What position should I sleep in and is there a “right” way to sleep?

(The Conversation) – After 50 years of research, respected Stanford University sleep researcher William Dement reportedly said the only solid explanation he knew of why we sleep is “because we get sleepy.”

While sleep may be, as one researcher put it, “the only important behavior in the search for function,” it clearly plays a role in our health and well-being.

But are we doing it right? What Does Research Say About Sleeping Position?

Is there a correct sleeping position?

Most people prefer to sleep on their side. That’s good to hear, because those who lie on their back tend to sleep poorly or have trouble breathing at night.

In most cases, we move around quite a bit at night. A study of 664 sleepers found that on average, participants sleep on their sides about 54% of their time in bed, about 37% on their backs, and about 7% on their fronts.

Men (particularly those under 35) tend to be the most restless, with more position changes and arm, thigh, and upper back movement throughout the night.

This might not be a bad thing, as it’s generally a good idea to allow your body to move throughout the night.

During sleep, your body will track any pain or discomfort and adjust position accordingly. That is why we usually avoid the development of decubitus (or pressure sores) in everyday life.

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

And don’t dress too tight; Give yourself some space to move around on either side.

Comfort is key. There is no quality research that provides clear evidence of an “optimal sleeping position”. Age, weight, environment, activities and whether you are pregnant all play a role in what sleeping position is best for your body.

Ideally, we can find a position that helps us sleep well and one that avoids waking up in pain.

Even with our chosen position, some layouts are better than others. In one study, people who rested in a position that causes spinal rotation (such as the unsupported side-lying position) woke up in the morning with more pain.

We all have a preference for a certain sleeping position. Christian Moro, author provided

Although some forms of side sleeping can put some stress on the spine, side positions still generally seem to be better than the other options.

Which pillow should I choose

Choosing the right pillow is crucial for restful sleep.

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

Promisingly, the pillow material doesn’t seem to affect the spine. Instead, it’s all about shape and height. A U-shaped pillow can help you sleep longer, and a roll-shaped pillow can relieve morning pain and bedtime pain for people with chronic pain.

Unfortunately, science has not given us an answer as to what the optimal mattress is. Since everyone sleeps differently, this would be difficult to compare over the long term.

However, there are bad mattresses. If your bed is sagging, has lost its firmness, is developing noisy springs, or is showing significant signs of wear, you should change your mattress.

Turning the mattress can add to its longevity and improve comfort. This should be done at least once or twice a year.

More tips for a restful sleep

Set a cooler room temperature. The ideal sleeping temperature is 18.3℃ (between 15 and 19℃); Higher temperatures can interfere with sleep.

Allow some air circulation in the room. Not only does it bring nice, fresh air, but it also dissipates accumulated heat, keeping us comfortably cool at night.

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

Finally, be careful not to go to bed with a full bladder, as getting up at night to urinate can interfere with sleep.

https://wgntv.com/news/what-position-should-i-sleep-in-and-is-there-a-right-way-to-sleep/ What position should I sleep in and is there a “right” way to sleep?

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