The quality of sleep is crucial for everyone’s well-being. In fact, a bad night will always result in a tense, bad day. And bearing in mind that we spend a third of our lives sleeping, making sure that everything is in order is a must.
Many health problems arise as a result of a bad sleeping posture and bad sleeping habits. This is why learning some things about improving your sleep quality will help you to fix those sleep-related problems. Here are some tips:
Waking up with a sore shoulder can ruin many plans you’ve made for the day. If this happens, it’s best advised to avoid sleeping on your side, especially the on the painful shoulder. Also, avoid sleeping on your stomach, as this posture misaligns your shoulders.
It’s best to lie on your back. Use a thin or orthopedic pillow, and place another pillow on your stomach and hug it. This way, your shoulders will maintain a correct and stable position.
If you don’t like sleeping on your back, lie on the side that’s not painful. Instead of placing your hand under your head, which makes for an unnatural position of the shoulder, draw your knees toward your chest and place a pillow between your knees.
Suffering from back pain means that your spine needs some relaxation that you can achieve by maintaining its natural curves during sleep. A very soft mattress will only go against this, so if you have one, it’s time to replace it.
Sleeping on your back is best for this. To reduce the tension in the tendons, place a pillow under your knees – this will also help you restore the natural spinal curves. For additional support, you could also try to place a small rolled towel under your lower back.
Sleeping on the stomach: If you prefer this posture, place a small pillow under your abdomen and pelvis to reduce the strain on your back.
Sleeping on the side: In this case, it’s most recommended to take the fetal position and place a pillow between your knees. This will help your spine maintain its natural position.
Neck pain relief requires a proper support to the neck during sleep.
The best option is sleeping on your back, with a pillow placed under your head and each arm. Pillow choice is crucial for people with neck pain. Going for orthopedic or roll pillows is the best option.
Sleeping on the side: if this is your preference, see to it that your pillow is not higher than 6 inches. The best way to know what pillow height is best for you is to match its width to the width of your shoulder.
Sleeping on the stomach: This is not the most recommended posture when it comes to neck pain, as sleeping with your head turned to one side will strain your neck. If you can’t help it, make sure you use the thinnest pillow you can find.
Can’t fall asleep
If you have trouble falling asleep, banish all screens before bedtime. The light from TV, phone and computer screens affects your sleep-wake cycles and this can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
Also, avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before going to sleep. This doesn’t only mean coffee – avoid energy drinks, black tea, and even soda and dark chocolate – as all these will keep you awake.
It’s best that you take up some kind of exercise in the morning and afternoon. Not only will it help to you tone your body, but it will also improve your blood circulation and improve your sleep quality.
Can’t stay asleep
If you often find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, avoid using your gadgets before going to sleep and avoid alcohol before going to bed. The alcohol in your body will disrupt the water balance in your body, and this will affect your sleep cycle.
Also, check your room temperature. The ideal sleeping temperature is 68-72 degrees (20-22 C). If it’s anywhere below or over this, do what you need to do.
Can’t wake up
Waking up on time can be a nightmare for many people. The biggest mistake one can make, though, is set several alarms in hope that they will work their magic.
However, going to bed with the thought that if you can’t bother waking up to the first ring, another one will follow, creates a mindset that doesn’t help out with waking up on time.
Instead, set only one alarm, keep it for all days of the week, and time your bedtime at least 7 hours before that. You need your sleep, and if you need to wake up early, it means that you need to go to bed early too.
Snoring is unpleasant for those around you, but it also affects your own sleep quality.
If you snore, avoid sleeping on your back. This position restricts the airflow because your tongue falls backward into your throat and the throat tissues sag.
Pillow choice is essential. Pillows that are overly soft can lead to your head tilting backward, and this will worsen your snoring. If you can’t help sleeping on your back, try elevating your head a few inches off the bed by using an extra pillow. This will stop your tongue from falling backward over your windpipe.
It’s best to sleep on your side. This will provide a natural and unrestricted airflow.
Do special exercises that will strengthen your throat and tongue muscles and thus reduce snoring. Here are a few you can try.
Almost 80% of people (regardless of age) suffer from them. Night leg cramps are more commonly related to some kind of disease, lack of trace elements, or nerve damage. If this happens to you often, it’s best that you talk to your doctor.
A good way to reduce the frequency of leg cramps is to stretch and strengthen your calf muscle. Trying yoga or doing some other exercise that could achieve this effect is recommended. You could also try massaging your legs before going to bed.
Heartburn: a common solution is sleeping on your left side. This prevents the stomach contents from traveling up the esophagus. Also, avoid eating heavy foods before going to bed.
Aching legs: in such case, elevate your feet by placing a pillow under them or raising them on the foot of your bed. This will relieve them from the venous blood which has accumulated in them and you will feel better.
You could also try lightly massaging or rubbing your feet before bedtime and you should avoid caffeinated drinks at least 6 hours before going to bed.
Following a healthy sleep pattern with the proper conditions met is part of a healthy lifestyle. And don’t forget: whatever problem you may be experiencing, consulting your doctor is always the best option.