There are many variables that can affect the quality of your sleep – your mattress, your lifestyle, your environment – but one of the less obvious answers is your sleeping position. While some experts recommend one posture over another, the truth is that your body will naturally find the position that it feels most comfortable in. For the majority of people, this happens to be lying on their side. Side sleeping has its benefits; it can help alleviate pressure on your back, cut down on snoring and even ease acid reflux. But just like any other sleeping position, there are few adjustments you can make to get the most out of side sleeping.
Here’s our helpful tips for getting better sleep on your side:
Maintaining a relaxed and neutral spine is the goal in any sleeping position, but side sleepers need to stay aware of their body’s positioning in order to find their perfect alignment. Sleeping on your back or stomach is a naturally stable position with the shoulders, hips and legs all making contact with your mattress. The side position, however, is not as balanced and you may need to make a few small adjustments to find neutral. Make sure that your head is positioned in between your shoulders and not rotated toward or away from your pillow. You also want to avoid twisting your upper body as this can cause strain to your back and spine.
In order to keep a level spine and avoid neck strain in the side position, the height and shape of your pillow is key. You want to make sure your pillow is not too high, forcing your neck to be flexed all night, or too low, so that your head is not properly supported. Your pillow should also fill the gap created between your neck and the mattress to avoid further strain. A great solution to both of these problems is a contour pillow which is specially designed to fit the curves of your head and neck. These pillows are typically made from foam instead of feathers allowing them to conform to your body shape and provide support where you need it.
Who doesn’t love an extra pillow or two in bed? Side sleepers can definitely benefit from using additional body pillows to relieve pressure and for extra support. Try using a pillow between your knees to prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and help relieve pressure on your hips and lower back. If you wake up with numbness or tingling in your arms, try hugging a pillow between your elbows to keep your arms level. It will also supply some extra support and stability to your upper shoulder.
The most important thing to consider when choosing your mattress firmness is your personal comfort preference, but there are a few guidelines that you can keep in mind with regard to your sleeping position. For side sleepers, a general rule of thumb is to find a mattress with a soft to moderate firm feel. Sleeping on your side naturally places more stress on your hips and shoulders and a slightly softer mattress helps to alleviate this pressure by accommodating the curves of your body. But don’t mistake softness for lack of support – side sleepers still need a mattress with great support to relieve pressure points and maintain proper spine alignment.
If you’re looking for a supportive mattress suited for side sleeping, look no further than the Aviya Plush or the Aviya Luxury Firm hybrid mattress. Our soft and medium soft firmness options provide the right amount of support and pressure relief for a range of side sleepers. Learn more about the Aviya Advantage and why our mattress construction and materials are unique in the industry.