Another important way to shop for a mattress is by sleeping position. Everyone has a position that they find most comfortable whether its flatting out or curling up. Below are the typical positions and the explanation behind them.
If you don’t know what position is yours, here’s a few questions that can help.
The key to any position is to keep your spine in a neutral position (see the images). If you keep your spine from curving or tweaking at the points of your hips, shoulder, and neck then you should have a comfortable sleep. Of course, everyone is different so this is just a general rule to follow.
Many people who toss and turn believe that it’s a good thing. More than likely it’s not. If you move around a lot at night it generally means you’re not comfortable and that the mattress is not right for you. One chiropractor said that if you’re body is not in a healthy position it will move.
There are some rare cases where a multi position mattress is okay. Some people have injuries that require a little movement. In those cases pick your top two positions and find a mattress that compensates well for both.
The majority of people sleep on their side and there are many types of mattresses that will fit a side sleeper well. The key for a side sleeper is to find a mattress that has enough give for your shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress. If not, the mattress will push up your shoulders and hips and cause your spine to tweak. If you’re a side sleeper and you have upper back pain then you’re shoulders aren’t sinking enough. If you have lower back pain, then you’re hips aren’t sinking enough.
The next most popular position is your back. Many men prefer their back but end up moving to their side due to the encouragement of their wife (snoring!). Also, many people will rotate between a back and side sleeper. The key for back sleepers is to find a mattress that conforms well to their lower back. Too firm of a mattress will push up the gluteus maximus and have no support on the lower back. In this case, the spine is stretch or sagged. A no-support situation like this creates lower back pain and is not good for overall spine health. However; if you get a mattress that is too soft, your torso will sink and your spine can also stretch.
Many chiropractors will tell you not to sleep on your stomach because its not a healthily position for your spine. However; you should always fall back to the rule that if you’re tossing and turning a lot, then you’re body is trying to tell you something. When choosing a mattress you’ll want to find something slightly firmer. If the mattress is too soft and your torso sinks into the mattress too much then you’ll hyper extend your back. Go as firm as you’re body will allow.