Did you know that a whopping 40% of Americans get 6 hours of sleep (or less!) every night? That qualifies as sleep deprivation.
Not getting enough sleep can contribute to a poor mood, memory problems, high blood pressure, and other serious health conditions.
One of the reasons you might not be getting enough z’s is because of your mattress. After all, mattresses aren’t created equally and what works for a stomach sleeper might not work for a back sleeper.
So, how do you know which type of mattress you need? It all comes down to your go-to sleeping position.
Keep reading to learn more about the different sleeping positions and which mattress works best for each.
Most Common Sleeping Positions
Do you know your sleeping position? It might change throughout the night, based on how much you move. In fact, you might fall asleep in one position, but wake up in another.
However, even if your sleeping position varies a bit, most people have one position they gravitate to the most.
Back sleepers lie flat on their backs while they sleep, typically with their arms down by their sides and their legs out straight.
While it’s not the most popular position, it can benefit your health. If you suffer from acid reflux, sleeping on your back can help. And it can prevent neck and shoulder pain.
Side sleepers might gravitate to either their left or right side, or they might alternate throughout the night.
While it’s not as ideal as sleeping on your back, it can help prevent snoring, which could make your bedmate happy if you’re often sawing logs. Sleeping on your left side can also help aid in digestion.
Stomach sleepers love the comfort of this position, and it can aid in snoring and sleep apnea.
However, if you have back problems, beware! Stomach sleeping can lead to back pain throughout the day.
Fetal Position Sleeper
A callback to our days in the womb, sleeping in the fetal position is the most common sleeping position.
It’s a great antidote to back pain, and like a few of the other positions mentioned above, it can help reduce snoring. However, sleeping curled up may leave you feeling sore in the morning.
If you love to sprawl out while you sleep, you’re a starfish sleeper. Typically, this means you’re on your back, with your arms and legs spread out.
This position can help you maintain a healthy posture and is good for the spine.
Best Mattresses for Each Sleeping Position
Now that you know more about the most common sleeping positions, you can determine which type of sleeper you are.
Then, you can decide which kind of mattress you need to help improve your sleep.
What’s Best for Back Sleepers
If you’re a back sleeper, you need a mattress that will conform to your head, neck, and spine. So, your best bet is to look for a memory foam mattress.
This will allow the bed to cradle your body, giving you the support you need throughout the night. Because sleeping on your back comfortably requires a bit more cushion than other sleeping positions, you should stay away from extra firm options.
Instead, look for a soft or medium firmness.
You should also look for a mattress that provides nice lumbar support. Because the natural curve of your spine curves away from the mattress when you’re on your back, you’ll want that extra support to keep you comfortable.
What’s Best for Side Sleepers
Sleeping your side can take a toll on your shoulder and hip joints over time. To help combat this, look for a soft mattress that provides extra padding for these delicate joints.
You’ll also need to look for a mattress that helps you maintain proper alignment while you sleep. Otherwise, you’re at risk of putting excess pressure on your joints, leaving you in pain throughout the day.
When you try out mattresses as a side sleeper, looking for a model that cradles your body. And, stay away from anything that causes you to feel numbness in your joints after a few moments.
What’s Best for Stomach Sleepers
The best mattress for stomach sleepers is one that is on the firm side. While the idea of a soft, plush mattress might appeal to you, it won’t appeal to your body after a few nights of sleeping on your stomach.
By choosing a firm mattress, you’ll help keep your spine in the proper alignment while you sleep, since you’ll reduce the risk of hyperextending your spine.
Choosing the right pillow is also very important for stomach sleepers, as your head is out of alignment with your body.
Look for a thin pillow to help reduce strain on your neck.
What’s Best for Fetal Position Sleepers
Since the fetal position is a variation on side sleeping, many of the same principles apply.
Try out several soft memory foam options to find something that supports your joints, regardless of how you curl up your body in the middle of the night.
And be sure to stay away from spring mattresses, as they can cause discomfort and joint pain if you use them for too long.
What’s Best for Starfish Sleepers
Since laying in the starfish position can add stress to your neck and shoulders, you’ll want to stay away from mattresses that are too firm.
Again, memory foam is probably your best bet, as it gives your body the support it needs for this position, while also providing the proper amount of cushion.
And make sure you prioritize a model with lumbar support to keep your back in the proper alignment while you sleep.
No Matter How You Sleep, the Right Mattress Is Key
There are pros and cons to each sleeping position, but choosing the right mattress is the best way to accentuate the pros and help eliminate the cons.
Whether you’re a stomach sleeper, a back sleeper, and anything in between, your body will be much happier with the proper mattress. Use this guide to help you in your quest for the right one.
Looking for other informative content like this? Check out our other helpful articles before you go!