Living in the modern world is exhausting, fast paced and hectic, and even though we all know that getting a good night’s sleep is good for our overall health, many of us still find it hard to get a good night’s sleep for a number of reasons, including stress and anxiety which are known to induce insomnia.
Whether you struggle to get comfortable in bed or are finding it difficult to relax, switch off and drift off into a peaceful sleep let’s take a look at some of the sleeping positions and habits that might actually be harming your ability to sleep well and the tips that you can try to help you get a better night’s sleep
1. Sleeping on your back
If you suffer from back pain you’ve probably been advised by your chiropractor or doctor to sleep on you back with your arms at your sides. While this may be doing your back the world of good it doesn’t necessarily mean youre going to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping on your back tends to lead to heavy snoring and is also associated with sleep apnea which is a common disorder that causes pauses in your breathing pattern while you are asleep and can be serious enough that some sufferers have to wear sleep apnea prevention equipment like a CPAP mask to help regulate their breathing.
2. The starfish
The ”starfish” position is also good for back pain suffers and sleeping on your back in this arms up, legs out position is often one that you might wake up in after a night of tossing and turning. However, this position also leads to snoring and also is not a good position for people that suffer with acid reflux. Having your arms up can also put undue and painful pressure on the nerves in your shoulders and is not great for your circulation. On the upside, the effects of gravity on your skin means that sleeping on your back is good for preventing facial wrinkles.
3. The right side is the wrong side
Sleeping on your right or your left is exactly the same, right? Wrong. According to medical advice sleeping on your right side can be bad for your health. Sleeping on your right side can cause acid reflux and heartburn due to the gastric juices and acids draining straight into your esophagus when you lie on your right. It can also speed up digestion in the stomach, which can prevent food from digesting at the right pace. It is recommended that you sleep on your left side as it increase the stomach’s ability to properly digest food. Sleeping on your left side also allows glucose and other vital elements to drain to your lymphatic system quicker which can help your heart and spleen work to their full potential. It is recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left side in order to increase blood circulation, reduce pressure on the liver and to ensure that much-needed nutrients reach the baby.
4. Letting the light in
Our bodies are programmed to go to sleep when it’s dark and sleeping in total darkness helps the body to produce the hormone, melatonin, which is an antioxidant hormone that we need so that our bodies can fight disease and other conditions like cancer. Yet many of us tend to sleep with natural light seeping through the curtains. Make sure your room is dark so that there is no natural light peeping through which might disrupt this natural process. Put up a blackout blind, add an extra layer of lining to your curtains or wear an eye mask if you need to.
5. Gadgets that produce artificial light
It’s so easy these days to reach for your smartphone and flick through Facebook before you turn out the lights and go to sleep, but try to cut down on the number of electronic gadgets you use right before you go to sleep. Using mobile phones, tablets and watching TV right before bed is a bad habit to get into as it can have a negative impact on your ability to fall naturally to sleep. The light emitted from these devices disrupts your melatonin production levels, and tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, disturbing your sleep pattern and making you feel less tired.