3 Positions In Which Side Sleepers Can Place Their Arms

3 Positions In Which Side Sleepers Can Place Their Arms

Side sleeping has a wealth of benefits, and is one of the most popular positions to get a good night’s rest. However, it’s often tricky for side sleepers to find a place to put their arms throughout the night. Sometimes, your arm placement while side sleeping can be awkward and lead to soreness, numbness, and discomfort. 

While side sleeping can be more comfortable if done correctly, you’ll want to figure out where to put your arms first. The SONU Sleep System makes this easy with a negative space Comfort Channel that allows you to fully immerse your arms and shoulders into the bed, relieving pressure for an unforgettable sleeping experience. 

While you wait for your SONU mattress to arrive, we also have a few recommendations on how to relieve at least some of the pressure in the meantime!

Let’s look at why sleep is so important and the different sleep positions that can make you sleep soundly without uncomfortable arms being part of your sleep scenario.

The Importance of Sleep 

A good night’s sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising to get your body to function at peak performance. In order to get proper sleep, you’ll need around eight hours each night. 

Before going to sleep, make sure that your sleep environment is comfortable, dark, and has no distractions. Setting your bedroom up as the perfect sleep environment and laying down with a comfortable sleep position can make a world of difference for your sleep health.

Here are some ways that sleep can help your health:

  • People who sleep at least seven hours a night may find it easier to lose weight. 
  • Decision-making and problem-solving become easier due to mental clarity. 
  • Getting enough sleep can be helpful for your heart health. 
  • If you get enough sleep, it can help support a healthy immune system.

In addition, it’s not just the quantity of your hours of sleep that matters – it’s the quality, too. High-quality sleep is pain-free sleep, which means you can’t get a good night’s rest while tossing, turning, and trying to figure out where to put your arms.

When you do not get enough sleep, you may experience sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your overall health. 

Before looking at the different ways to sleep on your side, let’s explore the benefits – and potential drawbacks – of side sleeping.

Advantages of Side Sleeping 

When you get into bed to snuggle up for the night, you’re naturally getting into the position that is most comfortable for you. Side sleeping is the most popular sleeping position among adults, with back sleeping coming in second and stomach sleeping in third. 

There are several major potential benefits to sleeping on your side. Let’s look at just a few.

Relief from Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Untreated sleep apnea can contribute to weight gain, asthma, heart disease, and acid reflux, so it’s essential to find a way to manage the condition. Changing your sleep position from lying on your back to leaning on your side may help, in addition to using a CPAP machine. 

Relief from Acid Reflux

Thus, side sleeping may help you manage your GERD and heartburn.

Improved Neck Comfort

When it comes to your sleeping position and neck pain, your mattress and pillow make the biggest difference. 

Choosing a mattress that’s designed to support your neck while you sleep on your side is far better than resting your head on a worn-out old pillow and a squishy mattress. The SONU Sleep System includes four Support Pillows for optimal head and neck comfort.

Relief from Back Pain

If you deal with back pain during the day, the way you sleep might be a contributing factor. While some people opt for sleeping on their backs to relieve aches and pains, this sleeping position isn’t always an option due to issues like snoring or sleep apnea. 

If you can’t sleep on your back but have back pain, side sleeping is a worthy alternative.

Disadvantages of Side Sleeping 

As with all sleeping positions, there are both pros and cons to side sleeping. Fortunately, you can bypass the drawbacks and disadvantages of side sleeping by choosing a high-quality mattress and pillow. 

Risks for Pre-Existing Heart Conditions

Your chest cavity leans on the heart when you sleep on your left side, which can affect your heart rate and the volume of blood being pumped by your heart. This does not usually pose a problem, and the position is completely safe for most people, but if you have a cardiac issue, it may be best to change to a different sleep position. 

Spine Misalignment

The best solution here is switching your mattress. The SONU Sleep System is designed for side sleepers, and it keeps your spine, back, and neck supported throughout the night to reduce the risk of posture issues.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can occur most of the time with most standard mattresses because of the pressure that’s put on the shoulder and arm that’s folded and tucked underneath the body.

The SONU Sleep System features a Comfort Channel that lets you immerse your arm and shoulder into the bed in order to prevent and relieve shoulder pain and pressure while sleeping. 


Acne can be a concern for side sleepers who don’t change their pillowcases often. Throughout the night, the oils from your skin rub off on your pillowcase. 

Sleeping for hours on the same pillowcase each night means your face continuously rubs against residual oil. One way to help ward this issue off is to make sure you change your pillowcase often and wash your face thoroughly before going to bed.

Arm Pain and Numbness

Improper side sleeping puts your arms in an awkward position, leading to pain and numbness. To try and avoid this uncomfortable feeling, you can reach your arms out in front of you or even hug a pillow, but the best answer is still the negative space channel in the SONU Sleep mattress — it’s the most unique feature designed for this unique problem!

In general, the pros of side sleeping definitely outweigh the cons. However, to reap the full benefits of this sleeping position, you’ll need a mattress and pillow that support your body. 

The Struggles of Side Sleeping

It is recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. That sleep should be deep and restful. Pain and discomfort can reduce the quality of your rest, making you wake up uncomfortable and tired. Shoulder pain is one of the most common discomforts for side sleepers due to improper arm placement.

What Causes Shoulder Pain While Side Sleeping?

Misalignment of your spine, along with collapsing of your shoulder, are common causes of discomfort while side sleeping. This misalignment can be remedied by using a specialized mattress and pillow to keep your head and neck fully supported. The right mattress can also align your spine.

