Sleeping positions determine our ease of sleeping and our posture in the long run. A compatible mattress allows you to sleep in both the side and back sleeping positions. Sleeping on the side is always concerning because most of us have woken up with shoulder pain or awkward pains resulting from sleeping poorly. That is where a good quality mattress comes in and helps reduce the blow your shoulders, pelvic area, and curves in the body have to face. Moreover, sleeping in the proper position helps your physiological health and aids internal mechanisms by enhancing sleep quality.
Sleeping on the side and back needs extra care because of how pressure points in these regions react to the mattress and vice versa. Your spine needs a natural horizontal orientation in the side-sleeping position and a natural S-curve (with the upper back straight) in the back sleeping position. The main concern about sleeping on the side is not only the mattress and shoulder discomfort but personal factors too. For example, sleeping on the side as an overweight individual would be best on a medium-firm mattress that comforts and supports your shoulders. Your mattress should have a healthy balance of the plushness or comfort it offers and support depending upon your body type. Before we jump into the right mattress for side sleepers in India, look at these details:
Side Sleeping position advantages:
While sleeping on the back is one of the best ways to sleep, most people take to their sides or a fetal position for comfort. There is a science as to why you switch to the side for more comfort, and it can vary depending upon personal factors. For example, most overweight people would benefit from sleeping on the side because sleeping on the back could enhance discomfort with snoring, sleep apnea, and other health conditions. Different sleeping positions benefit in different ways, and sleeping on the side has the following:
- Natural preference comfort: Chances are, you already sleep on your side, and there's not much need to change this position unless it is for a medical concern. Side-sleeping is the most preferred position for people worldwide, and this also includes the fetal sleeping position. So, you may not benefit from any other position, as sleeping on the side comes naturally to you and enhances your sleep quality. Sleeping in a fetal or side position feels much more natural because of genetic and evolutionary traits, and you're more in tune with your best sleeping posture without having to overthink about which posture feels best.
- Spinal alignment and support: Side-sleeping also promotes a healthier spine, especially if you have lower back pain. Since the position keeps your spine in a horizontal position, a good back-support medium-firm mattress can help with the proper support. Side-sleeping is also good for your spine because it tends to stretch it dynamically or in the fetal position. Although a natural horizontal position is best, sleeping on the side relieves pressure from the lower back.
- Relief from sleep disorders: Most sleep disorders like sleep apnea and snoring happen in overweight or obese people. The presence of excess tissue mass in the neck area leads to collapse or pressure on the windpipe, leading to snoring and apnea. Sleeping on the back makes this a real problem because our windpipe rests in the back-sleeping position, and the tongue is blocking the airways. In comparison, sleeping on the side prevents both issues and helps open up the windpipe or minimize pressure when sleeping. This is why sleep apnea patients are recommended to sleep on their side when a CPAP machine isn't preferable or comfortable. Side sleeping inhibits excessive snoring or sleep apnea episodes. It is best to consult your doctor for the best sleeping position and mattress prescription if you suffer from severe apnea or snoring symptoms.
- Pain-relief: An incompatible or poor-quality mattress can be extra hard for your shoulders and pelvic area to be naturally aligned. Moreover, sleeping on the back with the lower-back as a chronic issue could be problematic without a good ortho mattress. Sleeping on the side is one of the best ways to avoid pain from lower-back, pelvic or spinal issues. Side-sleeping with a cushion between your knees further offloads the pressure from your lower back, relieving pain. The same scenario also applies to sleeping on the side with upper back pain, as the strain could be because of weak muscles or orthopedic requirements. Moreover, using a supportive medium-firm memory foam pillow also helps align your spine better in a horizontal position, especially if you're overweight.
- Gut health: Our internal organ placement is anything but symmetrical, and sometimes this can pose problems. Health-risks can start for many reasons, and there are ways to take care of them preemptively and proactively. Sleeping on the side is one reason you can expect your gut health and stomach metabolism to increase. Boosting our bowel movement or aiding the flow of digested food from the stomach to the intestines with gravity is one way of sleeping soundly. Sure, this isn't a must for our health to sleep on the side, and only then our metabolism or food is adequately digested, but it is one way to enhance it. You can allow gravity to aid your digestion by sleeping on your left side. As a result, your digestive system does its job effectively, uses less energy when asleep to recover from the day.
- Reduces heartburn: Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in your upper-chest and worsens after lying down. Also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), sleeping on the back or stomach only makes it worse. Sleeping with a raised pillow is one way to relieve heartburn, but it could lead to posture problems when you use it to sleep in a bad posture. The solution lies in sleeping on your side, as gravity works to keep the digestive juices and food in the lower part of your stomach and digestive organs. Sleeping on the left side of your body helps inhibit heartburn and keep your digestion going rather than face the same pain.
