Side Sleeper: Benefits, Drawbacks & Which Side Is Best to Sleep on?

6 min read
6 min read

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They say, “A good sleep is worth more than a million dollars.” We humans have different sleeping positions and preferences. While other sleeping postures come with pros and cons, being a side sleeper has the best ones. Side sleeping is a posture that makes you rest on either side, with the back being straight and the arms held down. 

Research says that approximately 60% of adults tend to remain a side sleeper. Being one of the healthiest sleeping positions to consider, being a side sleeper helps you unlock many potential benefits than you may know of. This article will cover the following areas:

 

  • Benefits of being a side sleeper
  • Disadvantages of becoming a side sleeper
  • The factors to help you decide your sleeping position
  • Tips for side sleeping
  • Different kinds of side sleepers
  • What to keep in mind when switching posture
  • The best mattress for side sleepers

 

Now, even though you may have your own set of doubts, we are here to help you get through them all, one at a time. But, first, let’s take you through the aforesaid aspects of being a side sleeper with intricate detail:

Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Side

If you are a side sleeper, whether you prefer sleeping on your right or left side. Or if you wonder whether two adults can sleep together on a full mattress who are side sleepers as well, well, you must know that this posture is worthy of resolving most of your healthcare issues. The perks of being a side sleeper are many. Here are some of them.

Relief From Back Pain:

Back pain, especially on the lower side, is a chronic pain that, once caught, is exceptionally hard to get rid of. Sleeping on either side helps relieve pressure on the spine and gives relief from back pain. So, be a side sleeper and say goodbye to back pain forever!

Less Risk Of Sleep Apnea:

Sleep Apnea is a known sleep disorder in which the sleeper’s breathing starts and stops repeatedly. This is where being a side sleeper helps a lot. Side sleeping helps keep your airway open and aids you in breathing easily, thus lessening the risk of snoring or sleep apnea.

Improved Digestion:

Believe it or not, your sleeping posture helps determine your digestive health to a great extent. If you are a side sleeper, relief from heartburn, bloating, or constipation are the best promises that stand afirm.

Improved Brain Health:

Studies show that when we are sleeping, our brain helps get rid of waste from our bodies. Sleeping on the left or right side helps improve its efficiency and better waste removal. Start being a side sleeper, and you might just notice how relaxed you are already becoming. It is a great choice, isn’t it?

Now that you know what a side sleeper is and what the benefits of being a side sleeper are, there are some concerns that you should take a note of.

Drawbacks Of Sleeping On Your Side

Like every other choice made has its benefits and drawbacks, being a side sleeper has a list of cons. They are:

Increased Risk Of Shoulder Pain:

Whatever your preferred side is as a side sleeper, the shoulder corresponding to that side collapses into the mattress, thus increasing the risk of shoulder pain. 

Increased Risk Of Spinal Misalignment:

Being a side sleeper creates potential pain in your neck, shoulder, and spine, thus risking a misalignment of your body. 

Which Side Should You Sleep On?

Your sleep has to be peaceful and energizing and not the one that causes you even more tiredness and lack of energy. Once you know if your sleeping position is right, most of your health problems will take a backseat. So here we are, with a list of scenarios that will help you make the right choice of posture:

Pregnancy:

If you are pregnant, it is preferable that you be a side sleeper and sleep on your left side. It helps improve blood circulation and helps keep the pressure from the liver, and prevents stillbirth. 

GERD Or Heartburn:

 People who experience heart failure are usually right-side sleepers, as sleeping on the left causes them discomfort. We recommend you not to sleep on your backs as the lungs come under potential pressure, and it also aids in the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Types Of Side Sleepers

There are two kinds of side sleepers: left side and right side sleepers. While doctors recommend that left-side sleeping is great for your health, right-side sleepers have their reasons.  

As discussed above, left side sleepers involve everyone from pregnant women to people experiencing digestive problems. It helps in providing potential relief from back, and joint pains, improve brain efficacy, and keeps you from experiencing extreme tiredness the next day. 

People who sleep on the right side mainly have heart problems or just a preference to sleep on that particular side. However, since studies show that people with heart failure tend to face discomfort when they sleep on their left side, it is suggested that they be right side sleeper for maximum health benefits.

How To Sleep On Your Side: Important Tips To Become A Side Sleeper?

Even today, many of us are facing certain physical discomfort despite having chosen the perfect sleeping position. Here, we are going to give you a step-by-step instructional guide on how to be a side sleeper that will help you know where you are going wrong and will ease your efforts too:

Step 1:

Purchase a mattress with medium firmness and the best side sleeping pillow you could get your hands on

Step 2:

Shift on to be a left side sleeper. Align your ears to your shoulders without sinking your chin into your chest as it might cause neck pain.

Step 3:

Your arms should be parallel to your sides, below the face and neck.

Tip: If you want to be a side sleeper, you can keep a pillow between your knees as it can help in decreasing the pressure on your lower back and keeping pain at bay.

How To Switch To A New Sleeping Position?

If you have been a side sleeper and wish to switch to a new sleeping position, say back sleeping, we suggest you take the support of a thinner pillow. 

But, if it is the other way round, we suggest you opt for a medium or a thick pillow that helps in supporting your back. Also, you can try being a left side sleeper first, with your back straight and arms on the side so that your spinal alignment isn’t your worry anymore. 

No matter your sleeping posture, if you face discomfort and pain, maybe it is time to switch to a new one that gives you a stress-free, sweat-free, and pain-free sleep all night long!

9 Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

If you are a side sleeper looking to buy a new mattress, your timing couldn’t be more perfect. Here is the list of mattresses handpicked for you to make an informed decision:

Conclusion

Being a side sleeper gives you more benefits than you could think of. It is a posture that brings you home to better health and sleeps simultaneously. However, this article is your go-to guide if you have a scenario to mention that gets you all in doubt about your sleep posture. It enlists everything you need to know for switching to a side sleeper position. Napping needs to be free from stress and filled with dreams and not the other way round. Happy napping to you!

A twin bed measures 38 inches by 75 inches, whereas a queen bed measures 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. Hence, a queen bed is 22 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a twin bed.

The Alaskan bed is the biggest available bed size, and it measures 108 inches by 108 inches or 9 by 9 feet. These are expensive as it takes more effort and logistics to deliver them. However, it is not widely available globally.

When placed side by side, two twin beds equal 76 by 75 inches. On the other hand, a queen bed measures 60 by 80 inches. So, two twin beds together will be wider than a queen bed but shorter than it in length.

The primary difference between a twin and a double bed is that a twin bed comprises two individual beds and can accommodate one person each. Whereas a double bed can accommodate two people and some space between two beds, they are smaller than queen beds.

Most couples prefer going for a queen bed as it offers a great blend of space and intimacy. However, couples looking for even more space can go with king beds.

FAQS

The Log position, in which a person sleeps on their back with arms tucked into their sides, is considered the least common sleeping position.

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Disclaimer

www.sleepauthority.com is brought to you by Resident. Our company sells Nectar, DreamCloud, Awara, Level Sleep, and Home Well Designed. While we intend for this site to be an educational and useful resource for consumers interested in sleep-related topics, we also promote our family of brands – brands that we believe in – on this website. Where we have commissioned independent research and/or articles to support our content, we will state as such in the sub-heading of the article. Where we compare our brands and products against others, we will provide the review criteria as well as state our basis for choosing the “best” or “top” product in a link accompanying the comparison. Our aim is to assist consumers in choosing the best solution for getting restful and comfortable sleep and it is our belief that there is a Resident product that meets any sleeper’s needs.

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Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

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Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians