Many of us have wondered if there is a way to get more sleep. The struggle you may have with sleeping well may rest with a bit of simple research into the various sleep positions and finding the one that best improves the sleep you get each night. Dr. Micheal Breus says that when "you don't get a restful night's sleep, it can have an effect on your mood, health, family, and even your job."
How many of you know that to be true? Taking a look at these positions and suggestions can help you find a way to a better night's sleep.
The Top Four Sleeping Positions
1. Sleeping on your back
This isn't the most popular sleep position, but experts say it is the most healthy. This position is best as it lets the head and spine reside in a position that is neutral. This alleviates the pressure that can build from other positions and reduces the risk of feeling pain when you are sleeping. Doctor Sol Cogan was the prior chiropractor for an NFL team and he says that "back sleeping reduces the pressure on your discs so it's best for the neck and back."
Have a problem with acid reflux? With the right pillow, this position assures that your stomach remains below your esophagus which will prevent unwanted acids and food from coming back up your digestive track which will keep you from being awoken by those terrible symptoms of acid reflux.
As this position can allow the tongue to roll back and cover the breathing tube, it does become a more risky position for any who might suffer from sleep apnea. This condition results in moments of breathlessness. Back sleeping is more of a risk for those of you who might suffer from this. It also doesn't help those of us who might snore. Back sleeping is known to make snoring more severe.
2. Sleeping On Your Side
This position is used by approximately fifteen percent of adults. It definitely helps with any snoring issues you might have as it allows airways to stay open, thus making it the best position for those of us who suffer from sleep apnea. It can also help decrease acid reflux especially if you sleep on the appropriate side.
Sleeping on your side can make the pelvis level and can reduce the chance of your lower back becoming stiff and painful. Having the appropriate pillow that can keep the head supported at a high enough level to be even with the rest of the body, is key in reducing the likelihood of some of the cons of side sleeping.Sleeping on your side can lead to nerve compression.
This can create pain in the neck and back that may be difficult to reduce without changing your sleeping habits. And though sleeping on this die can help with that annoying acid reflux, it can strain the liver, stomach, and lungs. Experts say you can prevent this strain by rotating which side you choose through the night.
3. Sleeping In The Fetal Postion
This is by far the most popular sleep position. Sleep expert Chris Idzikowski states that more than twice as many woman choose this position compared to men and approximately 41% of adults sleep in this position. Those of you who are pregnant will often find this position beneficial for a variety of reasons as well.
4. Sleeping On Your Stomach
The final position is seen as the worst position for sleep by most experts. Many doctors and experts agree on this citing the strain on your back and neck is amplified by sleeping on your stomach. Stomach sleeping also puts unnecessary pressure on muscles and joints. This can lead to tingling, aches, and nerve irritation. Most agree that it is always best to try a different position, even though stomach sleeping can help with snoring issues.
Kevin Wade discusses these positions in detail in this video which gives great detail to each of the sleeping positions and how they can bring you better rest and reduce pain.
Other Factors That Affect Sleep
There are other things that can affect the way you sleep as well. The mattress you choose can play a major role in how well you sleep. The age of the mattress in key as is its make up. Mattress selection can be a major task as there are many new technologies and discoveries that make mattresses better for you sleep. Make sure you do the research to find out what might work best for you when choosing a mattress.
Your pillow also makes a big difference in how good your sleep can be. Your choice of sleeping position may also affect which pillow you should buy. If you sleep on your back, finding a pillow that supports your spine and natural back curve is key. Side sleepers will find that a pillow that is thicker than one for back sleepers will work better. And stomach sleepers should get a really flat pillow so that they reduce the stress on the neck and back. Just like a mattress, doing the research on the pillow you use can have a huge impact on how good your sleep is.
Other Tips For Better Sleep
There are other ideas we can try to get the best night's sleep we can. Watching your alcohol intake before bed can be huge. Many of us think that it helps us fall asleep which may be true, but it also prevents us from entering that deep sleep which makes us feel better in the morning. Drinking is often coupled with staying out too late as well which hits us twice...too little sleep and not deep enough....no wonder we don't feel good in the morning after an all nighter.
Exercise is also a great way to get better sleep. Twenty or thirty minutes of good aerobic exercise can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep we get. This exercise has been proven to allow us a deeper sleep as well.
Light in the room can play a huge factor in our sleep quality as well. Try to fall asleep with only some dim lights on or use a headlamp to read. Having light on can affect our sleep pattern as our bodies will try to wake up because they feel it's day time.
Lastly, make sure and watch what you eat. You don't want to consume a large meal at least two hours before you hit the sack. That's not to say you should go to bed hungry either. Being full, can help you get a better, deeper sleep, but too much can keep you awake through the night.
Sleep is the one of the most important parts of our lives. Most of us love a great night's sleep, and it can lead to better days for all of us. Focusing on the specific position in which we sleep in can be a key to finding that perfect night's sleep. Pick the way that feels the best to you and follow the other tips to improve your nightly dozing which will give you the best opportunity to stay healthy and motivated through every day!