- Neural waste: Interstitial waste is the waste our brain produces during the day, and yes, it needs to be expelled. Although it doesn't need to be forced in most cases, sleeping on the side helps lower your risk of neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. This small change wouldn't feel significant, but it's scientifically proven to be better at expelling interstitial waste. It's always better to go to sleep with a clean mind, so why not sleep in a way that does it literally?
Side-sleeping position disadvantages:
- Variety: Most people want variety in everything they do, either consciously or subconsciously. But when you go to sleep on your side, this issue becomes more apparent. Sleeping on one side doesn't feel comfortable for some reason, then you switch to the other. Then trying out the back sleeping position doesn't seem to help the case either. On sleepless nights or after a stressful event, sleeping with variety can become a night-long struggle to sleep soundly. Tossing and turning in your bed with no logic and overthinking increases making your sleep vanish entirely. Although not a direct cause from sleeping on the side, it is a trigger, and insomnia can follow if you don't work on the underlying physical or mental issue.
- Shoulder pain: If your mattress is aging, low-quality, or harder than it needs to be, sleeping on the side is a bad idea. This is because your shoulder muscles are weak by default, and subjecting them to sleep in a posture that misaligns them isn't good for you. As a result, you wake up with shoulder or other arm region pains because the bed was too hard to too soft. Sure, you could address the issue by sleeping on your back, but if the mattress isn't compatible, you could be adding your back to the list of areas that need pain relief. That is why a medium-firm ortho foam mattress or innerspring ortho mattress is essential in addressing shoulder pain. If it doesn't exist already, it is best to preemptively work on preventing shoulder pain with a mattress that comforts the area but offers support too. So, latex foam or HR foam with an innerspring system would work wonders in preventing and relieving shoulder pain that no other medium-firm mattress could.
- Potential neck pain: Neck pain starts when we focus on our work during the day with a bent neck or a forward-oriented head. This is because our neck muscles adapt to this bad posture, and anything else seems abnormal, giving rise to cervical pains or lousy posture when sleeping. If you suffer from neck and shoulder pain, the best way to address those is with a medium-firm supportive mattress and a pillow helping keep your neck in a neutral resting position. Moreover, some people may sleep in the fetal position with the neck bent at an odd angle. This side sleeping posture variant is very bad for your health, especially if you realize your head posture is misaligned. So, sleeping straight and on a proper pillow would be quintessential in avoiding chronic pain.
Best premium mattresses for side sleepers in India 2021:
Medium-firm mattresses are best for side-sleepers as they help cushion the blow to your shoulders, allowing them to sink slightly. Meanwhile, the firmness of your mattress helps align your spine correctly throughout all regions. So, the right mattress can help align your spine in a vertical position and comfort your shoulder muscles. A mattress that is too soft or too hard wouldn't be helpful, and SleepID can help you choose the best option from the best of these mattresses. Here is a list of luxury mattresses that suit side-sleepers in India in 2021:
- PhysioPedic: Bid farewell to side and back-pain with the PhysioPedic mattress. This mattress sports a high-density memory foam comfort layer in its quilting that helps comfort your shoulders and offers support for the spine. The two-inch thick NewSupport layer is effective in providing uniform body support and good for your back. Lastly, a significant number of pocket coil FirmTech springs help focus support and comfort where you most need it and hold up heavier bodyweights. Moreover, this innerspring pocket coil system paired with the NewSupport layer restricts motion transfer, helping you and your partner sleep soundly. For side-sleepers, the PhysioPedic mattress helps cushion the blow from the harder base and core with the memory foam comfort layer allowing your body and shoulders to sink marginally. The innerspring coils and the support layer help align and uphold your spine, and it is especially beneficial for overweight people. The body contouring feature helps comfort your shoulder without compensating for the support despite this mattress's soft elements. Also, if you prefer softer mattresses, the pillow-top design of the PhysioPedic mattress further improves blood circulation and the comfort you get to experience in your shoulder pressure points.
- Chiropedic 5000: The Chiropedic 5000 is another softer option more focused on people looking for a supportive yet comfortable mattress. It is also a pillow-top mattress to soften the impact of the underlying robust support system. Chiropedic 5000 is a medium-firm orthopedic innerspring mattress that focuses on creating a supportive and cushioning experience for back and shoulder support requirements. Because the Bonnell-coil focuses on a uniform supportive experience, the Chiropedic 5000 is best suited for overweight and obese people who need a lot of support. Alternatively, it is also an excellent choice for older adults or active people that want a softer experience in different sleeping positions. Recommended by the ICA, the Chiropedic 5000 is an excellent choice as an orthopedic medium-firm mattress and excels at pressure relief. So, if you're looking for a mattress for relief from chronic back or shoulder pain, the Chiropedic 5000 is the best choice. As a mattress meant for different age groups, it is best to experience this in-store as per your side-sleeping posture and requirements.
