Side sleeping is incredibly popular in the UK, with a staggering 69% of people sleeping on their side, according to a study carried out by Dr. Chris Idzikowski.
Luckily, for what seems to be the majority us, sleeping on your side has benefits health-wise. When side-sleeping, as your spine rests in a naturally curved position, this helps to reduce back pain. It also helps to reduce annoying night time complaints like acid reflux, and even means you’re less likely to snore (that’s if you’re ready to admit you snore at all!).
Interestingly for the 69% of us that are side-sleepers, there are different positions we take that each have their own advantages, disadvantages, and personality traits - seriously! There are three different positions side-sleepers typically take up when in bed:
41% of people in the UK sleep in the fetal position, which, for the most part, is one of the healthiest positions to sleep in. Sleeping on your left hand side can also improve your circulation too, apparently! However, sleeping this way isn’t without its drawbacks. If you’re curled up too tight, you can restrict your breathing capacity due to your lungs and airway not being fully open.
Personality traits of fetal position sleepers: Tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3112170.stm
15% of people in the UK sleep in what is, arguably, the healthiest position - keeping your body outstretched and arms down by your side. The log position carries all of the benefits that sleeping in the fetal position brings, without the drawback of added pressure on the lungs and airways. The most significant pressure point in the log position is on the hips, particularly on the upper leg when lying down - however this can be alleviated by placing a pillow between your legs to help align the hips in their natural position.
Personality traits of log position sleepers: These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.
13% of people sleep in this position, and again, this position is similar to the log and fetal position in terms of health benefits, however there’s an added pressure on the shoulders because of resting one arm under your head.
Personality traits of yearner position sleepers: People who sleep on their side with both arms out in front are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it.
Considerations when deciding on the best mattress for a side sleeper:
Your sleeping position is the most significant factor when deciding on the best mattress for side sleepers, because this helps you identify where the pressure points are that need to be supported. Below we’ll explore some of the most common pressure points when side sleeping:
The majority of body weight, when side sleeping, is supported by your shoulders as this is the part of the body that protrudes most into the mattress. Without adequate support, you can develop a sore or stiff feeling across your shoulder blades gradually moving into your neck.
Your neck suffers when the alignment of your spine is slightly off. Often, this is a result of not having the correct pillow to support your head and keep your spine lined up with the rest of your body, however if your upper body isn’t supported by the mattress, your neck can suffer as a result.
Side sleeping can help back pain significantly, due to the benefit of having your legs outstretched which straightens the spine during sleep. Importantly in this position, your spine should remain aligned, however if your mattress isn’t supportive of the shoulders and hips, this can affect alignment.
Best mattress firmness for side sleepers?
When considering the best mattress firmness for side sleeping, this depends on your personal circumstances. Compared to back-sleepers, side-sleepers usually have a softer mattress due to more pressure being placed on a smaller surface area (think about the width of your back, compared to the width of your shoulder).
Another consideration to bear in mind is your weight. While lighter people may require less cushioning to support their body weight, heavier people will experience the opposite, requiring a softer feel to naturally curve around their body.
As a result, the most common hypothesis is that side-sleepers need a softer mattress. That being said, the best mattress firmness is subjective and can only be ‘the best’ when the right firmness creates a perfectly aligned spine.
Ultimately, when looking for the best mattress for side sleeping, investing in the most supportive memory foam is the first step, before trialling this over a few months. It will take a short amount of time before you feel long-lasting health improvements from a change in mattress, which is why many sleep brands offer trials (just FYI - Sid comes with a market-leading 120-night trial).
Which type is the best mattress for side sleepers?
With considerable pressure being put on both bodies and mattresses when side-sleeping, choosing the correct mattress is essential in ensuring you stay healthy and comfortable.
As we explored earlier, generally speaking a softer mattress is better for side-sleepers, as there’s more pressure being placed on areas such as the shoulders and hips.
Because of the technology and all-encompassing support provided by memory foam, this makes it the ideal choice for side sleepers. The latest memory foam integrates incredible support systems, which allow the mattress to be soft, at the same time as providing enough support to ensure you don’t feel any awkwardness in the morning.
This is due to responsive cushioning, meaning the mattress contours to the shape of your body leaving no gaps or unsupported areas of the body. Traditional mattresses, such as coil sprung, effectively behave in a box-like motion, meaning that whilst the most significant pressure points are supported, there are gaps where your body needs support.
So, what is the best mattress for side sleepers?
When it comes to buying the best mattress for side sleeping, take the following into consideration:
- Mattress composition (Memory Foam)
- Motion absorption
- Firmness (adjustable)
- Trial Period
For the ultimate night’s sleep, join Sid’s sleep revolution. Sid comprises of an intelligently layered memory foam, which combines the latest support systems with unparalleled air circulation (designed to keep you cool!).
Plus, we understand that a new mattress can take some time to get used to. That’s why we’re giving you 120 nights to fall in love with Sid. And Sid promises to stick around - with a 15-year warranty, we’ll provide the support you need for a long, long time.