevents neck stiffness and back discomfort by:

  • Aligning your spine by making it conform to its natural position
  • Reducing tension on pressure points along your neck and back
  • Enhancing comfort and muscle relaxation in the neck and back

Disadvantages of Sleeping on Your Side

  • You may experience pins and needles, numbness, tingling, or burning from poor posture, especially in your arms. Avoid putting excess pressure on your arm and leg joints.
  • Sleeping on your body's narrow surface area puts pressure on your hip and shoulder. Choose the appropriate mattress and include pillow support to enhance comfort by distributing the tension.