The National Sleep Foundation reports that more than 50% of adults are side sleepers. If you are one of them, then you’ll be happy to learn that it is one of the best positions for your well-being. Sleeping on your side can reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and help counter back and neck pain. Plus, it’s a great position for those that snore. Or sleepers who experience sleep apnea, as it helps to hold their airways clear.
Though sleeping on your side on the wrong mattress can create other difficulties, like aching joints and spine related distress. Even though there is no specific mattress that is best for one distinct sort of sleeper (though Saatva recommends choosing a mattress that works with your sleep position), some components and highlights can help make a side sleeper extra cozy.
Below are a few points to bear in mind as you shop around.
Side sleeping adds extra stress on your bones, shoulders, hips, and neck, which then places tension on your back. That mixture can cause back pain. Resting on a mattress that is too firm could also block blood flow to those regions, causing a slight numb or tingling sensation. The result? Well, then you end up with a restless night as you fight to get a more comfortable position.
The best mattress for side sleepers is something that is soft enough to support a side sleeper’s hips and joints while holding the backbone in a relaxed position.
Recommended: A mattress with latex. High-quality latex mattresses give an excellent level of movement while still allowing much-needed support. Latex is also great at helping you stay cool while you sleep, and maintains its form, which helps to stop indents from forming in the same place every night.
While you crave the plushness feel to cushion your joints and hips, you also don’t want something too soft. In this situation, you might settle deep into the mattress and your back could be forced out of the true alignment, which can then lead to lower back and neck pain. A neutral sleeping position will keep a direct channel from your head, down to your neck, leading down to your spine. Too soft and your spine will be abnormally bowed. Too hard and your neck will not have proper assistance.
Recommended: High-quality memory foam. Because of its shaping capabilities, memory foam cradles a side sleeper’s body and shines at relieving pressure. What’s great about good quality memory foam? It’s that it doesn’t just give the support you need but it too possesses enormous orthopedic perks.
For good spinal strength, your mattress needs to give enough comfort in the lower back area, where a side sleeper’s weight is centered. (Saatva’s memory foam Loom & Leaf mattress, for example, incorporates an additional layer of gel in the center third.) If you’re thinking about innerspring mattresses, then be sure the top, or support, layer of the mattress is pillowed adequately so that your hips and joints sink into the mattress ever so slightly, or go with a hybrid mattress, like Saatva’s flagship innerspring, that merges springs and memory foam together.
Even if your mattress is perfect for side-sleepers, you still may want to adjust your sleep position. A pillow upgrade could help. The National Sleep Foundation suggests picking one that is easy to hold your head in an inert position so that it is lined up with your shoulders and does not lean too far forward or backward. For you side sleepers out there, that typically involves a substantial pillow that will fulfill the space separating your ear and shoulders. If back pain is a priority then try sleeping with an extra tiny pillow in your knees. This will give your spine additional support.
Lastly, if practicable, try to lie on your left side. Some say sleeping on your right side at night actually strains blood vessels, which can prevent circulation flow. Whichever mattress you decide, try it out for a long time. Even though mattress could feel wonderful while you take a quick nap in a mattress store near you, that doesn’t imply you won’t actually be able to tell if it causes you soreness from poor alignment until you sleep on it for a few days or even weeks. We suggest you watch for a free home test (Saatva offers 120 days), so you can sleep easy, even if it is on your side, back, or stomach.