If It Hurts To Sleep On Your Side, This Might Be Why

Sleeping on your side is one of the more recommended sleep positions by experts. Side sleepers avoid potential snoring and sleep apnea issues, as well as lower back pain that comes with flat-back or stomach sleeping (via WebMD).

But not all side sleepers are guaranteed a perfect, pain-free night of sleep. Side sleepers can encounter issues such as acid reflux, as well as soreness if they are not properly supported (via Purple).

One reason that side sleepers may experience pain might have to do with their mattress. A soft or medium-soft mattress is recommended for side sleepers, as it helps keeps the body aligned. Firm mattresses can create pressure points, leading to discomfort.

Other than getting a new mattress, there are small alternative changes you can try that may also help relieve pain from sleeping. Adding a pillow between your legs may be beneficial to preventing lower body pain. A pillow provides support and reduces pressure on your lower body, the area which is responsible for holding up the weight of your other side.

How to battle side sleeping pain

Side sleepers may also experience shoulder or neck pain. To solve this issue, try sleeping on the side of the pain-free shoulder first, then switching to your back if needed (via Ortho Bethesda). Doing so will help keep your neck and your back straight, relieving any added stress on the body.

Your pillow choice may also help alleviate shoulder pain. You'll want to choose a supportive pillow that is firm, but doesn't elevate your head too much (via Purple). Try utilizing the three pillow trick to support your shoulders — one for your neck, one in between your legs, and one in front of your stomach.

While side sleeping is typically good for digestion, you could still experience acid reflux as a side sleeper. Choose the left side, which keeps your organs — specifically your stomach — working with gravity rather than against.

If you are a side sleeper and regularly encounter pain, try out the tips above and see if you can find any relief. What works for your body may differ from other recommendations, so be kind to yourself as you continue your quest for a good night's rest.