The amazing fact that approximately a third of our life we spend sleeping is directly connected to both, the quality of our night’s rest and our overall health that depend directly on our sleep posture and on what we do before going to bed. Here is what top specialists recommend: how to sleep properly to fix all of your health problems.
Pain in the shoulders
If you wake up with a pain in your shoulder, you should avoid sleeping on your side, especially on the painful one. It is not advisable to sleep on your stomach since it causes misalignment of the shoulders.
The best sleeping posture to avoid having sire shoulders is lying on your back. Sleep on a thin pillow (an orthopedic pillow would be the best). Take another pillow, put it in on your stomach and hug it. Now your shoulders will now be in the correct and stable position.
In case you can’t or you don’t like sleeping on your back, try lying on the side that is not painful. Draw your legs up slightly toward your chest, and place a pillow between your knees. It is also not advisable to sleep with your hand(s) under your head since it produces an unnatural position of the shoulder(s).
Pain in the back
In cases of pain in your back, you should maintain the normal curves of the spine. This is very important. Check on your mattress – if it is overly soft, it’s time to buy a new one. Sleeping on your back is probably the best position for you. Put a pillow under your knees – it will help you restore natural spinal curves and reduce the tension in your tendons. You might also try a small rolled towel under your lower back for additional support.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, put a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis so that the small of your back doesn’t move forward.
If you like sleeping on your side, fetal position is best for you. Draw your legs up slightly toward your chest, and keep your back naturally arched. Place a small pillow between your knees since it can help you take the load off your lower back.
Pain in the neck
Pretty much like with the pain in your back – your neck needs support while you are sleeping. In general, the best option is to sleep on your back with a pillow placed under your head and a pillow under each arm. People who have neck problems should choose their pillows very carefully; it’s best get orthopedic or roll pillows.
If sleeping on your side is what you prefer, make sure your pillow is not too high (not thicker than 6 inches). Ideally, the height of the pillow should match the width of one shoulder to help keep your neck in the correct position.
If you sleep on your stomach, use the thinnest pillow you have. If you can, do not sleep in this position at all since lying all night with your head turned to one side may strain your neck.
If You Can’t Fall Asleep…
- Avoid phones and computers before bedtime. It really helps if you have trouble falling asleep because the light from screens affects our sleep-wake cycles.
- Avoid consuming caffeine — at least 6 hours before going to bed NO coffee, energy drinks, soda, black tea, chocolate.
- Exercise in the mornings and afternoons. This will help you tone your whole body, improve your blood circulation, and help you fall asleep faster and easier.
If You Can’t Stay Asleep…
If you often wake up in the middle of the night, you should:
- stop using your gadgets before going to sleep
- avoid alcohol before bedtime since alcohol disrupts the water balance in your body and affects your sleep cycle
- Moreover, check your room temperature. The ideal sleeping temperature is 20-22°С.
If You Can’t Wake Up…
Everyone seems to suffer from this problem, but, guess what – there is a solution. What you should do is set your alarm at the same time every day (even at weekends). If you want to wake up early, you need to go to bed early in the evening.
If you tend to snore, pay attention not to put your windpipe in an unnatural position and maintain natural airflow.
- You should avoid sleeping on your back because in this position, throat tissues sag and your tongue falls backward into your throat narrowing the airway.
- Carefully choose your pillow. If it is overly soft can cause your head tilt backward and increase snoring. Use an extra pillow or elevate the head of your bed a few inches to stop your tongue from falling back over your windpipe.
- Sleeping on your side may help. When your head is lying in a natural position, nothing will restrict the airflow.
- Try doing special exercises for the muscles of your tongue and throat. They can help strengthen them and reduce snoring.
Believe it or not, almost 80% of people suffer from this problem, regardless of age. Leg cramps are usually sudden spasms, or tightening, of muscles in the calf, feet, or thighs. Night leg cramps are often related to some diseases, nerve damage, or lack of trace elements. In case you have them too often, see your doctor.
A good way to stop leg cramps is to get the calf muscle stretched and strengthened. You can also try doing yoga or massaging your legs before bedtime. And remember: if you want to achieve good results, you should exercise regularly.
Sleep disorders can be caused by variety of factors, starting from fatigue and uncomfortable shoes to problems with the digestive or nervous system. The only one who can determine the cause and give you advice on the treatment is a doctor.
- If you suffer from frequent heartburn – lie on your left side while catching some sleep. The left-side sleeping position prevents stomach contents from coming back up into the esophagus, preventing heartburn.
- Pain in the legs? Use a roll pillow or the foot of your bed to keep your legs lifted during sleep. The venous blood accumulated in your legs will run downward, and you’ll feel better. Rubbing or lightly massaging your legs before going to sleep.
- As mentioned before – avoid consuming caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime.