The side sleeping position is the most popular among all sleeping positions. There are a ton of benefits to sleeping on your side, like breathing better and protecting your heart, so there’s no wonder it’s so popular!
As with all sleeping positions, there are some cons to sleeping on your side – albeit very minimal ones – that may make you pause and ask, “Is it bad to sleep on my side?”
In this article, we will take you through all the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping on your side. If you do sleep on your side, we’ll even recommend the best beds for you, like the SONU Sleep System.
Sit back, relax, and start reading.
What 4 Factors Should I Consider Before Sleeping on My Side?
If you’re a side sleeper or someone considering sleeping on your side, you should consider at least four things before you assume the position. All sleeping positions come with their pros and cons. With that in mind, here’s what you need to assess before you lie down.
If you experience any of the following conditions, you need to choose your sleeping position wisely.
- Health issues. Do you suffer from acid reflux, GERD, or sinus issues? Certain positions will either alleviate or worsen these problems.
- Physical pain. Do you experience physical pain from an injury or disorder? If you experience any pain issues like lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or arthritis, to name a few, the position you lie in matters.
- Pregnancy. Are you pregnant? Certain positions are not beneficial for pregnant women because they can slow down circulation and blood flow.
- Sleep disorders. Do you have a sleep disorder? Anything from sleep apnea to insomnia counts as a sleep disorder. Many of them are interconnected. The way you sleep can affect your breathing and your ability to sleep throughout the night.
What Are the Advantages of Sleeping on My Side?
Let's start with the benefits of sleeping on your left side:
- Sleeping on the left side can process waste materials from your brain and stomach. It improves lymphatic drainage and aids digestion.
- It takes the pressure off your heart while you sleep, especially if you are pregnant.
- It’s the ideal position for pregnant women. Not only does sleeping on this side while pregnant improve circulation to the heart, but it also reduces pressure on the spine and improves blood flow to the fetus and kidneys.
- Sleeping on your left side is beneficial if you have acid reflux. It helps prevent acid from traveling up your esophagus while you sleep and prevents heartburn.
On the other hand, sleeping on your right side can be beneficial if you have heart failure, and sleeping on the left side has been shown to increase discomfort. Simply switching over to the right can help get rid of that discomfort.
In general, sleeping on your side can alleviate back pain by relieving pressure on your spine. The SONU Sleep System was made with side sleepers in mind, and it comes with adjustable pillows that you can position to help your head and neck line up with your spine while you sleep.
The SONU Sleep System also features a plush top layer of serene foam, sink-in support, and a cooling layer for the most comfortable sleep of your life.
Side sleeping is the best choice if you suffer from sleep apnea. It prevents your airways from being blocked while you sleep and prevents your tongue from falling to the back of your throat and obstructing it.
What Are the Disadvantages of Sleeping on My Side?
On the flip side, sleeping on your right side may be harmful if you have acid reflux. The symptoms of acid reflux are worse when sleeping on this side as opposed to your left side.
For every benefit sleeping on your left side provides, sleeping on your right nearly always makes them worse. Sleeping on your right side can increase your discomfort, from issues with lymphatic drainage to circulation problems during pregnancy.
Draining food waste isn’t as effective when sleeping on your right side. The right side also isn‘t ideal for the positioning of your stomach and pancreas; lying on your left side allows these organs to sit in the most comfortable position while you sleep.
What Is the Right Way To Sleep on My Side?
Did you know that there were different types of side sleeping positions? The most common is sleeping with one arm under your pillow while the other arm is either straight by your side or hugging your body while your legs are straight.
If you are a side sleeper who often wakes up with pain in your bottom arm or shoulder, the SONU Sleep System can help. With sink-in support and the patented immersive Comfort Channel, the SONU Sleep System helps prevent uncomfortable pain and pressure on your arms, shoulders, chest and neck while you sleep on your side.
The exact position you assume while sleeping on your side is also a factor. Here are a few side positions to familiarize yourself with.
About 47% of Americans sleep in the fetal position. In this position, your knees are curled up toward your chest while your arms are curled in front of you, with one under your pillow. Women are more likely than men to sleep in this position.
This one may sound new, but 13% of Americans sleep in it. Think of the most common side position except with your arms outstretched in front of you – that’s the yearner position. Baby Boomers are more likely to sleep in the yearner position than any other generation.
Finally, the log position involves sleeping with your legs and arms straight down by your sides. It may be uncomfortable for the arm beneath your body, potentially causing arm and shoulder pain. Around 6% of Americans sleep in the log position.
What Are the Best Beds for Side Sleepers?
There are mattresses made with side sleepers in mind to help prevent low back pain by aiding your body in maintaining a neutral position.
The perfect combination is a mattress that contours and supports your body while you sleep. If you suffer from shoulder pain, back pain, or other discomfort after sleeping, SONU’s mattress has the patented Comfort Channel made for your arms and shoulders to slip into while you’re on your side, eliminating these pains that are unavoidable with all other mattresses.
Additionally, the SONU Sleep System offers sink-in support to help your spine stay aligned, and Support Pillows for head and neck comfort.
Is it bad to sleep on your side? That depends. There are benefits to sleeping on your left side that don’t exist when you sleep on your right and vice versa. In general, sleeping on your side is great if you have pain issues and sleep apnea, no matter which side you sleep on.
Before you lie down, you should consider a few factors, like whether you experience physical pain regularly or have health issues that are affected by the way you sleep. We also recommend that you choose a bed made for side sleepers so that you have the best sleep experience.
The SONU Sleep System was crafted specifically for side sleepers, but also offers optimal comfort for all sleeping positions. Treat yourself to a bed that contours to every curve of your body, pillows that you can adjust, and a Comfort Channel for your shoulders and arms to sink into, so you can finally have the best sleep of your life.
You won’t find this experience anywhere else.
Upgrade your life with a SONU today.
Effect of Different Recumbent Positions on Postprandial Gast... : Official journal of the American College of Gastroenterology | ACG
This Is Why You Should Sleep on Your Left Side (Backed by Science) | Lifehack
How to Sleep on Your Side - Train Yourself Today | Sleep Advisor
Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back - Health Encyclopedia| University of Rochester Medical Center
Benefits and Which Side to Sleep On | Sleep Foundation