It is probably not a surprise to hear that getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night is recommended for optimal health and energy levels. However, many of us struggle to stick to this kind of schedule. We stay up finishing job-related tasks, get interrupted by kids and babies at all hours of the night, wake up to work calls, or put off going to bed in favor of a few precious moments of quiet alone time.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure the sleep you do get is as restorative as possible. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing the right sleep positions for a good night’s sleep, no matter the duration.
Do Sleep Positions Really Matter?
Although you should still make a conscious effort to get the right amount of sleep most nights, a healthy sleep position can help you sleep better whenever your head hits the pillow. The wrong sleep positions can lead to back and neck pain, exacerbated snoring, nerve pain or numbness, increased arthritis pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and other maladies. The right sleep position enables your brain to filter out toxins and allows your body to get the rest it needs. A healthy sleep position may be different for you than for others. Learn about the pros and cons of different sleep styles to find the right one for you.
Types of Sleep Positions
If you are young and healthy, you may be less inclined to notice the effects of sleeping a certain way. If you are prone to discomfort, poor circulation, breathing trouble, or other problems that affect your ability to awake feeling refreshed in the morning, you may be choosing the wrong sleeping position for your needs.
Lying On Your Stomach
When you lie on your stomach at night, you may benefit from reduced snoring and sleep apnea. The downside is that you are also putting stress on your back, neck, and joints, as well as added pressure to your nerves, which can cause numbness, tingling, and pain. If you find that you sleep best on your stomach, try choosing a thinner pillow for better neck alignment and using a small pillow under your lower stomach or pelvis to reduce lower back pain.
Flat on Your Back
If you experience frequent joint pain, you may find that sleeping on your back reduces these symptoms. Unfortunately, sleeping on your back can also worsen lower back pain, snoring, and heartburn. It is also unwise for pregnant women to sleep on their backs since the weight of the baby can put pressure on crucial nerve points and cause numbness and pain.
Side sleeping is generally considered one of the most healthy sleeping positions because it reduces snoring and reflux and aids digestion. It is also the best position for sleeping during pregnancy for both mom and baby. Sleeping on the left side increases blood flow to the unborn child and supports healthy development. Plus, it can help the mother with some of the discomfort associated with pregnancy, such as heartburn, nausea, and back pain. Try supporting your belly and arms with a pillow for maximum comfort.
If you find that sleeping on your side increases hip or lower back pain, try putting a pillow between your knees for better alignment. It also helps to switch sides periodically or bend your knees slightly.
One common concern for side sleepers is the risk of wrinkles developing on their face and chest. If you are worried about your skin, there are pillows designed to combat this. You can also use a silk or satin pillowcase and support your arms and chest with a pillow.
Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
In addition to choosing a healthy sleeping position, you can improve your quality of sleep with a few small adjustments to your bedroom setup. Clear your room of clutter, work items, and other distractions that might keep you awake or restless. Use light-blocking curtains and wash sheets frequently for a dark, allergen-free space.And most importantly, make your bed comfortable with a soft and luxurious hand-made blanket from Sew Sweet Minky Designs. Choose one of these sleep positions and curl up with your new favorite blanket and start sleeping better right away.