Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position — 74% of all people do it. Professionals still argue about the best sleeping position as all of them have their benefits and downsides, and since we spend a third of our lives in bed, it’s really important to know how you can get the best rest without negatively affecting your life.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve figured out all the pros and cons of side sleeping and have some advice on how to improve the quality of your sleep and your overall health. So whether you’re a side sleeper or not, make sure to read this article all the way to the end.
Benefits of sleeping on your side
It prevents neck and back pain as it keeps your body in its most natural position by maintaining the natural curve of the spine when lying in bed. It lessens snoring. Sleeping on your back makes your tongue and soft palate collapse to the back of your throat, causing you to snore. Sleeping on your side may help prevent this. It improves blood circulation as your body is in perfect alignment.
Downsides of side sleeping
It may cause shoulder and hip pain if you have a bad mattress or if you have any injuries in your muscles or joints. It worsens wrinkles and may give you a puffy face upon waking up. Pushing your face against the pillow makes fluid accumulate in this area causing swelling, and also creases your skin that leads to wrinkles. It worsens breast sagging as ligaments stretch without support over time when you sleep on one side.
What you can change to improve your quality of sleep
Your pillow should be firm enough to keep your spine straight. You need to fill the space between your neck and the mattress to keep your head and neck in a neutral position. If you have shoulder pain, put a pillow in front of the body and place your arm on top of it. This support will help you to relieve the pain.
To prevent or get rid of existing hip pain, try to put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned. To prevent your breasts from sagging you have to put a small pillow under them so that their ligaments don’t stretch. Or just turn on your back.
If you wake up in the morning with a puffy face, under-eye swelling, and deeper wrinkles than you had the evening before, you should change your sleeping position. Only sleeping on your back can prevent your face from making unwanted contact with the pillow. A good mattress is the most important thing when it comes to healthy sleep. If you’re a side sleeper, you have to choose a mattress with good support at the shoulders and hips that is medium to medium-firm. Foam and memory foam are the best options since they’re very effective at pressure point relief.
Are you a side sleeper? If so, are you going to change some of your sleeping habits after reading this article? Tell us in the comments.
Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for BrightSide.me