Side sleeping is one of most popular sleeping positions around, but if you're not using one of the best pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain, your pillow might stop you from getting the rest you need. A recent poll shows that 74 percent of Americans are reported to be side sleepers, with stomach sleepers and back sleepers following respectively. If you are a side sleeper, chances are you have a couple of complaints in the neck and shoulder department. Luckily, those issues can usually be solved by investing in the right pillow. But before we find you the perfect pillow, let's talk a little bit about side sleeping.
Is it bad to sleep on your side?
Like other sleeping positions, side sleeping has its pros and cons. The biggest negative of sleeping on your side is neck and shoulder pain. Side sleepers with neck problems are no strangers to aches and pains, given that this position requires resting on one arm as you sleep. By doing this, you're placing weight on that arm, which can result in hand numbness and a pulled neck, especially if your chin is pulled down in the fetal position. Because you're lying on your side, you're also placing a good amount of your weight on at least one of your shoulders. If you get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, this can lead to additional aching and straining over time.
On the positive side, there are actually many health benefits to side sleeping. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, side sleeping can help those suffering from reflux, heartburn, GERD, sleep apnea, and neck and back pain. Now, you may be asking, "How can side sleeping help neck pain if it can cause it, too?" It all comes down to alignment. Side sleeping is one of the best sleeping positions for neck and back pain when done correctly. By being conscious of the alignment of your head, neck, and spine, alongside the overall straightness of your legs and back (think log position), you can kiss neck and back pain goodbye in no time. For added help in alignment, place a pillow between your knees. This will help alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back for the most comfortable sleep of your life.
Which side should you be sleeping on?
You should be mindful of which side you sleep on. As mentioned above, side sleeping is one of the best sleeping positions for sleep apnea, as well as those with digestive issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD. However, this is only true when sleeping on your left side. Due to the positioning of certain organs on the left side, like the stomach, you'll find that your body will naturally settle and symptoms associated with these conditions will vanish. So, when it comes to picking out your side of the bed, always be sure to choose the left side.
What are the best pillows for side sleeping?
Tired of your favorite sleeping position causing you aches and pain? Looking for a 'firm' solution to a good night's sleep? Grab a sleep mask, your favorite mattress topper, and look no further. Keep scrolling to learn more about the best-rated pillows for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain!