Side Sleepers: A Guide on How to Sleep Better

Are you a side sleeper? If so, today I will show you how you can get a night of better and comfortable sleep. You can use all kinds of mattresses and pillows, set a preferred bedroom temperature, and so on, but your sleep position will remain constant. 

In this guide, you will learn about:

  • What is a side sleeper
  • Advantages and disadvantages of side sleeping 
  • Types of side sleepers 
  • Tips for sleeping comfortably as a side sleeper
  • Best pillows for side sleepers 
  • And many more.

So make sure to read this guide till the end.

What is a side sleeper? 

To put it simply, a side sleeper is a person who sleeps on their side. If you sleep with your shoulder and hip right on the bed, you can count yourself as one of the side sleepers. 

You can sleep on either the right or left side of your body if you are a side sleeper. Often, they will tuck a pillow between their head and shoulder, or hug a pillow. 

Some people can’t tell if they are side sleepers, but if you have flattened hair on either side of your head when you wake up, chances are good you are among these ranks. 

Another sign of a side sleeper is drooling on your pillow in the morning. However, excessive drooling can be a sign of sleep disorders, and you should see someone about it. 

Advantages and disadvantages of side sleeping 

There are advantages and disadvantages of sleeping on your side and even which side you prefer, the left or right. 

This is because specific body organs are located on each side and can be impacted by hours of compression. 

So to make it helpful to you, I have divided pros and cons based on the two sides (left and right). Note that any drawback cannot compare to a great night’s sleep. 

Left side

Side sleepers can benefit from sleeping on their left side. It helps reduce heartburn and enhance digestion because this position allows gastric fluids to stay beneath the oesophagus. This also allows you to have a comfortable sleep. 

This side is usually encouraged for pregnant women as it helps the uterus to stay off the liver. 

Right side 

On the other hand, the right side can increase the risks of acid reflux as well as other gastrointestinal issues. Sleeping on the right side can also cause heartburn because this position prevents the natural flow of the right intestine. 

As a result, it can lead to more discomfort that can cause heartburn. 

There are no benefits of sleeping on your right over your left side, provided you get a peaceful night’s sleep without any significant side effects.

Types of Side Sleepers 

Side sleeping has further categories, generally considered moderately safe provided you are getting a comfortable night’s sleep. 

Here are the main types of side sleepers.

The Prayer Position 

This position is quite common for individuals with neck pain, and it involves sleeping on either left or right side while placing your hands together in a prayer position, placing hands below the pillow and head.

Sleeping in this position helps raise the head, and thus you can always tell when your pillow needs to be replaced. 

Fetal Position 

This type of side sleeping involves curling up into a fetal position, just as the name suggests. This position allows an individual to stay warm, but it can be helpful to have enough blankets. 

The Eternal Snuggler 

If you usually grab your blankets and pillows and hug them around your stomach, you are among the eternal snugglers. Even if you didn’t fall asleep in this position, you might also wake up in the eternal snuggler, probably due to the need for added support or lack of warmth. 

The Reacher 

This is perhaps the most sprawled position of all side sleepers. It involves individuals stretching their arms right in front of them, allowing their legs to sprawl out too. 

The Log

Just as the name hints, this sleeping position involves sleeping so that the body resembles a log. To achieve this, you will have to sleep entirely on your side with your arms stretched along your torso and to lay upright. 

If you sleep in this position and wake up in the same way, you are a deep sleeper and get a restful night’s sleep.

Tips for sleeping comfortably as a side sleeper 

Sider sleepers rely on the quality of the pillow to provide sufficient neck support to enhance sleep. But most pillows are designed for back sleepers, and thus the space between your neck and pillow created when you turn to the side can lead to neck issues. 

One way to enhance your sleep as a side sleeper is to get a proper body pillow. As you may guess, a body pillow is length-wise as your body and is usually firmer compared to traditional pillows. 

With a body pillow, you will not have to reel from side to side continuously. As a result, they can be ideal for pregnant women as well as individuals with gastric issues. 

Pillows aside, you should also try to maintain a neutral spine when sleeping to help mitigate back injuries

Best pillows for side sleepers 

Pillows can have a massive impact on your sleep if you are a side sleeper. However, you should get a supportive pillow and can mould your body shape and type. A good night’s sleep is vital to your general health.

If you wake up feeling rejuvenated and rested, it doesn’t matter the position of sleep. Worry only when you wake up unrested and in pain. 

Best mattresses for side sleepers 

The best mattress for side sleepers is a medium-firm memory foam mattress, though the main concern is that there can be a strain on your shoulders, neck, and hips. 

Mattress and pillows can help you get an excellent night’s sleep, provided you pair them right. Luckily, you can always try them out before buying.