They say there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep for a fit and healthy body. A good night’s rest optimizes health and well-being and this in turn impacts your state of mind, your activeness and your overall perception of the world around you.
All of us know that sleep is important, and based on the way the body functions, it is easy to fall asleep, than be awake most times. Yet, a majority of the population has a problem with getting optimal sleep, resting for sufficient hours each day, enough to ensure that the body is rested and good to go.
While stress, tension and other day-to-day activities can interrupt sleep to a major extent, one lesser known factor that can affect it, is the position we sleep in. There are side-effects of certain sleeping positions as well. Considerable research has shown that, how we sleep and for how long, can provide important clues to our mental and physical health and individual personalities.
Sleep positions have been found to be at the root of many physical and emotional problems, and many a times, they go un-identified and un-diagnosed.
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Different Sleep Positions:
Sleeping on the Back – While sleeping on the back is not the most common position adopted; it is definitely the most beneficial. While sleeping on your back, your head, neck and spine are in a neutral position, minimizing acid reflux symptoms. This position also prevents facial wrinkles, since the face is not pushed up against a pillow.
On the downside, sleeping on the back, can lead to snoring in some people. A New York Times survey had found about 54% of snorers to be ‘positional snorer’s’, which meant that they snored only while on their backs.
Sleeping on the Side – Side sleeping ensures a neutral spine, reduces snoring and acid reflux, and is much more comfortable. This position however, may induce neck and shoulder pain if the hand is placed under the head.
Sleeping in a Foetal Position – This position when used for long durations, may also give rise to aches and pains. This position is best during pregnancy, but bad for the skin.
Sleeping on the Stomach – Stomach sleeping is a position that many of us inadvertently practice, but can be very bad for sleep and health in the long run. It distorts the natural curve of the lower spine and can even affect the neck and lungs, therefore breathing.
Besides the obvious physical problems that an incorrect sleeping position can cause, the position you adopt can also reveal important clues about your personality. Professor Chris Idzikowski of the UK’s Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, had this to say about different sleep patterns:
The Foetus: Sleeping in this position, shows you are tough on the outside but have a soft heart. It also reveals your shyness around people.
The Log: People sleeping on their sides with legs and arms straight are easy-going and social, but may be easily fooled.
The Yearner: Side sleepers with outstretched arms make slow decisions but are resolute. They are also open in nature.
The Soldier: Lying flat on the back with arms at the sides, these sleepers are reserved people and generally shy and quiet.
Sleep is extremely important. Make sure you get adequate amount of sleep. Insomnia over the time is difficult to cure and can create problems in the long run. Try the healthy sleeping positions to get a good night’s rest. Make sure you find the proper way to sleep. Get at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep every day and wake up fresh to start the new day.