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The Best Techniques To Help You Improve Your Sleep

Updated: May 10, 2021

Sleeping is healthy and the best way for recovery, but are we even doing it right?

Throughout life, people develop their own sleeping techniques without giving much thought to correct sleep positions. Being comfortable is undoubtedly splendid, but your spine must stay in the correct place. There is a big craze taking rounds on the internet about mindful living, mindful eating, and whatnot. But no one really talks about mindful sleeping?

What I mean here is that mindful sleeping is as important as being cautious in other areas of your life. Don't know what mindful sleeping is? No worries, let me guide you! What is Mindful Sleeping?

"Mindful Sleeping is being aware of how you twist & turn your body during sleep or move it as one unit."

Having your hips sticking out one way or neck twisted in the other isn't comfortable and, well, does not look sexy at all.

Sleeping Problems:

Do you often have those days when you wake up stiff? Or say, "I slept funny and can not move my neck properly." And it seems to be a recurring issue? Such problems can happen time and again because either your sleeping position is not correct or the thing you're sleeping on is not suitable for you. It is possible that there is something wrong with the way you are sleeping and what you are sleeping on is not right for you. Let's learn together which sleeping poses work best for your posture and what improvements can be made.

2 Best Sleeping Postures To Improve Your Sleep:

People have their set ways of sleeping, or they tend to try out different positions in search of comfort. Amusingly, they fall back to their very own relaxed posture. However, there are four different types of sleepers. Let's see who they are and how they sleep?

Here are the two best-proven ways to sleep: Side Sleepers: According to Healthy Habits, 57% of people sleep on their sides. Sleeping on your side can help improve blood circulation and reduce snoring. Many studies online say that your left side is better than the right, but is that entirely true? According to a study from Medical Daily, "Sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn. However, sleeping on the left side can strain internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach, but also while reducing acid reflux. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left side for optimal blood flow." Improvements: The best way to improve a side sleeper's position is to recognise your alignment. For example, how are you placing your arms, your shoulders, and neck? The best way to align the shoulders and arms is by placing a pillow next to you and spooning it. This can help create a 90o angle and decrease strain on the joints and muscles. The neck needs the proper support, and sometimes it is the pillow that is not right for you. If the pillow is too high or too low, it can cause a crick in the neck. Also, people sometimes lift the chin up, which pulls on the muscles, so if you find yourself doing this, tuck the chin in towards your neck. The hips and the lumbar spine are also affected and can create long-term effects if not corrected. If you find that your mattress springs do not support you enough, then it is a great time to change or think about using pillow/support cushions to help your alignment. The best place is directly underneath your side to help straighten the lower back and in between your thighs to create alignment on the hips. Back Sleepers: Sleeping on your back benefits your body as it aligns your spine and keeps your neck and head in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back can also decrease joint and muscle strain. According to a study from Healthy Habits, "Only 17% sleep in this way, and people tend to snore more on their back." It is better for people who snore or, worse, people who suffer from sleep apnoea to sleep on their side. Improvements: There are a few problems with sleeping on your back. Either your mattress or the height of your pillow can play a role in this. If the mattress is old, the springs do not support you properly, and the lower back and hips dip into a curved position. They can cause the pelvis to tilt, leading to an arched lower back. A lot of people suffer from lower back pain because of the tight muscle tension caused by poor posture. For better alignment and support, place a rolled-up towel or pillow under the knees, encouraging a neutral pelvic position. Most people find it challenging to keep a towel or a normal pillow underneath the knees in the same position all night, so I would recommend a supportive knee pillow that creates the right curve and holds you better throughout the night. Also, correct the pillow underneath your head and neck without it being pushed too far forward or falling too far back. The best is to have a neutral spine and have a supportive pillow that will help realign your spine.

2 Sleeping Poses That Are Not Good For Your Posture: Stomach sleepers: According to the study of Healthy Habits, only 11% of people sleep on their stomachs. Other researches on sleeping habits also suggest avoiding sleeping on your stomach. If you sleep on your stomach, you should not use a pillow as it will put a hefty amount of pressure on your neck muscles. However, this position should be avoided overall, especially if you suffer from back and neck pain. Very Well Health writes a study on sleeping potions and states, "It creates stress on back muscles by accentuating your lower back curve—and not in ​a way that's harmonious with good posture. Rather, it puts too much arch there, which may lead to unnecessary tension in the nearby muscles." Fetal sleepers: A pervasive sleeping position that people find most comfort out of all but not the best for their posture. A study from Medical Daily explains, "The fetal position may be comforting at the moment, but this can lead to neck and back pain, wrinkles, and saggy breasts. Sleeping in the fetal position can cause a strain on your back and joints, especially when your knees and chin are tucked into your chest." The best way is to slowly practice methods on being a side sleeper and using the supportive tools suggested above to help with your alignment.

How Certain Sleeping Positions Cause Harmful Effects On Your Body?

Many of you will be reading this because you suffer from neck, back pain, hip pain, or find trouble sleeping. The biggest problem is finding the correct position and staying that way. Often the pain increases due to sleepless nights and can be very frustrating when it's happening a lot. A lack of sleep due to the pain can affect your sleeping patterns, and your brain starts to lose synchronising sleep patterns. What is more important is that as you age, sleeping has a significant impact on how well you sleep. So correcting your sleeping positions now will put less strain and discomfort on your body in the future. Bad sleeping positions can cause chronic and harmful effects such as:

Forward head posture and tilts. Flexibility and mobility issues as you age Tightening of the lower back muscles and pain Pelvic tilt Effects natural curve in the spine Tightens the hips Neck and shoulder tension

Want To Make A Change?

Change takes time but implementing mindful practice will help with stress and tension in the body. How you feel in the morning is a good way to know that you're making progress. Here are a few tips for gravitating towards better sleeping positions: Assess your current sleeping posture Use supportive pillows Change your mattress every 8 years Improve your posture during the day with exercise Be Mindful

Research some videos on YouTube to help you visualise and improve your sleeping positions. Tone-Tighten is a great YouTube channel that provides effective content on posture and tips that create the best sleep possible.

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