Fix Your Health Issues With Proper Sleeping Positions
If you’re struggling to live with a chronic condition, you already know that it can be a real challenge. Surprisingly, sometimes all it takes to deal with a recurrent health issue is a change in the way you sleep. Certain sleeping positions can treat or even resolve harmful health conditions. Here’s a guide to different positions that may help you cope with three very common problems.
The Problem: Back Pain
Back pain can develop into a serious problem when it gets severe enough. According to a study conducted by Dr. Damian Hoy at the University of Queensland, lower back pain is the number one cause of disability around the world. This is a chronic illness that can be both caused and relieved by the position you sleep in.
While anyone can experience back pain, your odds of feeling it increase as you get older. The good news is that back pain is one of the biggest motivators for changing your sleeping posture. Relieving back pain will result in fewer sleep interruptions and feeling more rested when you wake up.
Sleeping Positions For Back Pain
You should not sleep on your stomach if you’re having trouble with back pain. Stomach sleeping has been linked in multiple studies to recurrent lower back pain. Your sleeping position should keep your entire spine as straight as possible. This means that you should change your pillows if they currently push your neck into an angled position when you sleep.
Try sleeping on your side, with a thin cushion or pillow in between your knees. This keeps your hips straight and minimizes the amount of stress on your lower spine. Bend your knees just a little for comfort. Do not bend them too far as this may make your back too curved when you sleep.
The Problem: Acid Reflux / Heartburn
Heartburn is a health problem known by many names. It’s also called acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). No matter what you call it, heartburn can be an extremely painful issue. Chronic heartburn can cause insomnia (see below) and damage your stomach, throat and sinuses. You may find it difficult or impossible to eat certain foods if you have chronic acid reflux.
Sleeping Positions For Heartburn
The best change you can make to overcome heartburn is to start sleeping on your left side. This lets gravity help keep stomach acid where it belongs, not climbing up your throat. Sleeping on your left side also helps your lymphatic system work more efficiently. Your lymphatic system is responsible for purging toxins and it also regulates the acid in your stomach.
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You may also get good results from propping up your head when you sleep. This can be done with ordinary pillows, specially-made ones, or foam wedges. This study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that both alternate sleep positions are effective at reducing heartburn.
The Problem: Insomnia
Chronic insomnia is a problem millions of people face every night. The occasional sleepless evening isn’t much more than an annoyance, but missing too much sleep can have serious negative effects on your overall health . Long-term insomnia can even shorten your lifespan.
Insomnia is a complex enough problem that it can be caused by many different issues. The other health problems discussed above – acid reflux and back pain – may cause insomnia. Try the suggestions provided for them as well as the ones listed below.
Sleeping Positions For Insomnia
There are many different positions that can help prevent insomnia. Most of them work by preventing muscular strains and tensions which might cause late-night pain.
If you can’t sleep due to shoulder pain, try not to sleep with your head propped up on your arm. Instead, sleep on your side and extend both arms out in front of you. It may also help to hug a pillow to your chest.
If sinus problems are the root of your insomnia, you need to sleep on your side and elevate your head. This puts gravity on your side and helps to reduce congestion.
Neck stiffness often causes insomnia when it gets bad enough. The best sleeping positions for this give your neck extra support in a natural alignment. Try to sleep on your back. Use a pillow that lets you lie comfortably without tilting your neck up or down.
This is just a sampling of the sleep position changes you can make in order to deal with different health issues.A better night’s sleep – and relief from chronic problems – could be closer than you think!