How to Sleep on Your Side? Update 04/2024

If you’ve been sleeping soundly in the same position for a long time, learning to sleep on your side may not seem ideal. We’ve come up with a few clever ideas to make your transition go more smoothly.

Because their backs are better aligned, snoring and sleep apnea are less of a concern for those who sleep on their sides. Breathing gets easier as the lateral stance opens the airway. Improved spinal form and stomach health are two advantages of sleeping on your side, which could contribute to a more comfortable and healthy night’s sleep.

By changing your sleeping position, you can improve digestion, reduce snoring, and relieve back pain; we’ll show you how to make the shift easier below.

Pros and Cons of sleeping on your side


Snoring and apnea can be reduced — A congested airway is a typical cause of snoring and apnea, which can be reduced by sleeping on one’s side. According to a research, men who sleep on their backs are twice as likely to have sleep apnea as men who sleep on their left sides. Adjusting your position may help you and your partner have a better night’s sleep because snoring is so common.


The sensation of paresthesia is commonly referred to as “pins and needles.” Paresthesia is a condition in which a physiological component is deprived of blood supply for a lengthy period of time, resulting in tingling, numbness, or even pain. This sensation may be felt in a person’s arm when they apply pressure on it at night. You can avoid exerting too much pressure on your lower arm and maybe avoid this discomfort by sleeping in the “yearning” posture, with your arms stretched out in front of you.
Learning to Sleep on Your Side - YouTube

If you sleep on your side, your hips and shoulders sink into the mattress, causing back, neck, and shoulder pain. Because you’re placing greater pressure on a smaller area of your body, you’ll feel more uncomfortable. If the mattress is well-designed and manufactured with high-quality materials, this concern should be resolved.

The Best Way to Sleep on Your Side

While some individuals prefer to sleep on their sides, this isn’t a comfortable position for everyone. The most comfortable sleeping posture for many people is lying on their stomachs or backs. However, you may be able to learn to sleep on your side without compromising sleep in the process. Extra pillows can give you the extra support you need to avoid tossing and turning unintentionally during the night. If you put a pillow between your knees, a contoured pillow for neck support, or a different position for your arms, side sleeping may be more pleasant.

How to Train Yourself to Sleep This Way

Aches and pains are more common in individuals who sleep on their stomach or back, as opposed to those who sleep on their side, which is ideal for digestive, respiratory, and spinal health. Sleepers who sleep on their stomachs frequently twist their spines and sleep with their necks twisted upwards to 90 degrees or even farther. As a result of their unbalanced stomach posture, those who sleep on their backs may have snoring or spinal pain. Those nodding their heads as they read this might wish to join you. It may take some time to adjust to sleeping in a new way, but there are a few things you can do to help your body adjust.

By placing cushions next to you and supporting them up, you can avoid falling back to your back or stomach. A pillow under the arm can help individuals who sleep on their stomach, while a pillow behind the back can help those who sleep on their back keep their lateral posture. A pregnant pillow may be useful if you find yourself moving around a lot while sleeping. We take use of our freedom to walk around on numerous occasions. To avoid adjusting during the night, try sleeping on a couch or a smaller surface for a few nights. A lack of room on the back or stomach should alert us to the fact that we are unable to sleep peacefully.

Some people propose attaching or sewing a tennis ball (or any other spherical item) to their front or back clothes to make changing more uncomfortable.

Sleeping on your side and waking up in the same position is common. Return to your original position whenever you find yourself in a position other than on your side. Without your involvement, your body should eventually adjust to the adjustments.

Which Side is Best?

Is it really so important to sleep on one side of the bed versus the other? Yes, according to the scientific community’s conclusions. Pregnant women should sleep on their left side to improve blood flow and circulation while also reducing heartburn and acid reflux, according to doctors. When you sleep on your left side, toxins are cleared from the brain more quickly. If you only sleep on your left side, you might have some concerns. The pressure imposed on the stomach and lungs can irritate them after a while. The soreness in the shoulders and hips can also be caused by lying in the same position for an extended amount of time.

Why Left is Best

Participants with heartburn had less of it when they slept on their left side, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. On alternate days, a group of volunteers were offered high-fat meals, and their esophageal activity was monitored while laying on their right or left side for four hours after the meal. Heartburn was substantially worse for those seated to their right than for the rest of the group. More studies have come to the same conclusion. To put it another way, how exactly does this work? Lying on your left side helps digestion since your stomach and other organs are positioned to take advantage of gravity.

When you’re right-resting, your body has to fight gravity in order to digest properly, which might increase heartburn problems. If you can’t keep your head above your stomach while sleeping, sleeping on an incline can help relieve heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. You can lift yourself up with cushions or use bed risers as a final precaution against neck pain.

Can Side-Sleeping Cause Shoulder Pain?

