Did you know that we spend a third of our lives asleep, yet while it’s accepted that sleep is good for health, many people don’t realise it’s not just the quality and quantity of sleep that matters — it’s also the position you adopt.
With around 95 per cent of the population sleeping in the same position every night, here the experts reveal the health pros and cons of your favourite posture. According to experts, not every sleeping position is healthy and you should therefore know which position to choose in order to maintain your health.
THEREFORE, IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PROBLEMS, YOU MIGHT NEED TO CHANGE YOUR SLEEPING POSITION:
1. BACK PAIN
If you feel pain in your back after waking up, it means that it’s high time to get a new mattress. Sleeping on the back is the best position for you. So, set a pillow under your knees to improve the posture of your spine and to reduce the tension in the tendons. You can add a small wrapped towel under the spine as an additional support. If you like to sleep on your stomach, set a pillow under the stomach and pelvis. If you like sleeping on the side, curl up in fetal position by pulling the legs toward your chest and with the back slowly curved.
2. PAIN IN THE SHOULDERS
If you experience pain in the shoulder area after waking up, you should avoid sleeping on the left or right side. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach since this causes asymmetry of the shoulders. The best position for you is to sleep on your back. Sleep on an orthopedic pillow and use another one and place it near the stomach and hold it with your hands. In this way, you improve the posture of your shoulders. However, if you cannot sleep on your back, sleep on the preferred side, but not on the painful one. Slowly pull the legs upwards and place a pillow between your knees. Avoid putting your hand under your head.
3. NECK PAIN
The best sleeping position for you is to sleep on the back with a pillow and both hands under your head. Make sure the pillow is orthopedic. If you like to sleep on the side, make sure that the pillow isn’t too high. The ideal height of the pillow is shoulder height since it improves the neck’s posture. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, buy a thin pillow. However, not changing your sleeping position the whole night can have a bad impact on your neck and eventually cause pain and discomfort.
4. LEG PAIN
leg pain can be manifested through a sudden cramp or tightening of the leg, feet, or thigh muscles. Around 80% of the population suffers from this problem, regardless of their age. Sometimes, this is a consequence of some disease, nerve damage, or some deficiency. If you experience this problem frequently, make sure to consult your physician. One of the best ways to stop a cramp is to stretch the legs and strengthen the muscles.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach since when you’re in this position, the throat tissue and the tongue fall backwards and interfere with the respiratory system. Also, avoid too soft pillows or if you prefer sleeping on soft pillows, make sure you sleep on two. Sleeping on the side is good for you because the head is in its natural position and nothing interferes with the work of the respiratory organs.
6. CRAMPS IN THE LEGS AND HEARTBURN
If you suffer from heartburn, you should sleep on your left side in order to prevent the content from the stomach going back into the esophagus and causing heartburn. If you have leg cramps due to poor circulation, put a pillow underneath your legs so that the legs are a bit higher. And, massage them before going to bed and avoid caffeinated drinks at least 6 hours prior to bed.
7. YOU CANNOT FALL ASLEEP
Although it’s difficult to go to bed without previously using your phone or computer, you should do your best since the light coming from the screens of tablets and phones has a negative effect on the sleeping cycles. Also, avoid caffeine, alcohol, energetic and soda drinks, black tea, and chocolate at least 6 hours before going to bed. Make sure to check the temperature in your bedroom. The ideal temperature for sleeping is somewhere between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. Exercise in the morning and afternoon to boost the circulation.