We all have a favorite position that we carefully settle into before and when we fall asleep. It is our comfort position, and we find it much easier to fall asleep and have a restful sleep in that given position.
Now you’re probably aware certain accessories, especially pillows, that you can use in bed when sleeping to help support your body, especially when sleeping on your side. Despite your favorite position to sleep in, the wrong mattress or position could cause you to wake up with discomforts, a stiff body or feeling unrested.
When sleeping, the ideal position of your spine is generally to be in a neutral and unstrained position. This helps lessen any pressure put on your back and stops you from waking up with lower back pain or stiff joints. Sleeping in an incorrect position or support could leave you with pain and discomfort throughout the day, and accumulated sufficiently, throughout your life. Thus you can see why making sure that you have the right conditions to support your spine, neck, and head when sleeping on your side is important.
The benefits of sleeping on your side
Although sleeping on your back has long been held as the best sleeping position, recent research have pretty much debunked this idea. Generally what’s considered most important to any sleeping position is proper body alignment.
Now there are pros and cons to pretty much everything under the sun as you might know, this includes side sleeping. That said, the main potential benefits to sleeping on your side, especially the left, are that it can:
- optimize breathing patterns
- reduce snoring and sleep apnea
- reduce lower back pain
- flush out toxins by allowing gravity to transport waste through your colon
- reduce heartburn
- boost brain health
- improve gut health and digestion
With that said, in this article we’ll have a look at some of the best pillows and accessories for side sleepers.
Soft Shredded Latex Roll Pillow by Kingnex
- Removable cooling cover
- Shredded latex foam filling
- Comes in 3 sizes and versions, 18″ x 6″ which is firm, 20″ x 8″ which is a bit softer and the adjustable 16-20″ x 6″
This roll pillow will offer great support to either your legs, back or ankles. It can be positioned under or between legs, ankles and the back to offer more comfort when sleeping, and additional support when sleeping on your side.
It is filled with natural shredded latex, which has memory foam properties, molding to your specific body shape. The cover is removable, so it is easily washed when needed.
Half-Moon Bolster Wedge by Support Plus
- Measures 20″ long x 8″ wide x 4″ high
- Made from high-density memory foam
- Versatile, as it can be used for the neck as well as the back, knees, hips
This semi-roll pillow can be placed under your knees, legs or ankles to support the natural shape of your body and to help the circulation in your legs. Not only will it help make sleeping on your side more comfortable, but it helps ease back, knee, ankle, leg, and hip pain by providing the proper spinal alignment when lying in bed.
The multi-purpose use makes it a must-have for all side sleepers, especially those who do suffer from back and hip pain.
Dual Curved Memory Foam Pillow by Everlasting Comfort
- Adjustable and removable strap to help keep the pillow in place
- Made from 100% memory foam
- Dual curved designed makes it optimal for knees and legs
This memory foam cushion was made to provide specific support for the legs, spine, and hip. It is placed between the knees. It can help ease many ailments such as pain in the lower back, pelvis, spine, as well as arthritis and sciatic nerve pain.
It comes with a removable strap, which helps keep the memory foam knee pillow in place when you are sleeping.
Leg & Knee Pillow by Contour
- Designed for legs and knees
- Ventilated air holes in memory foam makes it more breathable
- Helps align the spine
While many of the pillows on this list are quite versatile, this orthopedically designed pillow is specifically for the legs and knees.
Made from memory foam, its highly breathable as it has ventilated air holes that do the trick. The cover is easily removable and washable.
Splintek Side Sleeping Pillow by SleepRight
- Full facial cradle which helps relieve pressure on the ears and jaw
- Is good at reducing your body weight impact on your shoulder, which allows blood flow to the arms more efficiently.
It is difficult to find a comfortable pillow for your head when sleeping on your side. This memory foam pillow has been created for just that – support and comfort when sleeping on your side.
It has a full facial cradle which reduces pressure on the ears and the jaw, which allows the face to fully relax when asleep. The shoulder cradle offers the correct orthopedic support for the neck and head, which in turns creates the right spinal alignment.
The additional lateral channels on the top of the pillow allow for additional airflow, which helps improve breathing.
Memory Foam Pillow for Lower Back Pain
The support wedge is made to be placed under your side when sleeping. It fills in the gap between the bed and the waist and provides great relief for the spine. It helps those who suffer from sciatica, and knee and back pain.
It keeps the spine in perfect alignment when sleeping on the side, and is often used by those who suffer from back pain, or for pregnant women.
Shredded Memory Foam Pillows
The shredded memory foam pillow is gel infused, which means it stays cool during the night. It has extra breathability, perfect for a head pillow. It adjusts to the right height for comfort for your sleeping position, correctly aligning your body when sleeping on your side.
The ergonomically designed pillow helps lessen back, neck and shoulder pain. The cross-cut design of the inners prevents any clumping of the pillows, which could cause great discomfort when sleeping.
Sweetnight Foam Mattress
The three-layer mattress is designed to help support those who suffer from back pain. The 12-inch foam is made with 3-inch gel infused layers that adjust to your body weight, giving great pressure relief during the night. It is hypoallergenic and resistant to allergens, mold, bacteria and dust mites.
The mattress has just the right firmness to offer the right support when sleeping on your side.
Practical tips to side sleepers
We all can and should, whenever we find the possibility, improve the quality of our sleep. With that in mind here’s a couple of tips and suggestions to help you sleep better on your side, hopefully this will aid you in waking up rested with little to no pain or discomfort each morning:
- A medium-firm mattress, like the Sweetnight foam mattress above, is generally a good idea for side sleepers.
- A firm pillow that can support the natural curvature of your neck is a good choice.
- The best sleeping position to start with is the left side first. Your heart is located at your left side, and sleeping this side according to certain school of thought is the optimal sleeping position when it comes to overall health and optimal breathing.
- Try to keep your body straight. This means a straight spine with your ears in line with your shoulders and the rest of the body. Avoid sleeping in the fetal position or any position that makes you tuck in your chin and head down.
- The arm and hand opposite to the side that your sleeping on should preferably be stretched out and resting on your side. Moreover keeping your hands and arms below your face and neck is generally a good idea.
- A firm pillow between your knees, like some of those mentioned above, can help with lessening lower back pain. This is done mainly by correcting your spine and by preventing the collapse of your hip and knee joints.
- Although keeping the body straight while sleeping on the side is good, a slight bend and lift of the knees can help with relieving pressure on your back and spine.
- Just try to be aware of what works the best for your body. This is the most important thing.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing and medicinal art, sleeping on your left side is the optimal sleeping position. This is what the ancient yogis referred to as Vamkushi and according to them the internal organs were free to move about more easily.
The right sleeping pillows and accessories can make a world of difference for your sleeping experience. Everyone has different needs, but side sleepers are lucky to have many options out there that offer great support to them when sleeping. Not only is the support beneficial to your spinal health and with the relief of back pain, but it also makes your sleep quite comfortable as well!