Chances are you’re a side sleeper. After all, surveys show that nearly 75% of Americans are! Although we can’t be totally positive as to why so many of us are side sleepers, many doctors and scientists believe it has something to do with how we existed in the womb (hello, fetal position!). Even if you don’t sleep in the full on fetal position, with your legs and knees curled up, sleeping on your side is definitely reminiscent of it.
Today we’re going to be talking about what side sleeping means for our bodies, and why it’s super important for side sleepers to get themselves a quality knee pillow.
Side Sleeping: A Pain in the Hips, Legs, and Knees
Although sleeping on our sides seems like the most familiar option to most of us, it does come with its downsides as well as its benefits.
The main issue most side sleepers have is pain in the legs and hips due to the pressure one side of your body puts on another.
“Sleeping on your side can cause hip pain in a couple of ways. The first reason is obvious: When you sleep on your side, you put a lot of direct pressure on the hip joint,” says Dr. Geoffrey Van Thiel of OrthoIllinois.
“Often, that’s enough to cause hip pain, even if you don’t have really noticeable symptoms during the day. But you can also have pain in the opposite hip — the one you’re not lying on. That type of pain occurs when the opposite hip drifts forward, pulling on the joint and straining it.”
Another thing that happens when the opposite hip pulls forward? You’re no longer experiencing proper neck and spinal alignment, which can lead to stiffness, soreness, and overall discomfort.
Last but certainly not least, sleeping on your side can also lead to poor circulation. “Ever slept on your side and woken up with a numb arm? That pins and needles feeling comes from ‘capillary crush,’ when the weight you’re putting on your arm, or another numb body part, is putting intense pressure on your blood vessels,” says clinical psychologist Michael Breus to CNN Health.
He explains that an excess of this pressure can lead to reduced circulation.
“Poor blood flow isn’t the only downside to getting shut-eye while laying on your side. Studies show that it can increase acid reflux and heartburn at night. If you frequently suffer from indigestion at night, your best bet might be to choose another sleeping position.”
If all of these negatives have you panicked about sleeping on your side, try not to worry. Here at Coop Home Goods, we know how important healthy sleep posture is, which is why we designed our adjustable Knee Pillow. Read on for how an orthopedic knee pillow can help you sleep healthier.
Finding Proper Alignment and Reducing Pain
Now that we understand all the drawbacks of side sleeping, let’s talk about the good.
While the major downside of sleeping on your side is the direct pressure one side of your body is placing on the other, that’s easily alleviated with the proper sleep products.
By sleeping with the right knee pillow, it will reduce pressure, encourage spinal alignment, improve blood circulation, and provide some serious pain relief!
Why Just Any Old Pillow Won’t Work for Side Sleepers
You might be wondering why you can’t just stick a regular bed pillow between your knees and call it a day. The answer is, you certainly can, but it won’t do much.
Bed pillows — the ones we make here at Coop, anyway — are designed to both mold to and work with your head and neck. The result is compression where you want it (underneath your head), and support where you need it (underneath your neck). This keeps your head, neck, and spine in proper alignment.
The problem with using a bed pillow between your knees is that bed pillows aren’t designed to support the weight of your leg. This results in too much compression and virtually zero support — no matter how good the pillow.
Types of Support Pillows: Wedge Pillows, Body Pillows, and Knee Pillows
Now that we’ve learned why bed pillows won’t make the cut in terms of knee support for side sleepers, let’s chat support pillows.
Support pillows tend to be made of solid memory foam, making them super solid, which means they won’t compress nearly as much as a regular bed pillow. Less compression means more support, which in turn means proper alignment. There are a few different kinds of support pillows, such as:
- Wedge pillows
- Full body pillows
- Standard knee pillows
- Adjustable knee pillows
- Contour pillows
- Seat pillows
- Lumbar pillows
- Bolster pillows
But what is the best type of support pillow for a side sleeper? Read on to find out.
Coop Sleep Goods Adjustable Knee PillowPhoto courtesy of @nutritionalblonde
We know a thing or two about pillows — after all, we’ve dedicated years and years to researching and creating the best, most supportive pillows out there. Right now, we’re going to walk you through all of our choices when it comes to our adjustable Knee Pillow, and why it’s the absolute best knee pillow for side sleepers.
First things first: shape. Our Knee Pillow is ergonomically designed with an hourglass-style shape. The shape allows for both comfort and support.
The “scoop” in the center enables the pillow to lie between your knees and legs in a natural shape — it almost creates a sort of hug feeling. This will also ensure your pillow doesn’t fall out from in between your legs while you sleep!
Removable Foam Insert
We took it one step further with our Knee Pillow, and added a one-inch foam insert to the middle. Because people are all different shapes and sizes, this insert creates variation in levels. The option to remove the insert allows petite people to experience the same level of comfort and spinal alignment as larger people!
We understand that sweat happens. The super soft fabric cover is easy to remove and washable, which means you can hand wash your case whenever you feel like it’s getting a little grimy (no judgment!)
We’re proud to have earned CertiPUR-US® certification. This means that our Knee Pillow has been tested for harmful chemicals and has met the top product safety standards.
Benefits of Using a Coop Sleep Goods Adjustable Knee Pillow
Reduces Pressure on the Legs and Knees
Because our Knee Pillow is made from solid memory foam, it creates ample space between your legs. Because one leg isn’t pushing directly down on the other, our pillow keeps you comfy and aligned while at the same time reducing pressure and providing much needed pain relief.
Improves Blood Circulation
You may have heard about how things like staying hydrated, eating more greens, and aerobic exercise can improve circulation, but did you know sleeping with a knee pillow can, too?
Because your top legs are being elevated, our ergonomically designed orthopedic Knee Pillow will actually help combat poor circulation. And because your neck and spine will remain aligned all night long, you may wake up with improved blood circulation, too!
Full Body Pain Relief
If you’re experiencing pain, it’s important to reach out to your medical doctor. Though knee pillows aren’t end-all-be-all solutions to pain, studies find that using a knee pillow during sleep is said to help to relieve pain resulting from:
- Joint stiffness
- Hip fractures
- Improper spinal alignment
As a side sleeper, you know all about the pain and discomfort improper spinal alignment can cause. We here at Coop Home Goods know that you deserve total and complete sleep comfort, and that starts with an orthopedic knee pillow.
Not all knee pillows are created equal. You want to find one that adjusts to your own comfort and support needs. That’s why we’ve taken everything into account to make an adjustable knee pillow that is adored by people of all shapes and sizes.