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The secret to side sleeping

4 min read
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It may be one of the most common ways to hit the hay, but is side sleeping actually good for you?

You probably don’t give much thought to the position you sleep in each night. Chances are, you hop into bed and fall asleep in whatever position feels comfiest. But there are lots of different ways to hit the hay, and we all have our own personal preferences. Some of us like to turn in on our tummy, others like to hit the sack on their back, and many of us settle in on our side. 

So the question remains: is sleeping on your side good for you?

The most popular position

Just as there’s no perfect way to drift off, there isn’t one optimal sleep position, either. Ultimately, the position you choose comes down to your health needs and whatever feels comfortable. But no matter which way you bunker down, at some point during the night, you’ll most likely end up sleeping on your side.

Why? We all tend to stir, move or roll around when we sleep. Experts believe this helps us get comfortable, relieve pressure and improve circulation. Whatever the impulse, one study cited by Australia’s Bond University found that, on average, people spent more than 50 per cent of the night sleeping on their side – compared to 37 per cent on their back, and around 7 per cent on their front.

The benefits of side sleeping

While research around side sleeping is limited, there is evidence to suggest it may be beneficial for those with chronic sleep issues or disorders. For example, snoring is usually worse when you lie on your back. Meanwhile, mild cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) – where breathing is interrupted during sleep – can be treated by sleeping on your side. 

One thing we know for sure about side sleeping? It’s the best position for pregnant women. Past the 28th week of pregnancy, sleeping on your back (even if it’s just a brief daytime nap) can place pressure on major blood vessels. Sleeping on your side helps to ensure there’s a continuous flow of blood and oxygen to your womb and reduces the risk of stillbirth by about 50 per cent.


If you share your bed with your partner, Forty Winks can customise each side of the mattress with MySide

Is side sleeping for you?

Side sleeping might be one of the most common sleeping positions, but it isn’t necessarily right for everyone. If you have a previous injury or health condition to do with your neck, shoulders or hips, for example, you might find another position more comfortable. 

Whatever you choose, it’s important to ensure you have good spinal alignment. This means adopting a sleep position that complements the body’s natural curves around the neck, upper back and lower back and relieves pressure from the spine. If your head and neck aren’t supported properly during the night, you may experience pain, stiffness and discomfort – all of which can interrupt your sleep. 

Invest in rest

If you’re a die-hard side sleeper, then it’s time to invest in the right pillow and mattress. With its gently sloping, dual-sided shape, the TEMPUR Symphony Pillow works in harmony with your body to align your head, neck and shoulders, giving you the ultimate feeling of support and comfort.

Typically, side sleepers need a firmer mattress to support spinal alignment. To help you find the right quality mattress for your style of sleeping, try bedMATCH®, Forty Winks’ patented diagnostic system. Using over 1000 scientific calculations and 18 statistical body measurements, bedMATCH® matches your body type, sleep needs and position preferences to the best mattress so you can get a good night’s sleep. 

The best part? If you share a bed and you and your partner have different sleep needs, Forty Winks can customise each side of the mattress with MySide – helping everyone get the best night’s sleep possible. You can even get MySide pillows in three different height profiles, designed to support your body’s natural alignment for a good night’s sleep.

Ready to get a better night’s sleep? Explore our product range here.

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