Fancy a hug? Here’s why cuddling your pillow could improve your sleep

A person places a pillow on a bed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For many of us, sleep posture is a matter of habit. We tend to drift off in the position that feels comfortable in the moment, with little thought to how it might affect the quality of our sleep. And if we do begin the night with good posture, natural movement can mean most of our time resting is actually spent in an awkward and twisted position. 

A good mattress can help support the body even in these uncomfortable poses (take a look at our best mattress guide for some ideas), but for consistently better rest, you need to adopt a good sleep position. Easier said than done, right? But if you're a side sleeper, this simple trick could be your key to getting better sleep.

A man lies on a bed in a side sleeping position, holding a pillow to his chest

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best position to sleep in is on your side, but all side sleeping positions are not made equal. Ideally, you should lie on your side with your legs stacked and your body aligned. Most of us, however, tend to sleep in a twisted position, with the top leg pushing forward. This spine-twisting angle is bad for your posture, but all too easy to slip into.

James Leinhardt, sleep posture expert and founder of bed brand Levitex, has a simple solution: try hugging a pillow to your body. James explains that a pillow to your chest can stop you from rolling forward and shifting the angle of your spine. Paired with a pillow between your knees – to keep your legs stacked – hugging a pillow is an easy way to upgrade your sleep. And any old pillow will do, making this a cheap sleep hack.

A man lies on his side in 'Dreamer' position with a pillow between his knees

(Image credit: Levitex)

Front sleepers looking for a more forgiving sleep posture can also benefit from this useful tip. Switching from stomach to side sleeping often feels alien, but it’s worth making the effort to relieve the pressure on your spine and neck. Hugging a pillow can help you maintain a proper side sleeping position, and prevent you from tipping forward once you’ve drifted off. A firmer pillow under your head can also help – check out our Levitex Pillow review, for my experience.

If you’re really struggling to find a new sleep position, consider trying a full body pillow. These stretch from the legs to the head, providing support along the length of the body. Check out our Simba Cooling Body Pillow review, to learn more.

James Leinhardt
James Leinhardt

James Leinhardt has a wealth of knowledge in night time postural care and has designed class-one medical devices to manage the posture for clients suffering with complex neurological illness and injury. He works with NHS trusts and social care throughout the UK and his night time system has reached clients as far as the Middle East and Australia. He's also the founder of pillow and mattress brand Levitex.  

Ruth Jones
Staff Writer

Ruth is TechRadar’s Sleep Writer. She’s here to help you find the perfect sleep setup for your budget and personal preferences. As well as keeping a keen eye on everything that’s going on in the world of mattresses, she regularly speaks to experts to help you learn how to improve your sleep habits, whether that’s by debunking sleep myths or explaining the science behind it all. Prior to joining the TechRadar team, she wrote features and product guides for new parents hoping to get a decent night's sleep, as well as writing for a variety of online spaces.