Side sleeper? Experts reveal the nighttime step you may be skipping 2023

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There is much disagreement on optimal sleeping posture. (Spoiler: there is no “correct” response, but licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Janet Kennedy claims there is a “bad” answer. More on this to come.) According to the Sleep Foundation, sixty percent of Americans prefer sleeping on their side. Did you know that if you’re in the majority, you should be utilizing a specific style of pillow?

National Sleep Awareness Month is in March, but establishing a high-quality sleep pattern should be a year-round focus. Shop TODAY asked Kennedy about everything side sleepers need to know about selecting pillows, and we shared a few of our favorites.

What to look for in side-sleeping pillows Neck support

According to Kennedy, the most crucial feature to look for in pillows for side sleepers is the support that aligns the head and neck with the spine. “I propose a contour pillow with additional support in the neck area and a well or depression where your head would rest,” she says.

She advises experimenting with a variety of contour pillows until you discover the one that suits you best.

There are pillows for more than simply the head
To attain proper alignment as a side sleeper, you will need more than simply a cushion for your head.

Kennedy suggests placing a cushion between your knees or shins in order to support the rest of your body during the night: “to maintain your hips positioned on top of each other so you’re not twisting and torquing your spine.”

It continues from there. She also recommends keeping a cushion between your arms to maintain proper shoulder alignment.

Kennedy tells us that this is not true.

She adds that it all depends on your requirements and interests. In addition, she suggests utilizing a C-shaped or U-shaped cushion that fits on both sides of the body as a solution for persons who turn during the night.

“Rather of considering a one-size-fits-all approach, consider your body and anatomy, as well as the areas where you struggle to maintain alignment vs those where it is simple for you,” she advises.

Materials with temperature regulation and cooling

Although it’s not exclusive to side sleepers, Kennedy recommends looking for temperature-regulating or cooling materials in your pillowcase or pillow.

“The temperature of the head is crucial for maintaining core body temperature, so if your head is really hot, your body temperature will be increased, which might influence the quality and duration of your sleep,” she explains. Keeping your head cold during the night is really beneficial for sleep quality.

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