Sleep – The best position for a good night’s sleep
Do you sleep well? Different factors such as pillow, mattress, sleeping position and room temperature all have an effect on the quality of sleep you get. In the first of a couple of articles on sleep, we are going to look at sleep position.
Side is best…
Sleeping on your side is best to ensure you rest more comfortably and makes it less likely your sleep will be interrupted. While there are many variations of sleeping on your side, all of which are beneficial in helping to alleviate insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation, the most comfortable position involves with your legs and hips aligned and flexed. Because this position leaves your upper leg unsupported, the top knee and thigh tend to slide forward and rest on the mattress, rotating the hips and lower spine. This rotation may contribute to back, hip or knee pain. To prevent this, place a pillow between your knees to keep your back aligned and straight.
What about on your back?
Sleeping on your back can increase the load on the discs in the low back and so aggravate low back pain. Its also associated with episodes of sleep apnea, therefore interfering with good sleep quality. However, if you prefer to sleep on your back, there is a minor alteration that will ease up the load on the back and help you sleep more soundly. Try placing a soft pillow or rolled up towel under your knees to facilitate the natural curve of the spine.
Never on your stomach…
If you do sleep on your stomach….DON’T!! Sleeping on your stomach puts strain on your lower back and neck . To enable you to breathe, your neck is either in full rotation to one side all night, or in extension (tilted back). People who sleep on their stomach report increased restlessness caused by frequent tossing and turning in an effort to get comfortable. Even if you have slept on your stomach since a child, it really is possible to stop and change position, even if it takes months (although it often doesn’t). The best way to break this habit is placing a couple of pillows down your side. Cuddle the pillows by placing your top thigh over them making it impossible for you to go completely onto your front. Not only will this stop you from going completely onto your tummy, it will also take the strain of the lower back and most people find it very comfortable. Don’t worry to much about losing the pillows in your sleep, one soon gets use to it.
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