You must have heard your doctor tell you that your body must maintain the right posture at all times if you’d like to avoid health issues and age happily as the days go by. What you probably don’t know is that you need to maintain the posture even when you’re asleep, as that too can have a huge impact on your life.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, almost 31 million Americans experience back pain and predicts almost 80% of people suffer back pain at least once in their lives. Even your mental health and emotional well-being is affected by this practice of yours. Just follow some of the tips that we’ve specified below, and you shall start feeling the difference soon enough.
Here are six ways to improve your posture while sleeping:
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1. Don’t sleep on your stomach:
The best way to sleep is to sleep on your back or your side. Mayo Clinic claims that when you sleep on your stomach, your spine is not in a neutral, resting position and this creates unnecessary stress on your neck, back and muscles.
Place a pillow below your pelvis or the lower abdomen to comfortably ease into the habit of sleeping on your side or your back.
2. Get a good mattress:
We cannot stress the importance of a good mattress enough. Doctors have been asking their patients since time immemorial to ensure that they invest in a good quality mattress. Even if you’re sleeping in the right posture, you’re causing significant harm to your precious body if you do not sleep on a good mattress. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll in 2011 and found that 92% of people have agreed to the fact that a good night's sleep goes hand in hand with a comfortable mattress.
On an average, after about seven years mattresses become too lumpy and uncomfortable. If you don’t have the money to buy a new one, we suggest that you keep flipping it over often. Another idea is to place a plywood between the mattress and the box spring so that it gets added support and gives you a firmer surface to sleep on.
3. The pillow that you use is important:
The pillow that you use is almost as important as the mattress that you sleep on. The wrong pillow can prevent you from sleeping well and also cause problems in the neck if used for a prolonged period.
Ensure that your pillow is neither too thick nor too thin and should provide enough support to your neck to keep it neutral as you sleep peacefully. According to a study, the height of the pillow that offers that offers the best alignment is 4 inches.
Several people have the wrong habit of placing the pillow under their shoulders. This is not the right position, and you must ensure that the pillow is placed under your head or your neck so that you are well protected and comfortable during your sleep.
Pillows are not just about being placed under the head, but can help you out in other ways. If you are now aware of the fact that you need to change the way you sleep and are wondering how to go about it, let us tell you that pillows can be very helpful to help you understand it.
For example, if you wish to sleep on your sides, remember to keep two pillows behind your back so that you don’t roll over while you’re sleeping. If you’re trying to sleep on your back, then place a pillow below each arm and on either side of the torso, so that it supports you and helps you maintain that posture.
To choose the correct pillow, you should consider factors like body size, your sleep positions and health conditions.
Did you check out our guide on Best Posture Corrector Reviews in 2017?
4. The temperature of the room makes an impact:
While sleeping in the right posture is important, your room temperature also plays an important role in giving you a good night’s sleep. You might not realise it beforehand but sleep is important if you want to be focused on your chores the following day.
Not sleeping well can also take a toll on your emotional and physical health in the long run. So to get some peaceful sleep, check the temperature before you doze off. According to most studies, humans sleep comfortably around 18 degrees Celsius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Check your posture throughout the day:
While your posture during sleep can have an impact on your waking life, your posture when you’re awake can have an impact on your sleep as well. Sit straight against the wall and ensure that your shoulder blades and the back of your head are touching the wall. According to a study by Dutch scientist Erik Peper, we are more susceptible to positivity when we sit up straight.
If you’re feeling unnatural in this posture, it is an indication that you need to check your posture. Throughout the day, ensure that you stand, sit and walk with your head held high and your shoulders back. What is the use of sleeping in the right posture if you’re not going to check your posture while you’re awake?
6. Walk and stretch before you sleep and after you wake up:
To get a good night’s sleep, you also have to keep a few things in mind when you’re awake. If you have spent most of your day sitting, then taking a walk before hitting the bed is a good idea. This is because sitting around for a long time causes your pelvis to move forward which might prevent you from sleeping well.
Similarly, stretching your muscles and rotating your shoulders can also be a good way to start the day. Even if you sleep in the right posture, keeping these things in mind and practising them keeps your posture in check throughout the day.
Some more things to keep in mind:
You should know a few tricks so you can sleep well on your side or your back.
• Side sleepers must place a pillow between the knees to maintain the right space and posture of the hips. Your spine should be straight.
• Back sleepers must place a pillow under their knees as this helps them reduce the strain on their lumbar spine and keeps their backs straight as they sleep.
• Stomach sleepers need to change their posture as soon as possible. However, while they’re still in this habit, they must place a pillow beneath their hips so that their lower backs remain neutral.
You spend almost one-third of your life sleeping. So, it only makes sense to ensure that you sleep in the right posture so that your physical and emotional well-being are taken care of.
Remember the above-mentioned ideas and if you realise that your sleeping posture needs to be corrected, do take proper measures. We are sure that you will sleep and feel better sooner than you expect.