Even while side sleeping is often the most comfortable position, some people may have shoulder ache. In addition, if your mattress or pillow does not provide appropriate shoulder support, you may wake up with a hurting shoulder. The good news is that you can deal with it in a variety of ways. Shifting positions throughout the night, on the other hand, can assist relieve some of the pressure on your shoulders. Stretching and exercising throughout the day might help with circulation and joint pain. You might also lower your pillow to relieve the strain on your shoulders.

Finally, make certain you have the proper cushion and mattress. If you sleep on the wrong mattress firmness, you could develop aches and pains in your back, hips, and neck.

Side Sleeping Posture Variations

The fetal position is the most common type of sleep, in which a person sleeps hunched up with their legs tucked in close to their torso. A baby’s body is naturally aligned with that of the womb in this posture. However, there are several ways to arrange yourself while side-sleeping, some of which offer greater benefits than others. Using a cushion, for example, can enhance your sleeping experience while also allowing you to obtain a good night’s sleep.

Place a pillow between the knees to relieve back discomfort by reducing tension on the hip area and preventing the knees from rubbing against each other.
What sleep positions are best for your back? | Ohio State Medical Center

A cushion behind your back can assist keep your spine straight while also giving support if you roll over onto your backside for whatever reason. If you have shoulder pain, consider snuggling up with a pillow to reduce strain on your joints.

To find out what works best for you, experiment with different pillow locations. Pay special attention to any areas of your body that are particularly achy or inconvenient. Don’t be hesitant to try new things because what works for one person may not work for you.

The Fetal Position

People who sleep on their sides with their legs bowed towards their chest or torso adopt the fetal posture. This position is helpful to pregnant women, according to research, because it promotes circulation in both the mother and the fetus. Some persons may have hip soreness in this position. Placing a pillow between your knees, on the other hand, can assist ease the pain.

The Log

Sleeping on your side with your arms straight down by your sides is known as the log posture. This posture may help people with sleep apnea or snoring, but people with arthritis should avoid it because it puts a lot of strain on their joints.

Proper Pillow Position for Side Sleepers

Pillow Under the Head

By resting on your side and keeping your arms straight down by your side, you can sleep in the log position. This posture may help people with sleep apnea or snoring, but people with arthritis should avoid it because it puts a lot of strain on their joints.

Pillow Under the Neck

A twin contour pillow is a terrific way to ensure that your head and neck are both well supported when resting on your side. These pillows gently cradle your head by lifting your neck. Neck braces can help people with arthritis and scoliosis keep their necks in excellent alignment.

Pillow Between the Knees

Placing a pillow between your legs is an excellent way to guarantee that your spine is properly positioned while you sleep. Some people, on the other hand, consider fluffy pillows to be too thick and prefer a thinner cushion.

Pillow Behind the Back

For back or stomach sleepers who want to become used to sleeping on their sides, tucking a pillow behind the back is a good strategy. When you’re not used to sleeping in a certain way, it can be difficult to make yourself do so. If you want to avoid waking up on your back at night, you should choose a pillow that provides more support.

Tips For Side Sleeper For Good Night Sleep

Sleep experts at Nectar take great joy in collecting the best suggestions for our consumers. The following are our top six picks for side sleepers:

  1. Make sure you get a mattress that you can relax on. Side sleepers should opt for a medium-firm memory foam mattress.
  2. It’s important to treat your hips and shoulders with care while you’re sleeping. It is imperative that no pressure be placed on these places!
  3. Use a firmer pillow to keep your head from resting on the mattress. Your head needs to be exactly in the middle of your shoulders when you’re standing up straight.
  4. To prevent your knees from banging against each other while you sleep, place a small pillow in between your thighs.
  5. You’ll be more comfortable if you have a lot of pillows on your side. Sleeping with one’s arms around the pillow is an excellent starting point for finding a comfortable position.
  6. If you snore, are pregnant, or suffer from sleep apnea, you should always sleep on your left side.

When to Consider a Different Sleeping Position?

If you’re having trouble falling asleep on your side, it’s possible that sleeping on your back will be a better alternative for you. A number of health advantages can be gained from the sleeping position on one’s back when it is combined with side sleeping.

If you are transitioning from sleeping on your side to sleeping on your back, a thinner pillow may be beneficial. Instead of relying on high loft pillows for side sleepers, back sleepers benefit from a medium-loft pillow, which supports the neck but not so much that the chin sinks too far down into the chest.

Two more difficulties that may benefit from sleeping in a different position rather than on one’s side are wrinkles and shoulder pain.

Sleeping on your side with your face compressed into the pillow will compress and stress your skin, therefore it’s best to avoid this position if you want to avoid wrinkles. Sleeping on your back relieves the strain that leads to wrinkles.

Since your shoulder that faces the mattress is under greater stress when you sleep on your side, you run the risk of developing shoulder pain. Your shoulders will be less likely to hurt if you alternate between your left and right sides. Keep your head and neck in a straight line with your shoulders by utilizing a supportive mattress and pillow combo.

