Sleep has a tremendous part in your overall health and well-being throughout the life. Sleeping enough and at the right time can not only protect your quality of life but also your physical and mental health, including your safety.
How you feel during the day is closely linked to how you’ve slept the last night. Your body never stops working, even when you sleep. It keeps up supporting your brain function and physical health. What’s more, sleep supports development and growth in children and teens.
Lack of sleep can cause an instant damage, like a car accident, or it can affect your health over time. So, not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of many health problems, such as heart disease. Also, it can affect the way you work, think, learn, react, and get along with people.
Besides getting the right amount of sleep, the sleeping position is another factor that affects your health. It can improve or worsen your existing problem, like back pain, sinuses, or hypertension.
In other words, sleeping in the right position can help you ease certain body pains.
Here’s the right position to sleep for different health problems.
The Right Sleeping Position for 12 Problems
1. Shoulder Pain
Do you tend to wake up with a sore shoulder? If yes, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach to prevent further shoulder misalignment. Also, don’t sleep on your side, especially on the aching shoulder.
So, what’s the best sleeping position for shoulder pain? It’s sleeping on your back. It’s best to use an orthopedic pillow, or any thin pillow, to support your head and keep your shoulders in a stable position.
If you can’t fall asleep while in this position, try sleeping on the side that doesn’t hurt. Pull your legs slightly toward your chest and put a pillow between your legs. However, don’t place your hand under your head since this is not a natural position for your shoulders.
2. Back Pain
Maintaining the spine’s general curves while sleeping is important for anyone, especially for those with back pain. A soft mattress is also bad for your back, so consider replacing it if yours is soft.
The best sleeping position for you is sleeping on your back with a pillow placed under your knees. The pillow will help you maintain the spine curves while sleeping and alleviate the pressure on your tendons. For extra support, roll a small towel and put in under your lower back.
If you like sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow under the lower part of your abdomen and pelvis.
In case you like to sleep on your side, the fetal position is the right for you. Pull your legs toward your chest to maintain the natural arch of your back. Also, you can place a small pillow between your legs to reduce the pressure on your lower back.
3. Neck Pain
If you suffer from neck pain, you should sleep with a supported neck. Generally, the best sleeping position for neck pain is lying on your back with a pillow under each arm and one under your head.
Also, the choice of the right pillow is very important for those with neck pain. The best option is to choose roll or orthopedic pillows.
You can sleep in the same position, only with pillows surrounding only your head, if you suffer from frequent headaches.
In case you still want to sleep on your side, don’t use too high and over 6 inches thick pillow. Try to find one whose height will match the width of your shoulder for a proper support of your neck.
Those who prefer sleeping on their stomach should use the thinnest pillow, even though this position is not preferable for neck pain.
Don’t sleep on your back if you snore. This is because your tongue narrows the airway, falling backward into your throat. Also, don’t use a too soft pillow but an extra one to lift your head and prevent your tongue from falling backward. So, the best sleeping position to prevent snoring is to sleep on your side. This position enables proper airflow.
If you have problems with your sinuses, you should sleep with an elevated head, using a pillow to stop the mucus from pooling into your sinuses.
6. High Blood Pressure
According to the Ehime University School of Medicine the best sleeping position for hypertension is sleeping with your face down. Still, you should consult your doctor before trying out any treatments for high blood pressure.
7. PMS Pain
During that time of the month, everything is uncomfortable, even sleeping. But, sleeping with a pillow under your knees during your painful PMS can prevent excessive arching of your back. This, in turn, can help alleviate the PMS symptoms.
8. Digestion Trouble
If you often experience digestion problems, it’s best to sleep on your left side. Your stomach is naturally located on this side of the body, so the gravity will help enhance the digestion.
9. Leg Cramps
The best thing to do if you often experience leg cramps is stretching and strengthening your calf muscles. So, you can massage your legs or do some yoga poses before going to bed. Still, you should exercise regularly if you want long-term results.
10. Heartburn & Leg Pain
Lying on the left side is the ideal position for anyone experiencing frequent heartburn. In this way, the stomach contents won’t be able to go up into the esophagus, thus preventing heartburn.
If you have leg pain during the night, it’s best to keep your legs lifted with a help of a roll pillow or your bed’s foot. Another thing you can do is massage your legs and avoid caffeinated beverages 6 hours before going to bed.
11. Can’t Fall Asleep
Even though putting away your phones and tablets before bedtime is hard, you should start practicing this habit to fall asleep faster. The problem is in the screen light that affects the natural sleeping cycle.
Also, you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages at least six hours before going to bed. They include coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc.
Another helpful thing is a regular exercise in the morning and afternoon. In this way, you’ll improve your blood flow, and fall asleep much more easily.
12. Can’t Stay Asleep
Another sleeping problem is the inability to stay asleep throughout the night. If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night, you should avoid alcohol before going to bed, as well as put your phone aside. Also, your room temperature should be between 20 and 22 °С.