any side sleeping can cause shoulder and arm pain due to restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves, which may be exacerbated by having your arms out in front of you.
5. On the Right Side
If you’re a side-sleeper, which side you sleep on also makes a difference. Sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn while sleeping on the left side can put a strain on internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach (while minimizing acid reflux).
For pregnant sleepers, doctors typically advise sleeping on the left side, since this can improve circulation to the fetus.
Another benefit to sleeping on your right side is reduced snoring, a common symptom seen in obstructive sleep apnea. This serious condition creates disruptions in breathing, which can lead to long-term complications, such as:
– heart attack
– cognitive issues
One notable drawback to sleeping on your right side is that it can increase your risk of shoulder pain.
Whether you’re on your left or right side, the corresponding shoulder can collapse into the mattress as well as up toward your neck, creating misalignment and pain the next morning.
A firm mattress and pillow can help alleviate this risk, as well as keeping your head straight in line with your shoulders.
Honorable Mention: Sleeping On Your Stomach
While the majority of Americans over 35 sleep in the positions above, there also is a good number who sleep on their stomach. Here are a few things to consider:
Stomach sleeping eases snoring and some cases of sleep apnea, but that’s pretty much the few good things about going belly-down at night.
Resting on the tummy is widely regarded as the worst sleeping position. It flattens the natural curve of the spine, which can lead to lower back pain and stiffen the neck.
Also, pregnant women need to be cautious of sleeping on their stomach even in the first trimester.