Side sleeping, on the other hand, may not be an option for everyone. If you experience any pain or discomfort after attempting this position, please notify your doctor immediately.


Is there a better mattress for side sleepers?

We recommend a medium-firm mattress for side sleepers for two reasons. The proper amount of pressure relief may not be available with a hard mattress for people suffering from shoulder and hip pain. Back discomfort and other issues can result if the hips and shoulders are not sunk sufficiently. Mattresses with excessive sinkage can create the same problems as mattresses that are excessively firm, while mattresses that are too soft may not provide adequate support for the same problem areas. It is generally accepted that people who sleep on their stomachs or backs prefer firmer mattresses.

Is there a better pillow for this position?

Side sleepers should use a firm, thick pillow to maintain their neck in alignment with their spine. Keep in mind that the average human head weighs between 10 and 11 pounds. It is possible to wake up with a hurting neck or back if you sleep on a pillow that is too thin or soft (such as down). Memory foam pillows are an option. They provide both structural support and a sculpting effect on the neck and head. Putting your shoulder on the cushion may help ease some of the discomfort.

What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers?

For side sleepers, a medium-firm mattress is the ideal option. Your hip and shoulder may hurt if you sleep on a mattress that is too hard. A spinal misalignment might occur as a result of sleeping on a mattress that is too soft. As opposed to this, a medium-firm mattress conforms to your body’s natural curves while still providing adequate support.

Are memory foam mattresses good for side sleepers?

When it comes to mattresses, memory foam is the best option for those who prefer to sleep on their sides. This means that a memory foam mattress will support your hips and shoulders while sinking somewhat under your hips and shoulders for side sleepers. Your spine will be more naturally aligned as a result of this.

Are memory foam mattresses good for couples?

Anyone with whom you share a bed should consider investing in a memory foam mattress. Every morning, people might feel rejuvenated after sleeping in the position that suits them best. Memory foam mattresses are also great because they don’t transfer motion. You can sleep in different positions without disturbing your partner because of this. This situation necessitates the use of a spring mattress, which might shock the other person awake by bouncing back and forth as one person moves.

According To Studies, Sleeping On Your Left Side Is The Possibility Of Nightmares

Is a firm mattress good for side sleepers?

It’s essential to have a memory foam mattress if you and your partner are sharing a bed. Every morning, people might feel rejuvenated after sleeping in the position that suits them best. Memory foam mattresses are also great because they don’t transfer motion. You can sleep in different positions without disturbing your partner because of this. This situation necessitates the use of a spring mattress, which might shock the other person awake by bouncing back and forth as one person moves.

Is a firm mattress good for a bad back?

A memory foam mattress is a need for those who sleep in the same bed. People can sleep in the position that seems most comfortable to them and still wake up feeling rejuvenated. Memory foam mattresses are also great because they don’t transfer motion. If you change positions during the night, you won’t disturb your partner. In order to avoid waking up the person on the other end, a spring mattress would be the worst option.

What is the best type of mattress for side sleepers?

Medium-firm memory foam mattresses are best for side sleepers who want to obtain a good night’s sleep. As a result of the importance of keeping your spine straight when you sleep. A medium-firm memory foam mattress has many advantages, including conforming to your body and providing exactly the appropriate amount of support and sinkage.

What is the best pillow for a side sleeper?

To keep the head and neck in a neutral posture for side sleepers, Heather Turgeon, author of The Happy Sleeper, recommends using a bigger pillow. This means that those who sleep on their sides should opt for a cushion that is exceptionally firm to keep their heads supported. Even while a fluffy, soft pillow may be more appealing, it is the hard ones that provide the proper support for your head and neck. Memory foam pillows from Nectar are great because they come overfilled, allowing you to fine-tune the amount of stuffing until your pillow is exactly right for you.

Which is the best mattress for side sleepers?

A list of the top mattresses was produced based on factors like best for back pain and best hybrid mattresses. WinkBeds Classic, Layla, Brooklyn Bedding Aurora, Casper Nova Hybrid, Tuft & Needle Mint, and Purple Hybrid are a some of the best options available in this class.

What is the best pillow for side sleepers?

Various pillows for side sleepers were also compared. Consider the best cooling cushion and shredded foam pillows, for example. The Purple Harmony pillow and the Leesa Premium Foam pillow are two of our faves. Also suggested is the Layla Kapok pillow.

Is it bad to sleep on your side?

The vast majority of healthy persons can sleep on their side. Side sleeping has been linked to worsening symptoms for some people, including those with heart disease, glaucoma, heartburn, and joint problems. See your doctor if sleeping on your side is causing any health issues for you.

What is the healthiest sleeping position?

Johns Hopkins Medicine believes it’s impossible to identify a particular posture that’s ideal for your health while you sleep. It is up to the young and healthy to sleep how they like. When it comes to sleeping arrangements, people with health difficulties may want a closer eye on things. Snoring and other sleep disorders may be more pronounced when you sleep on your back.

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