Sleeping Correctly

Sleep is an essential part of maintaining optimal health. Sleep is when your body cleans out all the toxins in your brain, repairs tense muscles, and refreshes your mental status for the next day. It’s no wonder we spend about 1/3 of our life sleeping; we need it! However, the best sleeping positions are not always common knowledge. A lot of times, people will wake up from their sleep feeling less rested than before. Proper preparation before bed is a great way to make sure you are getting the best sleep. Here we put together some common body aches and sleep issues as well as how to properly adjust your sleep schedule to solve them.

Shoulder Pain

Sleep for Shoulder Pain

If you wake up with a sore shoulder in the morning, it’s best if you avoid sleeping on your side. It is also not advised to sleep on your stomach since this will cause a misalignment of the shoulders. The best posture to alleviate shoulder pain is to sleep on your back. If you don’t like sleeping on your back, try lying on the side that does not have shoulder pain. Draw your legs up into your chest and place a pillow between your knees. Sleeping with your hand under your head is also not a good idea since it promotes an unnatural position of the shoulder.

Back Pain

Sleep for Back Pain

If you have back pain after you wake up each morning, chances are you are sleeping wrong. It is very important to maintain the normal curve of your spine. One cause of this is having too soft of a mattress. Sleeping on your back is probably the best bet for optimal support. Although this may sound counter-intuitive, sleeping on your back is probably the best position for you. Place a pillow under your knees to help restore the natural curve of the spine. You can also try placing a small rolled-up towel under your back for additional support. If you want to sleep on your side, try sleeping in the fetal position, which will keep your back naturally arched.

Neck Pain

Sleep For Neck Pain

Sleeping wrong can inevitably cause neck pain. It is important that your neck is properly supported when you sleep. In general, sleeping on your back with a pillow under your head and a pillow under each arm is the best way to prevent neck pain.  People with neck problems should choose orthopedic or roll pillows for the best support. If you absolutely love sleeping on your side, make sure your pillow isn’t too high (not more than 6 inches). The height of your pillow should be the width of one shoulder to help keep your neck steady.

Related: 6 Reasons You Should Replace Your Pillow

Snoring

Snoring

Snoring is a problem that affects people everywhere (especially if you are sharing that bed with someone else). If you tend to snore, avoid sleeping on your back. In this position, the throat tissues sag and your tongue falls backward into your throat, narrowing the airway. Instead, try sleeping on your side with your head lying in a natural position. Another solution would be to use harder pillows over soft ones. The extra elevation will keep your head a few inches off the bed and stop your tongue from falling back over your windpipe.

Heart Burn

Heart Burn

Sometimes people experience heartburn during the night, making it hard to stay asleep. When you are lying flat in your bed, your stomach and throat are at the same level, making heartburn a common problem. It is a good idea to lie on your left side when you sleep. This sleeping position will prevent stomach acid and contents from coming back up into the esophagus. WebMD also suggests elevating the head of our bed 4 to 6 inches by putting blocks underneath.

Related: 8 Things You Do That Ruin Your Sleep

Aching Legs

Aching Legs

Do your legs ache at night? This problem can be solved with a few easy tricks. Use a small pillow or the foot of the bed to keep your legs elevated during sleep. The blood that accumulates in your legs will go downwards, helping to alleviate the pain. Another tip would be to try and lightly massage your legs before going to bed each night. Studies show that this will help keep blood flow steady throughout the night. It is also best to avoid caffeinated beverages for at least 6 hours before bedtime.

Sleep Quality

Sleep Quality

Sleep quality can be affected by many different things. However, getting to sleep and staying asleep are the biggest factors in sleep quality. One fact few people know is that room temperature affects your sleep quality. Research has shown that the ideal sleeping temperature for your room is between 20-22 Celsius (or 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit).  Another tip if you want to wake up refreshed, it is important to do as much prep before bedtime as possible. This includes shutting off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Numerous studies have shown that the blue light from electronics makes it harder for a person to fall asleep. Also, another helpful tip would be to do some light stretching before bed; this will help relax the body from all the tension of the day.  A few things that might help with sleep quality is to avoid alcohol at least 3 hours before bedtime, as this will intervene with your REM cycles. These tips should help you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer.

Related: How Much Sleep You Need According to Your Age
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