How to Look Better After a Good Night’s Sleep
What if you could wake up every morning feeling refreshed and energized?
Many people struggle to get a good night’s sleep, and as a result, their productivity and alertness suffer. But did you know that by changing your sleep posture, you can guarantee better sleep night after night?
It’s true! Your sleeping position can have a significant impact on how well you sleep through the night. Keep reading to find out more about sleep posture and how you can use it to get better sleep right away.
Why Sleep Is So Important
Sleep provides your body and mind with essential recovery time. While you are sleeping, your body has time to repair any damage to muscles that may have occurred during the day.
Consistently good sleep can help prevent heart disease, kidney disease, and even diabetes. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight through regulation of the hormones that control your hunger and satiety.
Sleep is also essential for a properly functioning immune system. A lack of sleep can leave your immune system vulnerable to illness and infection.
Good sleep is particularly important for children and teens because it supports their growth and overall development.
Sleep posture describes a person’s body position while they are sleeping. You may already be aware that you are a natural back-sleeper or side-sleeper. But did you know that certain sleep positions are associated with higher quality sleep?
Experts suggest that sleeping on your back is optimal for good sleep. During the day, your spine and other joints are under pressure from your body weight and gravity.
Pressure on the spine and joints can be exacerbated if you spend a lot of time standing or if you have poor posture. Sleeping on your back can work to correct the harmful effect os poor posture by opening up your shoulders and chest.
However, certain conditions may benefit from a side sleeping posture rather than back sleeping. Read below to find out what sleep posture is best for you and how you optimize your sleeping position.
For Back Sleepers
Sleeping on your back can help align your spine and reduce the pressure on your joints that naturally occurs during the day.
If you sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated, you can also reduce the symptoms of heartburn.
If you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring, sleeping on your back may make those conditions worse. Talk to your doctor about your sleep posture if you are concerned that it is negatively affecting your sleep apnea or snoring.
How To Become a Back Sleeper
If you do not naturally sleep on your back, but you are interested in giving it a try, there are a few techniques that might help.
First, take a look at the pillows you are using. Experts suggest one, mostly flat pillow for the optimal neck position. Too much elevation of the head and neck can compromise the overall position.
Second, pick a firm mattress. It doesn’t have to be hard as a rock, but it should provide enough support to keep your spine in a neutral position.
Finally, try using a pillow under your lower back when you sleep to help alleviate back pain. Or, try placing a pillow underneath your knees to reduce the amount of pressure on your spine and hip joints.
Using these guidelines, it is possible to promote better sleep posture and an overall better night’s sleep.
For Side Sleepers
Although experts are likely to recommend sleeping on your back, there are a few known benefits to sleeping on your side as well.
If you suffer from acid reflux or other gastrointestinal issues sleeping on your left side may reduce these symptoms.
Similarly, if you experience issues with lumbar stenosis, side sleeping may be more comfortable than back sleeping. This condition usually affects older adults and is associated with discomfort when the back is fully extended.
If you are pregnant (especially over four months), it is recommended that you sleep on your side. This is to avoid pressure on your organs that can be caused by the weight of the developing baby.
If you typically experience back pain from extended periods of sitting or standing, you may want to consider sleeping on your side. By sleeping on your side and tucking your knees closer to the chest, you may be able to reduce back pain.
Side sleeping is also known to reduce snoring but is not recommended for people with arthritis.
There are pros and cons to the side sleeping position, depending on any current conditions you may be experiencing.
How To Sleep On Your Side
If you have one of the conditions listed above or your doctor suggested changing your sleep posture, here are a few tips you can use.
First, go with a moderately firm mattress. This will help provide support without stressing your spine and joints.
If you sleep on your side, choose more supportive pillows. The height of the pillows should allow your neck to rest in a comfortable neutral position rather than being pulled upward or downward.
A Word For Stomach Sleepers
There is a small minority of adults that report sleeping on their stomach. This position is not ideal for neck and spine alignment and could result in long-term issues with chronic pain.
If possible, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach for any part of the night.
Sleep Well, Live Well
Now that you understand the importance of sleep posture, it is time to make some critical decisions.
Find the right mattress support and pillows for your particular sleep posture and consider any preexisting conditions before changing your sleep position.
Getting a good night’s sleep can change how you feel all day long. So don’t wait to make changes!