Your Mattress and Sleeping Position
Sleeping is serious business. Well, I take it seriously. After all, it’s the only way our bodies and minds get a chance to relax before another hectic day starts.
And while most of us have a very personal sleeping style and position we’re comfortable with, you haven’t really felt true beauty sleep until you’ve found a good mattress to match your favorite sleeping position.
So how do we find the perfect mattress and sleeping position combo? Let me help you out with that!
Your Sleeping Style and Your Mattress
While there are several sleeping positions out there (eight recognized ones to be exact) they all fall into these three main categories.
The Side Sleeper
Side sleepers are a popular group (about 40% of folks use this as their main sleeping position through the night.) Both the “log” and “yearner” positions also belong to this category. Generally, this is a good position to sleep in. However, there are things to note.
First, side sleepers have a tendency to curl in a fetal position over time. If you curl quite extremely – knees bent to the chest – it’ll restrict your breathing. Second, if you’re the kind who sleeps on their right side instead of the left then you’ll be adding strain on your stomach, liver and lungs. Third, this sleeping position is also prone to cause back pain and problems. Luckily, a good mattress can help provide support and minimize the possibility of back pain and problems.
Which Mattress Would Work for Side Sleepers?
Side sleepers need proper support when sleeping. This is especially true for those who curl to a fetal position. When in this position for a long time, the strain on your hips and shoulders increase dramatically creating a good deal of back pain. Side sleepers need a mattress with a comfortable top layer to give them some “sink” as long as it’s not too pronounced. Find a mattress with a soft-top layer followed by a firmer layer. About 3-inches of soft-top followed by a comfort layer should do the trick.
The Back Sleeper
The optimal position for any sleeper according to experts, sleeping on your back allows the pressure to be spread evenly. Your spine, neck and hips remain in a neutral position when in this sleeping style. Plus, your stomach stays within the rib cage, minimizing the possibility of heartburn and stomach pain. However, the type of pillow you use and where you place it, can make a difference. It’s important to have your pillow underneath your head and not the shoulders since the latter could cause back problems and ruin alignment.
Which Mattress Would Work for Back Sleepers?
When sleeping in this position, provided you have a good pillow on your head, the only real concern is the section in your lumbar area. This needs to receive proper support when you lie down otherwise you’ll have a sore back when you wake up.
The ideal mattress for you is something with a soft-top layer for support and comfort. It doesn’t need to be as thick as when you sleep on your sides – a good 2-inches would be more than enough. Firm support foam is also ideal to ensure your back receives adequate alignment.
The Stomach Sleeper
Experts would advise against sleeping on your stomach but for some people, this is the most comfortable sleeping position. The reason why experts say this is a horrible style is that it forces your neck to stay in a weird angle. Most of the time, your neck will be turned to one side, creating an unnatural back bent as well. Stomach sleeping is also known to cause lower back pain because of the pressure. It also causes headaches as well as pain in the arms. (Yikes!) Aside from that, sleeping on your stomach doesn’t give your organs time to “breathe” or relax leading to acid reflux and IBS for some. Generally, if you sleep like this, it’s best to slowly wean yourself from the practice.
Which Mattress Would Work for Stomach Sleepers?
You don’t need a super soft mattress when you sleep in your stomach. Having one will make your lumbar area hyperextend, which could lead to more back pain. Instead, you want a firm mattress that can provide support to your lumbar area the moment you hit the bed. A thin soft layer is acceptable for comfort but nothing more than 1 inch thick is recommended.
The Combination Sleeper
I know what you’re thinking; you probably don’t sleep in one position all through the night. I toss and turn occasionally as well. And sometimes, if it’s a new place or mattress, I just can’t sleep in one position.
If you’re a combination sleeper and looking for a good mattress, go for something that caters to different sleeping positions or offer the most flexibility, comfort and support. Most latex foam mattresses, especially high quality ones, are recommended for combination sleepers since they have softness near the top part but provide a firm base after about an inch or two. Mattresses with inner coil springs will also work well for this group.
There you have it! Hope this gave you a good idea on which mattress to go for based on your sleeping position. Just remember, the purpose of the mattress is to provide support and comfort when you sleep. It should keep your body at rest in a good position with your spine properly aligned while you sleep.
Now, write in the comment box below: what type of sleeper are you? 🙂