If you happen to have a shoulder injury already or a rotator cuff issue, it is best to sleep on the opposite side of the injured shoulder to keep your body weight off of the affected area. Sleeping with your weight on an injured shoulder leaves you in pain in the morning and tossing and turning through the night. Switching sides, in this case, is essential for a restful sleep and a quick recovery from your injury.

Why Does Arm Position Matter for Side Sleepers?

Where you put your arms is an essential aspect of developing the perfect sleeping position for you. With your arms in the proper place, you can have the perfect night of sleep. With awkward arm placement, you’re likely to feel restless and uncomfortable.

One common complaint among side sleepers is a feeling of “pins and needles” in their arms, also known as arms falling asleep. This occurs when the nerves in your arm and shoulder are compressed, and compression neuropathy sets in, bringing on a tingling sensation or numbness. 

Laying on your side can squeeze your nerves, giving you this strange sensation. If your arms are positioned properly, and the nerves don’t get trapped against your body weight, then you will have a much more restful sleep. 

3 Side Sleeping Positions To Try

There are a few ways to sleep on your side that can help you avoid some of the pain, numbness, and other forms of discomfort throughout the night. 

Below are three common positions worth trying while you wait for your SONU Sleep System to arrive.

1) The Fetal Position

The fetal position involves lying on your side with your knees pulled up and your arms curled in towards you. This is the most popular side sleeping position. 

The most common arm location in the fetal position is slightly in front of you, bent with your hands near your face. If you find that your back hurts while you’re sleeping in the fetal position, it might be time for a new mattress.

2) The Log Position

The log position involves lying on your side with your body completely straight. In this position, one arm sits straight down on top of your body while the other arm stretches out in front of you. 

3) The Yearner Position

The yearner position involves lying straight on your side with your arms straight out in front of you. This isn’t a particularly common sleeping position, but it does help some side sleepers get their arms comfortable for a few hours before needing to roll around. 

What Your Sleeping Position Says About You

Since you sleep a minimum of 1 quarter to a third of your day, how you position your body while sleeping is one of the postures you’re in the most throughout your life.

Body language specialists have evaluated sleeping body language and speculate that certain personality traits may be associated with the way you sleep. Even the three side sleeping positions above can tell a lot about your personality. 

  • Sleeping in the fetal position indicates that you are outwardly strong but very sensitive on the inside.
  • Log sleepers are said to be more easygoing than fetal position sleepers.
  • The yearning sleeper allegedly has an open-minded disposition, thinks decisions out, and sticks with their decisions.

While analyzing body language in sleep isn’t an exact science, these findings may tell you something about what your sleep position means. 

Side Sleeping With SONU

If you sleep on your side, you’ve chosen not only the most popular sleeping position but also, potentially the most beneficial position as well. However, while side sleeping has plenty of benefits, sleeping on your side on a low-quality pillow and mattress means missing out on the sleep you deserve.

Every side sleeper needs a mattress designed to support the parts of the body that bear the most weight during sleep – the spine, the neck, and the torso. The SONU Sleep System does precisely that, while also providing much needed space for your shoulders and arms - a feat that no other mattress on the market can offer.

Made with side sleepers in mind, this revolutionary mattress is a dream come true for anyone who tosses and turns night after night because they don’t know where to put their arms while they sleep. If that sounds like you, it’s time to ditch your old mattress and embrace the future of sleep - SONU.


8 secrets to a good night's sleep | Harvard Health

Sleep apnea - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Hands or feet asleep? What to do | Harvard Health

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Trusted Reviews From Side Sleepers Nationwide
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Thank YOU! Best mattress out there.
After being a gymnast for 15 years, I haven't felt this much relief from the pain in my shoulders and my hips while sleeping!! Thank you!
Steph C.
Highly recommended!
Creates the perfect space for your arm if you're a side sleeper. Changed the way I sleep forever.
Justin S.
So I actually own one of these. It's AMAZING. Yes it will take you a few weeks to get "used" to it... But that said, you will be AMAZED at how great your shoulders feel in the morning. Just unreal. Like sleep a full 8 hours without waking up type of sleep.
Jason R.
Buffalo, NY
I have very bad neck and back issues and this mattress is a dream! If you are a side sleeper you will love it and even if you like to sleep on you back you will love it! Very comfortable and totally worth the money!
Grace L.
i have suffered from shoulder pain while sleeping for several years, i had just about given up... then i saw this bed and decided one last try. i can't begin to explain what it feels like to sleep through an entire night... for the first time in 20 years the first weekend i had it. I'm so impressed with this bed... because what they are making is making a difference in people's lives.
Crystal G.
Lives up to the hype
This comfort channel they made is next level. I never imagined that I would be able to put my arm in the mattress. Takes all the pressure off my shoulder, which I so so need. YES
Kim J.
Highly recommended!
I’m a side sleeper and I used to wake up with a dead feeling arm from lying on it all night. Finally a mattress with a pocket for my arm. I tried all the pillows and even very expensive mattresses in the past, but nothing cured my circulation problems until I got the sonu sleep mattress. I love it!
Nic D.
Chicago, IL
...Sonu mattresses are in a league all by themselves. This is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I have no more shoulder pain and numbness. I can now sleep through the night and not wake up in pain. If anyone is even thinking about getting a Sonu sleep system don’t think anymore. Pull that trigger. I 100% gaurentee you will not be disappointed.
Christopher B.
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