For something so inherently natural, sleep doesn’t come easy to everyone. Too little sleep can lead to a slew of health problems, including hormonal imbalances, memory deficits, cardiovascular disease and weight gain. Many don’t realize that sleep position also plays a role in how we snooze at night. While back sleepers are more inclined to enjoy the positive effects of neutral spinal alignment, side sleepers often suffer from tingling limbs and sore joints in the morning – an unpleasant side effect that can cause long-term discomfort in those who are otherwise in great health.
Sleeping on your side puts a lot of body weight on one shoulder and hip, essentially constricting muscles and normal blood flow. Over time, these pressure points can adversely affect delicate nerves and joints, making it difficult to wake refreshed after a night of tossing and turning. Most folks who have been sleeping on their sides throughout their lives find it challenging if not impossible to keep from rolling over onto their shoulders at night. Fortunately, they don’t have to re-train their bodies into adopting a more comfortable sleeping position, as most issues can be resolved with the right mattress.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they get their best night’s sleep on their sides. Research has demonstrated that sleeping on your side is helpful in reducing snoring, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, as well as alleviating neck pain. The position helps to elongate the spine, which is pivotal for people with low back problems or herniated discs. Pregnant women are often advised by their doctors to sleep on their left sides to facilitate blood circulation to the heart, and studies show that snoozing on this side can also mitigate the effects of heart burn.
But what about those pressure points and feelings of pins-and-needles? Those are sure signs it’s time to shop for a new mattress – a sleep set up that offers just the right amount of body-conforming support to gently cradle your weight, without being too soft.
Today’s market is virtually flooded with mattresses designed for all sleep styles and comfort preferences. Even your traditional innerspring mattress is now outfitted with innovative design technology that deftly accommodates your natural curves. Weight is more evenly distributed across the mattress surface, allowing side sleepers to snuggle into their favorite shrimp-like position for some much needed slumber.
Beyond premium pocket coil beds, consumers can also opt for the resilient comfort of memory foam – a temperature-sensitive material that quickly molds to the shape of your body, offering gentle body-hugging support.
If you’re itching to wake up rested, energized and ready to take on the world, side sleepers may also find relief in a latex mattress, universally praised by orthopedic surgeons and chiropractors for their pressure relief and buoyant nature that reduces hotspots while improving circulation.
Choosing a mattress is a highly personal decision, but in our vast experience we find that most side sleepers do well on a slightly softer bed, one that is rated medium plush to medium firm. The easiest way to find out is to stop by Mattress World Northwest and test out some of our best rated mattresses for side sleepers, offered by Simmons, Sealy, Englander and Aireloom.
Talk with our Sleep Specialists about your preferences and concerns, and let us help you get the sleep you deserve! Visit one of our 12 Portland-area showrooms and you’ll quickly see why we’re Oregon’s #1 mattress retailer.