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How Do I Sleep Better on My Side?

Experts agree sleeping on your side is one of the best sleeping positions to avoid back and neck pain, as well as reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

Tips and Tricks For Side Sleepers 2019

While we may unanimously agree that sleep is a universal need, we do not all favor a similar sleeping style. Some of us will sleep on our stomachs, others lie on their backs every night, and every so often, you'll even come across a person who stretches their limbs out like a star.

But most of us tend to sleep on our sides. That's a good thing, because experts agree it's one of the best sleeping positions to avoid back and neck pain, as well as reduce snoring and sleep apnea.

Learn More: The Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers

While we all have our preferred sleeping position, the question often comes up: what pillow is best for certain sleeping needs, and which position is most beneficial for our health?

Sleeping Position Tips for Pregnant Women

Did you know that pregnant women should refrain from sleeping on their back or stomach? For one, it is harder to breathe when on your back. What's more, as your belly pushes onto your intestines, it can lead to stomach issues.

Lying on your stomach is not such a hot idea either, as you would put a lot of pressure on your expanding uterus.

Medical experts say that sleeping on your side is the safest option, as it's far more comfortable as your abdomen expands during pregnancy. In terms of which side, sleeping on your left side improves circulation, which makes it easier for nutrient-rich blood to move from your heart to the placenta and nourish your baby.

If you're pregnant, incorporating these changes in their sleeping position takes strain off your back. Try drawing your legs up towards your chest and placing a soft pillow or a full-length body pillow between your knees for an even more comfortable night's rest.

Pillows and Mattresses Help Side Sleepers

Even if you're in the optimal sleeping position, if a good night's sleep still eludes you, the blame might fall with the type of pillow and mattress you use.

One of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your side sleeping experience is to invest in a new mattress. Bear in mind that your mattress must support your weight without sinking too much, which could lead to your spine curving.

Avoid mattresses that are too soft, as they will not give you the support you need. Instead, source a mattress that is firm, yet not too firm.

Pillow Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Sleep

Have you ever wondered why we need a pillow to experience a good night’s rest?

Follow along as we take a closer look at the numerous benefits:

  • Firm pillows allow you to maintain a good spinal position.
  • Having the right pillow when sleeping allows your back and neck to be aligned properly and helps avoid possible injury or pain.
  • A pillow that is too soft will cause your head to rest lower than the rest of your body, leading to a stiff neck the next day.
  • Thicker pillows tend to work better for side sleepers as they ensure your neck and spine remain in a straight line.
  • Keep your spine straight by positioning a pillow in between your knees. This way, you are able to relieve most of the pressure that is being exerted on your lower back and hips through the night.

Why Your Arms Shouldn’t Be a Substitute for Pillows

Many side sleepers bend their arms and use it as a pillow. While it's tempting—and may seem comfortable at first—resting your head on your arm could result in health and comfort issues.

Here are two reasons why you should not sleep on your arm:

Doing so will bend your neck and misalign your spine, resulting in back and neck pain problems. Also, letting your head rest on your arm will increase the likelihood of waking up with a "dead hand or limb." The weight on your arm can cut off blood flow, leading to  pins and needles. If you've ever woken up with a stiff shoulder, this could be the reason.

Do This When You Wake Up

Morning stretches soon after you jump out of bed is the recommended way to start your day.

The reason for this is that side sleepers tend to find themselves in the fetal position when they wake up. All you need is a few arms stretches to jump-start your circulation for the day, and you are good to go. Furthermore, it will boost your mood.

To sum it up, lying on your side could be the secret to a good night's sleep, while using the right pillow, mattress, and positioning will ensures your spine, pelvis, and hips are properly aligned.

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Resources— WebMDHealthlineSleep

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