Approximately 69% of people in the UK are side sleepers. Sleeping on your left side is more common than sleeping on your right side. There are also lots of ways to sleep on your side.
If you’re a log side sleeper, your legs are extended and straight. With your arms neatly at your sides, your spine is aligned which means you are less likely to suffer with neck and back pain. But be careful – sleeping on your side in this position may cause your arms to go numb and you may feel some discomfort in your knees and joints. If this happens, try placing a pillow between your knees.
If you’re a yearner side sleeper, you sleep on your side with your arms outstretched as if you’re reaching for something. As with the log sleeping position, this side sleeper position is good for your back as it follows the natural curve of the spine. You may, however, experience some numbness in your arms and some aches in your shoulders, neck and joints.
If you sleep in the foetal position, you sleep on your side with your legs curled up under you, much like a baby in the womb. This is one of the most common sleep positions and also one of the best sleeping positions if you are pregnant. Sleeping on your left side when pregnant helps prevent problems with circulation to the heart and blood flow to the placenta.
There’s some concern that the foetal position can put strain on back and neck joints of side sleepers, but if you’re curling up on a good quality mattress with a supportive pillow, then the foetal position can provide a good level of comfort and support.