Sleep is extremely important for our mental and physical health and performance. The average adult should sleep a minimum of 7 hours and a maximum of 8 hours each night. However, many people tend to focus on the quantity of sleep they get rather than the quality.
Your sleep routine is going to be pretty consistent; even if the hours change or you wake up at different times each morning, you will most likely have a position that will allow you to drift off each night. Unfortunately, your favorite sleeping position may be causing multiple problems that you are unaware of. Today, we will be taking a look at the different sleeping positions and how they affect your quality of sleep.
Lying on your back with your arms next to you is known as the soldier. If you’re a fan of the Big Bang Theory, you’ll know this is Sheldon Cooper’s preferred sleeping position. This position can lead to snoring, which can disrupt your sleep as well as others. It can also cause a number of health problems, such as back problems and thickening of the carotid artery. This artery delivers blood to your face, neck, and brain. It’s also a bad position if you’re prone to sleep apnea.
Placing a pillow under your knees will reduce back pain in this position. Sleeping on your side is also the best way to stop snoring, but if you are prone to rolling on to your back, try sewing a tennis ball into the back of your PJs or nightdress – it will feel uncomfortable when you roll over, so you’ll automatically roll back on to your side.
Another back position, the starfish consists of spreading your arms and legs out rather than keeping them by your sides. Falling asleep on your back does have its benefits, such as helping with acid reflux, and with the right mattress and positioning, improving your posture. However, just like the soldier, the starfish can aggravate snoring and sleep apnea. A firm mattress is highly effective in supporting your spine and reducing back pain in this position, as well as the pillow method described above.
The fetal position is the most popular way to sleep. This one is a good position to sleep in because it allows your spine to rest in its natural shape. It’s also a great position for pregnant women. If you sleep on your side, finding a good quality mattress will provide more support and will lead to a better night’s rest. To make this position better, you should bend your knees slightly and stretch out a bit. Curling into a tight ball will crush your lungs and intestines and is bad for your posture.
If you have a bed partner, try spooning with them; when both of you lie on your side, one partner snuggled up to the other, it’s a cozy and intimate way to fall asleep, although you may get too hot if the weather is warm.
This position consists of lying on your stomach with your arms up by your head. Unfortunately, falling asleep on your stomach can contribute to neck and lower back pain. Your sleep is more likely to be disrupted when you lie on your belly as you try to find the right position for comfort. To improve the freefall, you should avoid a stiff pillow to reduce neck pain. Instead of turning your head to one side, you should sleep facing the mattress. This will put less stress on your neck and will help you breathe.
A more comfortable sleeping position for those who like to fall asleep on their stomach is to lie with a pillow under your belly. This gently tilts the back, which can help to relieve lower back pain. Use a slim pillow and place it under your abdomen to raise the hips. You can use a pillow for your head but it will likely be more comfortable without one.
Making a Change
If you feel like you are not sleeping well, you suffer from aches every day, or you deal with constant sleep disruptions, then you should work on trying to fall asleep in a new position that may be better suited to you. Adjusting to this new position will take time, so make sure you remain patient and consistent during the transition. At the end of the day, you will be trying to break a habit, which may have been the same for years.
Now that you know how important your sleep quality is and how your sleeping position could be affecting that, then it is time to make a change for the better. Investing in a better mattress and pillows is highly advisable if you have not done so recently.