Updated at: 12-06-2022 - By: Jane

Learning to sleep on your side may not sound ideal if you’ve been sleeping peacefully in the same position for a long time. We’ve come up with a few smart ways to ease your move.

Snoring and sleep apnea are less of a problem for those who sleep on their sides because of the better alignment of their backs. Because the lateral stance widens the airway, breathing becomes easier. The benefits of sleeping on your side include improved spinal form and stomach health, which could lead to a more comfortable and healthy night’s sleep.

You can improve digestion, minimize snoring, and alleviate back discomfort by adjusting your sleeping position; we’ll explain how to make this transition easier below.

Pros and Cons of sleeping on your side


Apnea and snoring can be alleviated — One common cause of snoring and apnea is a clogged airway; this can be alleviated by sleeping on one’s side. Men who sleep on their backs are twice as likely to suffer from sleep apnea as men who sleep on their left sides, according to a study. [1] Because snoring is so frequent, adjusting your position may help you and your partner get a better night’s sleep.

How to sleep on your side with back pain - YouTube


“Pins and needles” is a common term for the sensation of paresthesia. The term “paresthesia” refers to a condition where a bodily part is deprived of blood supply for long enough to cause tingling, numbness, or even pain. [5] When a person puts pressure on their arm at night, they may experience this sensation in their arm. By sleeping in the “yearning” position, with your arms stretched out in front of you, you can avoid putting too much pressure on your lower arm and potentially avoid this discomfort.

Back, neck, and shoulder pain could result if you sleep on your side, as your hips and shoulders sink into the mattress. This results in an elevated level of discomfort since you are putting more pressure on a smaller area of your body. This worry should be alleviated if the mattress is well-designed and constructed with high-quality materials.

The Best Way to Sleep on Your Side

While some people prefer to sleep on their sides, this position isn’t suitable for everyone. Many people find that lying on their stomachs or backs is the most comfortable position for sleeping. It is possible, however, that you can learn to sleep on your side without sacrificing sleep in the process. Additional pillows can provide the extra support you need to avoid unintentionally tossing and turning during the night. Side-sleeping may be more comfortable if you use a pillow between your knees, a contoured pillow for neck support, or a different position for your arms.

How to Train Yourself to Sleep This Way

Those who sleep on their stomach or back are more likely to suffer from aches and pains than those who sleep on their side, which is best for digestive, respiratory, and spinal health. Those who sleep on their stomachs often twist their spines in unusual ways and sleep with their necks bent upwards to 90 degrees or even farther. Those who sleep on their backs may suffer from snoring or spinal pain as a result of their asymmetrical stomach posture. People who are nodding their heads while reading this may want to join you. Trying to sleep in a way you’re not used to may take some time, but there are a number of tactics you may do to help your body adapt.

You can prevent yourself from going back to your back or stomach by putting cushions next to you and propping them. Those who sleep on their stomach may benefit from a pillow under the arm, while those who sleep on their back may benefit from a pillow behind the back to maintain the lateral posture. In the event that you find yourself moving about a lot in your sleep, a pregnancy pillow may be of assistance to you. There are many times when we take advantage of the freedom we have to roam around. Try sleeping on a couch or a smaller surface for a few nights to keep yourself from adjusting during the night. A lack of space on the back or stomach should alert us that we can’t rest comfortably.

In order to make changing uncomfortable, some people suggest taping or sewing a tennis ball (or any other spherical item) to their front or back shirts.

It’s usual to fall asleep on your side and wake up in the same position. Every time you find yourself in a position other than on your side, return to your original position. Your body should eventually become accustomed to the changes without your involvement.

Which Side is Best?

Is it really so important which side of the bed you sleep on? Yes, according to the findings of the scientific community. Doctors advise pregnant women to sleep on their left side to promote blood flow and circulation and reduce heartburn and acid reflux. Toxins are removed from the brain faster when you sleep on your left side. There may be some issues if you only sleep on the left side of your body. After a while, the stomach and lungs can get irritated due to the pressure exerted on them. Laying in the same position for an extended period of time can also cause pain in the shoulders and hips.

Why Left is Best

A research published in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology discovered that participants with heartburn had less of it while they were lying on their left side while sleeping. A set of volunteers was fed high-fat meals on alternate days, and their esophageal activity was subsequently recorded while lying on their right or left side for four hours following the meal. Those sitting to their right experienced much more heartburn than the rest of the group. The similar conclusion can be drawn from more studies. In other words, how precisely does this work? Since your stomach and other organs are positioned to take advantage of gravity, lying on your left side makes digestion go more smoothly.

In order to digest effectively, your body has to struggle against gravity when you’re right-resting, which might exacerbate heartburn symptoms. Sleeping on an inclination can help alleviate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms if you can’t keep your head above your stomach while you sleep. As a final precaution against neck ache, you can elevate yourself up with cushions or use bed risers.

Can Side-Sleeping Cause Shoulder Pain?