- Dr. Mattress Euro Back: This Euro top mattress addresses your comfort with a supportive and comforting construction. Recommended by physiologists and the ICA, it is an orthopedic firm mattress. So, if you have back pain or chronic pain needing a firmer experience, sleeping on the back or side is essential. The Dr. Mattress Euro Back makes this a pleasurable experience with its Euro top design that excels in pressure relief from your shoulders. So, while you sleep on your back, you get excellent uniform body support from its rebonded ortho core. And if you sleep on your side, the PU foam comfort layer helps comfort and absorb pressure from your shoulders. The Dr. Mattress Euro Back also sports a luxurious high-GSM design that envelops this mattress in elegant looks, and the overall experience feels even more soothing. Moreover, this mattress is cooler when compared to pillow-top mattresses above and an excellent choice for elderly or overweight people without any severe pain issues. It is an excellent choice for pain-relief from your back and shoulders but may not be the best choice as an orthopedic mattress for people with body issues. The layers make this mattress a perfect choice for people needing a soft, supportive and comfortable experience to sleep on the side.
- Dr. Mattress Euro HR: The Dr. Mattress Euro HR is a medium-firm mattress that addresses your pain points with the comfort and support of its high-density foam layers. It has a Euro top design and focuses on providing a cool, calm, and supportive experience at an affordable price. As a medium-firm mattress, it does cushion your shoulders and aligns your spine, but the support is on the higher side. The open-cell memory foam in the quilting helps regulate temperature and air, making it a perfect option year-round. The support layer is made from high-density HR foam, resting on top of an in-house manufactured Orthobond (rebonded foam) layer. So, any posture you try on the Dr. Mattress Euro HR feels as natural as lying in the cool grass, alleviating any pain you have pent up in your shoulders. Sleeping on your side or back would feel blissful both because of its memory foam quilting and the Euro Top design, aligning your spine with its uniform body support. Moreover, this mattress can lift and uphold heavier bodyweights because of the HR foam support layer and Orthobond core. If you're overweight, it is the mattress for you. As a medium-firm affordable mattress, the Dr. Mattress Euro HR is also good for the elderly and people with slight pains in their back or shoulders.
- Orthomatic DY: If you want to sleep on your side occasionally and find a mattress, you can switch between soft and firm options; the Orthomatic DY is for you. It has one side as a medium-firm and the other as medium-soft, making it a perfect choice for side sleepers as a dual-comfort ortho mattress. Made with memory foam in its comfort layer, HR foam in the support layer, and Orthobond core, the Orthomatic DY enhances comfort and support without effort. The most important factor is your choice, and if you find yourself tossing and turning every other night unable to decide between sleeping on which side or between your sides or back, Orthomatic DY is the answer. Sleep on your back on the medium-firm side and your sides on either mattress side, getting rid of your pain and dilemma in one shot. The Orthomatic DY supports and comforts several body types because of its variability in the side firmness or softness. If you have trouble sleeping with excessive tossing and turning, it would also be a pain for your partner, and the Ortho bond core helps limit movement. On one side, the Orthomatic DY has memory foam coupled with HR foam for better support and comfort, also giving a warmer sleeping experience. On the medium-soft side, the Orthomatic DY has soft PU foam and a 32D density PU foam support layer offering a cooler and comfortable experience.
Sleeping on your side shouldn't be a big issue, and you should be able to switch between your back and sides effortlessly. And with a medium-firm ortho mattress, you can get there and have more choices like in the Orthomatic DY mattress. Most of the mattresses mentioned above have medium-firm core firmness levels, with different designs to cushion your shoulders.
The pillow-top mattresses offer a slightly warmer and snug experience (maybe even sink to some level). In contrast, the Euro-top mattresses offer a more supportive and pressure-relieving sleeping experience helping relieve pains (both chronic and short-term). Moreover, these mattresses' primary objective is to align your spine and shoulders at the same level with your bodyweight in consideration. It is essential that your head and shoulders are at the same level, so a medium-firm pillow is also essential to pair for the best experience with your side-sleeping mattress. Since your shoulders sink, your head also needs to be aligned at a consistent level with your spinal alignment. To avoid pain in other body parts, an innerspring medium-firm mattress does the best job in aligning your body with weight distribution.
And if you have shoulder or back chronic pains, it is best to consult a doctor for the right mattress prescription. Alternatively, you can also look into our SleepID results that pair you with the right mattress with a 94% accuracy. Most firm mattresses for side sleeping are a good option for overweight people because of the higher support requirement, and a medium-firm mattress wouldn't do it as effectively.
There is no secret behind sleeping soundly on your side, and it is not rocket science. We make things simple by cushioning the blow to your pressure points, and the rest of the mattress mechanisms work their magic to ensure high-quality sleep. These luxury mattresses aren't necessarily orthopedic but help with pain-relief and spinal alignment for side sleepers as an effective and long-term solution.