Side-sleeping is super common (and comfy!) — a recent poll shows that 74 percent of Americans are side sleepers, with stomach sleepers and back sleepers following — but it can cause some issues in the neck and shoulder department. Luckily, they can usually be solved by investing in the right pillow.
Like other sleeping positions, side-sleeping has its pros and cons. Given this position requires resting on one arm, it 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, which can lead to additional aching and straining over time.
On the positive, there are many health benefits to side-sleeping. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it can help those suffering from reflux, heartburn, GERD, and sleep apnea. However, due to the positioning of certain organs, like the stomach, it is only true when sleeping on your left side.
It is also very important to be conscious of the alignment of your head, neck, and spine, alongside the overall straightness of your legs and back (think log position) when you sleep on your side. For added help in alignment, place a pillow between your knees to help alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back.
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