Even while side sleeping is often the most comfortable posture, it might cause shoulder pain for some people. As an added bonus, you can wake up with a sore shoulder if your mattress or pillow isn’t providing adequate shoulder support. The good news is that you have several options for coping with this. However, shifting positions throughout the night will help alleviate some of the pressure on your shoulders. Stretching and exercising throughout the day can also improve circulation and alleviate joint pain. To reduce the strain on your shoulders, you can also lower your pillow.

In the end, make sure you have the right cushion and mattress. You could end up with aches and pains in your back, hips, or neck if you sleep on the wrong mattress firmness.

Side Sleeping Posture Variations

The fetal position, in which a person is hunched up with their legs tucked in close to their torso, is the most prevalent form of sleep. In this position, a baby’s body is naturally aligned with that of the womb. However, there are a variety of methods to arrange yourself while side-sleeping, and some have more advantages than others. Using a pillow, for example, can improve your napping experience and help you get a good night’s sleep while doing so.

Why Your Gut Wants You to Sleep on Your Left Side Every Night

To treat back pain, place a pillow between the knees to reduce strain on that hip area and prevent the knees from rubbing against each other.

A cushion behind the back can help maintain your spine straight while also providing support if you ever decide to roll over on your backside for some reason. If you’re suffering from shoulder ache, try cuddling up with a pillow to relieve the pressure on your joints.

Try different pillow placements to see what works best for you. Pay particular attention to any regions of your body that are particularly sore or uncomfortable. What works for one individual may not work as well for you, so don’t be afraid to try new things.

The Fetal Position

The fetal position is adopted by people who sleep on their sides with their legs bent towards their chest or torso. According to studies, this position is beneficial to pregnant women because it increases circulation in both the mother and the fetus. This position may cause discomfort in the hips for some people. However, placing a pillow between your knees helps alleviate this discomfort.

The Log

The log position is just as it sounds, sleeping on your side with your arms straight down by your sides. People with sleep apnea or snoring may benefit from this posture, but individuals with arthritis may wish to avoid it because of the strain on their joints.

Proper Pillow Position for Side Sleepers

Pillow Under the Head

You can sleep in the log position by lying on your side and keeping your arms straight down by your side. People with sleep apnea or snoring may benefit from this posture, but individuals with arthritis may wish to avoid it because of the strain on their joints.

Pillow Under the Neck

When sleeping on your side, a double contour pillow is a great method to make sure your head and neck are both well supported. Lifting your neck, these pillows gently cradle your head. People with arthritis or scoliosis may benefit from using neck braces to keep their necks in good alignment.

Pillow Between the Knees

A great approach to ensure that your spine is properly aligned while you sleep is to place a pillow between your legs. Some people, however, find fluffy pillows to be overly thick, and prefer a thinner cushion.

Pillow Behind the Back

When side-sleeping, tucking a pillow behind one’s back is an effective approach for back or stomach sleepers to become used to resting on their sides. Forcing oneself to sleep in a certain manner when you’re not accustomed to it can be difficult. To avoid rolling over onto your back during night, you should use a pillow with additional support.

Tips For Side Sleeper For Good Night Sleep

At Nectar, we’re sleep experts, and we take great delight in compiling the best recommendations for all of our customers. For side sleepers, we’ve compiled the following list of six suggestions:

  1. Find a mattress that is comfortable for you. A medium-firm memory foam mattress is ideal for side sleepers.
  2. When you sleep, be gentle with your shoulders and hips. Pressure on these areas should be avoided at all costs!
  3. Keep your head off the mattress with a firmer pillow. To be more precise, your head should be exactly midway between your two shoulders when you stand.
  4. Keep your knees from slamming together while you sleep by placing a tiny pillow between your legs.
  5. When it comes to side sleepers, the more pillows you have, the more comfortable you’ll be. Pillow-hugging or pillow-backing is a good place to start your search for a comfortable sleeping position.
  6. You should always sleep on your left side if you snore, are pregnant, or have sleep apnea.

When to Consider a Different Sleeping Position?

Switching to sleeping on your back if you can’t get comfortable on your side may be a good option for you. When utilized in conjunction with side sleeping, the back sleeping posture has the potential to provide numerous health benefits, including the alleviation of back discomfort.

A thinner pillow may be helpful if you transition from sleeping on your side to sleeping on your back. In contrast to side sleepers, who benefit from a higher loft pillow, back sleepers benefit from one that is medium in loft — one that is high enough to provide neck support but not so high that the sleeper’s chin sinks too far into their chest.

Wrinkles and shoulder soreness are two other issues that may be better addressed by sleeping in a different posture rather than on one’s side.

Avoid sleeping on your side with your face crushed into the pillow if you’re concerned about wrinkles, as this position can compress and stress your skin. You can lessen the pressure that causes wrinkles by sleeping on your back.

Shoulder pain can be caused or exacerbated by side sleeping, as you are putting greater pressure on your shoulder that faces the mattress. Alternating between the left and right side of your body can help reduce the likelihood of shoulder soreness. Keeping your head and neck aligned with your shoulders and using a supportive mattress and pillow combination may also be helpful in alleviating back pain.

