Here Are The Right Ways To Sleep

right sleep position 9 28 
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels, CC BY

After 50 years of research, eminent Stanford University sleep researcher William Dement reportedly said the only solid explanation he knows for why we sleep is “because we get sleepy”.

Even though sleep may be, as one researcher put it, “the only major behaviour in search of a function”, it clearly does matter for our health and wellbeing.

But are we doing it right? What does the research say about sleeping position?

Is there a correct position to sleep in?

Most people prefer to sleep on their side. This is good to hear, as those who lie on their backs are more likely to be poor sleepers or have breathing difficulties during the night.

In most cases, we tend to move around quite a lot during the night. One study of 664 sleepers found, on average, that participants spent about 54% of their time in bed sleeping on their side, about 37% on their back, and about 7% on their front.

Males (especially those aged under 35) tend to be most restless, with more position shifts, and arm, thigh, and upper-back movements during the night.

This may not be a bad thing, as allowing your body to move during the night is generally a good idea.

During sleep, your body will keep track of any pain or discomfort and adjust position accordingly. This is why we usually avoid developing bedsores (or pressure ulcers) in everyday life.

If you find you can’t move because your partner (or dog) is taking up too much room in the bed, consider switching sides or getting a larger bed.

And don’t tuck yourself in too tightly; give yourself some room to move around on either side.


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

Being comfortable is key. There is no quality research providing clear evidence for an “optimal sleep position”. Your age, weight, environment, activities and whether you’re pregnant, all play a role in which sleep position is best for your body.

Ideally, we can find a position that helps us get a good night’s sleep, and one that avoids us waking up in any pain.

Even with our chosen position, some layouts are better than others. In one study, people who rested in a position where there is a rotation of the spine (such as the unsupported side position), woke up with more pain in the morning.

right sleep position2 9 28 
We all have a preference for a particular sleep position. Christian Moro, Author provided

Nonetheless, although some forms of side-sleeping may cause a bit of load on the spine, it appears the side positions, in general, are still better than the other options.

What pillow should I choose?

Choosing the right pillow is vital for a good night’s sleep.

A lack of support for the head and neck during sleep has been found to severely impact spine alignment, and cause muscle problems such as neck pain, shoulder pain and muscle stiffness.

Promisingly, the pillow material does not appear to affect the spine. Instead, the shape and the height is what matters. A U-shaped pillow may help you have a longer night’s sleep, and a roll-shaped pillow can reduce morning pain and bedtime pain in those suffering from chronic pain.

Unfortunately, science has not given us an answer on what is the optimal mattress. With everyone sleeping differently, this would be hard to compare over the long term.

However, there are bad mattresses. If your bed is sagging, has lost its firmness, develops noisy springs, or shows clear signs of wear and tear, consider changing your mattress.

Rotating the mattress can help with its longevity and improve comfort. This should be done at least one to two times per year.

Other tips for a restful night’s sleep

Set a cooler room temperature. The ideal temperature for sleep is 18.3℃ (ranging between 15-19℃); higher temperatures can affect sleep.

Allow some airflow in the room. Besides bringing nice, fresh air, it also clears away any accumulated heat, keeping us nice and cool during the night.

Some medications, such as certain types of antihistamines, may make it easier to get to sleep. On the other hand, stimulants such as caffeine can drastically affect the quality of your sleep.

Finally, be sure not to go to bed with a full bladder, as having to get up at night to wee can impact sleep.The Conversation

About The Authors

Christian Moro, Associate Professor of Science & Medicine, Bond University and Charlotte Phelps, PhD Student, Bond University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Recommended Books: Health

Fresh Fruit CleanseFresh Fruit Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with Nature's Most Delicious Foods [Paperback] by Leanne Hall.
Lose weight and feel vibrantly healthy while clearing your body of toxins. Fresh Fruit Cleanse offers everything you need for an easy and powerful detox, including day-by-day programs, mouth-watering recipes, and advice for transitioning off the cleanse.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Thrive FoodsThrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health [Paperback] by Brendan Brazier.
Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too).
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.

Death by Medicine by Gary NullDeath by Medicine by Gary Null, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio and Carolyn Dean
The medical environment has become a labyrinth of interlocking corporate, hospital, and governmental boards of directors, infiltrated by the drug companies. The most toxic substances are often approved first, while milder and more natural alternatives are ignored for financial reasons. It's death by medicine.
Click here for more info and/or to order this book on Amazon.


You May Also Like

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

MOST READ

spreading disease at home 11 26
Why Our Homes Became COVID Hotspots
by Becky Tunstall
While staying home protected many of us from catching COVID at work, at school, at the shops or…
sudden infanant death syndrum 11 17
How To Protect Your Baby From Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
by Rachel Moon
Each year, about 3,400 U.S. infants die suddenly and unexpectedly while sleeping, according to the…
witchcraft and america 11 15
What Greek Myth Tells Us About Modern Witchcraft
by Joel Christensen
Living on the North Shore in Boston in the fall brings the gorgeous turning of the leaves and…
a man and woman in a kayak
Being in the Flow of Your Soul Mission and Life Purpose
by Kathryn Hudson
When our choices distance us from our soul mission, something inside us suffers. There is no logic…
How Culture Informs The Emotions You Feel To Music
How Culture Informs The Emotions You Feel To Music
by George Athanasopoulos and Imre Lahdelma
I have conducted research in locations like Papua New Guinea, Japan and Greece. The truth is…
grieving for pet 11 26
How to Help Grieve the Loss of a Beloved Family Pet
by Melissa Starling
It’s been three weeks since my partner and I lost our beloved 14.5-year-old dog, Kivi Tarro. It’s…
how to kow if something true 11 30
3 Questions to Ask Whether Something Is True
by Bob Britten
Truth can be tricky to determine. Every message you read, see or hear comes from somewhere and was…
child listening intently wearing headset
Why Certain Types of Music Make Our Brains Sing
by Guilhem Marion
If one presented you with a unknown melody and suddenly stopped it, you could be able to sing the…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.