If you're a side-sleeper, you're in good company: A 2012 poll from Anna's Linens showed that 74 percent of Americans snooze on their sides, with stomach sleepers, and back sleepers coming in at close second and thirds. As comfortable as side-sleeping can be, however, it can also cause issues in the neck and shoulder departments. Luckily, they can sometimes be resolved by investing in one of the best pillows for side-sleepers.
Side-sleeping has its pros and cons. On the plus side, there are many health benefits to reposing in this position. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can help those suffering from reflux, heartburn, GERD, and sleep apnea. Due to the positioning of certain organs, like the stomach, however, this is only true when sleeping on your left side.
Alternately, given that this position may require resting on one arm, side-sleeping can result in hand numbness and neck pain, especially if your chin is pulled down in the fetal position. You're also placing a good amount of your weight on one of your shoulders in this arrangement, which can lead to additional aching and straining over time.
It is also very important to be conscious of the alignment of your head, neck, and spine, as well as the overall straightness of your legs and back (think log position) when you sleep on your side. For added support with alignment, however, it can help to place a pillow between your knees to alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back.
What is the best pillow for side sleepers?
Grab a sleep mask and your favorite mattress topper, and get ready to drift off into Dreamland — Keep scrolling below to learn more about FIRST's picks for the best-rated pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain.
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