However, not everyone can benefit from side sleeping. It’s important to let your doctor know if you’re having problems with pain or discomfort after trying this position.


Is there a better mattress for side sleepers?

For two reasons, we advise side sleepers to go for a medium-firm mattress. When it comes to shoulder and hip pain, a firm mattress may not be able to provide the right amount of pressure alleviation. If the hips and shoulders don’t sink in enough, this might cause back pain and other difficulties. Too much sinkage can cause the same issues as a mattress that is too firm, and a mattress that is too soft may not give the correct support for the same problem areas. As a general rule, persons who sleep on their sides prefer to have a softer mattress than those who sleep on their backs or stomachs.

Is there a better pillow for this position?

A thick, firm pillow is recommended for side sleepers to keep the neck in line with the spine. Just remember that your head weighs about 10 or 11 pounds. If your pillow is too thin or soft (such as feather pillows), your head may sink in too much and you may wake up with a sore neck or back from sleeping on it. It is possible to use memory foam pillows. They support and mold your head and neck at the same time. That pressure may be alleviated if you place your shoulder on the pillow.

What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?

In general, a medium-firm mattress works best for side sleepers. If you sleep on a mattress that is overly firm, you may get pain in your hip and shoulder. A mattress that is excessively soft may cause your entire body to sink into it, resulting in a misaligned spine. A medium-firm mattress, on the other hand, gives you just the appropriate amount of support while yet conforming to your body’s natural curves.

What're The Best Arms Positions to Sleep on Your Side? - Terry Cralle

Are memory foam mattresses good for side sleepers?

Memory foam mattresses are ideal for those who sleep on their sides. ‘ Mattresses that conform to your body as you move are known as “smart” ones. This implies that for side sleepers, a memory foam mattress will sink a little under your hip and shoulder while keeping the rest of your body in place. This will help you keep your spine in a more natural position.

Are memory foam mattresses good for couples?

A memory foam mattress is also a must for anyone who shares their bed. Individuals can sleep in their favourite posture and wake up feeling refreshed. An added benefit is that a memory foam mattress will not transfer motion. This means that if one person sleeps in a variety of positions during the night, their spouse will not be disturbed. A spring mattress would be the worst choice for this scenario, as the movement of one person can force the other to bounce, jolting them awake.

Is a firm mattress good for side sleepers?

If you share a bed, a memory foam mattress is a must-have. Individuals can sleep in their favourite posture and wake up feeling refreshed. An added benefit is that a memory foam mattress will not transfer motion. This means that if one person sleeps in a variety of positions during the night, their spouse will not be disturbed. A spring mattress would be the worst choice for this scenario, as the movement of one person can force the other to bounce, jolting them awake.

Is a firm mattress good for a bad back?

For those who share a bed, a memory foam mattress is a need. Individuals can sleep in their favourite posture and wake up refreshed. A further advantage of a memory foam mattress is that it does not transmit motion. A person who sleeps in varied positions during the night won’t disturb their companion. A spring mattress would be the worst choice because it can cause the person on the other end to bounce, jarring them awake.

What is the best type of mattress for side sleepers?

A medium-firm memory foam mattress is ideal for side sleepers who are committed to getting a good night’s rest. It’s because keeping your spine upright when you sleep is really important. Molding to your body and offering the right amount of support and sinkage are just some of the benefits of a medium-firm memory foam mattress.

What is the best pillow for a side sleeper?

For side sleepers, a thicker pillow is typically necessary to maintain a neutral position for the head and neck, as noted by Heather Turgeon, the author of The Happy Sleeper. This means that a side sleeper should look for an extra-firm cushion to support their head. While a soft, fluffy pillow may look inviting, the firm cushions are what actually provide the support your head needs. Nectar’s memory foam pillow is a wonderful choice because it comes overfilled: you may adjust the stuffing until your pillow is just the perfect size for you.

Which is the best mattress for side sleepers?

Based on areas like best for back pain and best hybrid mattress, we compiled a list of the finest products. The WinkBeds Classic, Layla Hybrid, Brooklyn Bedding Aurora, Avocado Green Mattress, Casper Nova Hybrid, Tuft & Needle Mint, and Purple Hybrid are some of the best selections.

What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

We also compared various pillows for side sleepers. For example, we looked at the best cooling cushion and the best-shredded foam pillow. A few of our favorites include the Leesa Premium Foam pillow and the Purple Harmony pillow. The Layla Kapok pillow is also recommended.

Is it bad to sleep on your side?

Sleeping on your side is fine for the majority of healthy adults. Some patients, such as those with heart disease, glaucoma, heartburn, or joint difficulties, have experienced increasing symptoms as a result of side sleeping. If you have any health concerns about sleeping on your side, make an appointment with your doctor.

What is the healthiest sleeping position?

It’s impossible, says Johns Hopkins Medicine, to pinpoint a single posture that’s best for your health when you’re in bed. Those who are young and healthy are free to sleep as they like. People with health issues, on the other hand, may wish to pay closer attention to their sleeping arrangements. For example, snoring and sleep apnea might be worse if you sleep on your back.

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