Sleeping can be tough for the best of us...
It can be hard to switch off enough to let yourself drift off in the first place, and it's even worse then when you wake up feeling like you've gone through ten rounds with McGregor.
So we did some research to help out anyone who wake up weary. However, it's important to remember that the most appropriate sleep position varies from person to person, and is dependent on comfort and health issues - but a few of these may be worth a shot.
1. Neck pain?
Avoid sleeping in the foetal position, my friend.
The foetal position (bringing your knees up to your chest and pulling your arms into a tiny ball, similar to that of a baby in the womb) may be your default sleep setting, but it’s not the best position for your body. Tucking your chin in to meet your knees can strain your neck and head.
According to some doctors, it may also compromise your breathing and even give you more of a chance of developing wrinkles. Try straighten out your legs and arms so you’re lying flat on your back instead.
2. Shoulder pain?
Perhaps sleeping like a starfish isn't for you.
Although it can feel good on your back, you could be putting too much pressure on the nerves in your shoulders. If you sleep in the Starfish position, you may want to switch to the back position by moving your arms down to your sides. This will avoid developing shoulder pain in the longer term.
Due to the position of your tongue while in this position, you could actually obstruct your airway, making it harder to breathe, by sleeping on your back, and therefore it increases the chances of snoring.
There are many different kinds of snoring, of course, and you can figure out how to alleviate that here, but the easiest way to avoid that, is to not sleep on your back. Simples.
Sleep on your left side.
There are obviously pros and cons to sleeping on your left side versus your right side, as if you’re on your left side all night, you can put strain on your liver and lungs, but being on your right side can make your heartburn worse.
Most experts agree that a pregnant woman should sleep on her left side rather than her stomach or back in order to take pressure off her uterus, stomach, and breasts, and to optimise blood flow.
5. Worried about wrinkles?
If you’re anxious about premature facial wrinkles, try your best to sleep on your back rather than on your stomach or side.
Sleeping on your back ensures that your pillow doesn't rub against your face all night. In the short term, you may notice 'pillow lines' on your face after a good night's sleep, but these can leave long term effects as your skin loses elasticity.
6. Lower back pain?
Try lie on your back and keep your head propped up, either side, with pillows or face down.
When you lie on your stomach with your head turned to one side, you could be straining your neck, spine, and lower back.
If you're only able to doze off face down, consider using a thinner pillow to minimise the angle that your neck is placed. Putting a pillow under your pelvis to encourage your spine to stay in neutral alignment is super helpful too.
7. Acid reflux?
Sleep on your back.
To get a more restful night when you suffer from acid reflux, sleep on your back with your head elevated slightly, but be aware that too many pillows may cause strain also. Acid or food is less likely to come back up if your stomach is positioned below your oesophagus.
As well as helping to minimise acid reflux, sleeping on your back also puts less strain on your back and neck than other positions.
Happy sleeping everybody!
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