We all know how sleep is an essential part of our health and well-being and also essential for maintaining balance of the Yin and Yang within the body. Organs like the gallbladder, liver and lungs replenish the body when you are asleep so without a good sleeping habit, the body’s natural energies are drained and our quality of life is decreased.
So to keep your body and mind functioning at it’s very best, you need to get a good 8 hours sleep. The way you sleep can also have a big impact the overall quality of your sleep too and affect your bodily structure.
The way you sleep can have a big impact on your overall quality of your sleep. Some sleeping positions work well and some you probably may want to avoid.
Sleeping on your stomach is actually the most common habit, but it turns out it’s one of the worst sleeping positions. It can reduce snoring but it also can reduce the spine’s natural curve leading to lower back pain. I’ve had clients come to me complaining of lower back pain and solely putting down to their job sitting down all day hunched over a computer but if they are also sleeping on their stomach m, they don’t realise the negative impact it’s having on their body as it can cause pain throughout the back, neck which can lead to numbness, tingling and reduces the quality of sleep.
Sleeping on your side is a lot better as it can reduce sleep apnea and snoring with less adverse effects but which side you sleep on plays a significant role. Sleeping on your right can make heartburn worse if you suffer with this condition, whilst sleeping on your left can actually put a strain on organs such as your liver, stomach and lungs. The best way to tackle this is to have a pillow thick enough to tilt your head above your shoulders. If it’s possible, place an extra pillow between your legs for added support and comfort.
Sleeping on your back is the best way to get a real good nights rest as it makes it easier for your head, neck and spine to align naturally and comfortably without putting a strain on the muscles, bones and vital organs. Try and add an extra pillow underneath your knees for that extra support and comfort if possible.
Sleeping habits can be long lasting and difficult to change, but with persistence it can change. Sleeping in a better position can have an enormous impact on your health and well-being.
Muscle pain is never pleasant whether it’s from bad sleeping positions, exercise, cramp etc as it reduces our comfort, mood and overall quality of life. Self-Massage between visits to a spa or therapy room is a very effective treatment for pain as it brings oxygen to the muscles, improves circulation tones muscles and reduces stress and anxiety, which alleviates muscle cramps and pain. By relaxing the body allowing you to feel better and hopefully relaxed enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Pregnancy & Sleeping Positions
During pregnancy lying on your back or stomach are not ideal positions to sleep in especially in the second and third trimesters. Why? Well, sleeping on your front in the first trimester will result in the natural curve in your spine to reduce resulting lower back pain and pains in your neck and the rest of your back also your growing baby bump will make it very uncomfortable and impossible for you so you’ll have to switch positions, sleeping on your back will result in your entire weight on the growing uterus and baby on your back, intestines and your vena cava the main vein that brings blood back to the heart from the lower body.
The pressure can aggravate backaches, hemorrhoids, making digestion less efficient; interfere with your circulation, which could cause hypertension making you feel dizzy. Less blood circulation will also affect the foetus, giving your baby less oxygen and nutrients. If you wake up and find that you’ve rolled over on to your back during the night, don’t worry, just avoid sleeping in that position for long periods of time during your pregnancy.
During the second and third trimester sleeping on the left is ideal for baby and Mum-to-be as it allows maximum blood flow to the placenta and less pressure on the Vena Cava. It also enhances the kidney function which means better elimination of waste and less swelling in the feet, ankles and hands. This is why I always ask my pregnant clients to turn on their left side before I start the massage.
For extra comfort at night, place an extra pillow between your legs, one under your stomach and one behind your back.