Part of living a healthy life is getting enough sleep. But are you getting the right kind of sleep on a night-to-night basis? Sleep experts recommend adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but if you’re sleeping the wrong way, it may not matter how much time you spend in dreamland.
Sleeping position can impact our bodies in many ways—from pain to blood pressure to even sinus issues. Sleeping in the correct positions can alleviate all sorts of common problems that plague modern humans. Here are nine sleeping postures to ponder before you crawl into bed.
1. Alleviate Back Pain
With so many jobs these days requiring a sitting posture, back pain is a fairly common complaint. Sleeping with back pain almost makes a comfortable night impossible, and waking up with back pain is a hard way to start the day. For most back-pain sufferers WebMD recommends to try sleeping flat ‘on your back’ with some modifications. The site explains: “When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees. You also can put a small, rolled-up towel under the curve of your back.”
2. Stopping a Stiff Shoulder
Shoulder pain is another common ailment of office workers. Women’s Health Magazine recommends for a pain-free sleep lay on your “pain-free side with your legs slightly bent.” The tip also suggests that you hold a pillow to your chest and tuck a pillow between your knees. The use of pillows will provide more support.
3. Sinus Issues
Sinus infections can significantly impact a good night’s rest. Some sleeping positions could actually make the symptoms worse. That’s why Harvard Medical School recommends to “Sleep with your head elevated… Mucus pools in your sinuses at night when your head is down, so have your head propped up during sleep.”
4. Helping Headaches
Just as with sinus pain, headaches can be helped or hurt by your sleeping position of choice. Hub’s Health Expert explains, “I used to suffer from daily headaches until I realized that I was twisting my neck when I slept.” The expert suggests making a nest of pillows around your head to keep it from turning.
PMS comes along with some painful symptoms for many women. Luckily, according to Women’s Health Magazine, there are sleeping positions that will help. Their expert suggests that women, “Place a pillow under your knees to keep your spine from arching too much.”
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can come with serious and even life-threatening side effects. If you have high blood, make sure you are being treated by a doctor. But a study released by WebMD, which highlights a report from Ehime University School of Medicine, explains that sleeping posture can affect blood pressure. This study says that sleeping face-down will actually lower blood pressure. The report states, “The men’s overall blood pressure went down slightly—but significantly—when the men rested face down.”
7. Digestion Issues
Many digestion problems can pop up at night, just as we are trying to relax. Skin Sheen says that “Sleeping on the left side helps in better digestion.” This position may let gravity help us digest our food a bit easier because our stomachs are positioned on the left side of our bodies.
8. Relieving Neck Pain
Neck pain will certainly interrupt a restful night’s sleep. PainPhysicians.com advocates more neck support. They suggest, “It is helpful to use a small rolled-up hand towel right under the neck for added support,” adding “The towel can be placed inside the pillowcase to help it stay in place.”
Heartburn attacks most of its victims during the night, making sleep nearly impossible. WebMD suggests sleeping on your left side if heartburn is a recurring problem. They offer this advice for people who may be a bit forgetful, “right is wrong.”
These sleeping tips are meant to help with a restful night. But if you have questions or concerns about sleep ailments and general health questions, consult your doctor! These tips are meant to be a reference guide and not medical advice. Sweet Dreams!
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About The Author: Born and raised in South Louisiana, Leah Richard is a graduate of Louisiana State University. She worked as a journalist for 13 years and her work has been featured on networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, and CNN International.
Now, Leah enjoys her writing career almost as much as a newsroom career because it keeps her growing professionally and learning as a human being. Plus, there’s a lot less drinking at the end of the day.