Which is the best way to sleep? For many, side sleeping is the most comfortable.
Sleeping on your side allows for the fetal position which can relieve back pain and reduce lower back strain.
For those who have existing lower back problems, a more accommodating mattress with foam that allows your hips and shoulders to sink in maybe the best choice because people who have lower back issues also have compensations in their upper body that are aggravated by a stiff mattress.
As discussed in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, we are always adapting but many of us have had poor adaptations over the years that cause neck and back pain. Patients seek out the help of a chiropractor for these types of problems. The last thing we wish to do is aggravated the problem with the wrong mattress.
Many people find that side sleeping with a pillow between the legs relieves lower back pain. Women are more likely than men to require this because they have wider pelvises and a wider pelvis places more strain on the hips when side sleeping. Combine that with longer legs and asymmetrical tightness in the legs affecting the pelvis and may develop pain in the back upon awakening in the morning or at night. A pillow will reduce the strain at the hips when the knees are together.
Many of these same distortions that cause lower back pain will also compensate in the upper back. The right pillow can make you much more comfortable than a pillow that allows the neck to flop downward.
Seeing a chiropractor can of course help, as they can help you improve your body mechanics which will also help sleep posture. The right pillow will fill in the gap between your shoulder and your neck so your head lies flat
Choosing the right side sleeper pillow is about finding the one that fits your body style. Side sleeping pillows should also allow you to sleep on your back as well.
Which pillow is the best choice for a side sleeper?
This depends. Many great pillows are made of memory foam. Some will be stiffer but it ultimately depends on your neck position.
Check out this great guide that offers some suggestions for pillows that can help you sleep well and be free of neck pain courtesy of the NY Times.
The Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
By Jackie Reeve and Jennifer HunterUpdated April 22, 2022
Nothing highlights the importance of a good pillow-like trying to sleep on a bad one, and people who sleep on their side, in particular, can have a tough time finding the right fit because they need more neck and head support. After more than 1,000 nights testing 119 pillows, we’ve found a number of options for side sleepers and think the Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow is the best for a range of side sleepers.
We recommend the Nest Bedding Easy Breather Pillow for both side- and back-sleepers in our full guide to bed pillows, and we know some stomach-sleepers—those who sleep half on their side, half on their stomach—also find it comfortable, and it offers neck support that doesn’t cause pain.
Many companies advertise their pillows for specific sleep positions, but in our experience, their recommendations don’t match up all that well. Overwhelmingly, our side-sleeping testers have preferred pillows with shredded memory foam (even when they didn’t like the idea of sleeping on foam at first) because of its moldability.
Can’t find a comfortable position at night? Sometimes chronic biomechanical problems require a body mechanic. Chiropractors are the body mechanics and the primary care physicians for the musculoskeletal system. Need help today? Book online here.