Your best sleeping position and pillow can be just a few simple steps away!
As we learnt from previous post, it is essential to get a good night sleep for our body to function at its optimum. We spend about one third of our lives sleeping, it is therefore very important to practice good sleeping posture.
For many sleeping is not as simple as lie down, close your eyes and go to sleep. If you are managing pain and injury, or having trouble to sleep, it might be beneficial for you to try and change your sleeping position habits. Changing from your usual sleeping position might be challenging at first but this is about finding the best sleeping position to suit you and your body best.
Starting from the most recommended sleeping position would be lying on your back. This position allows the neck, spine and back to be in neutral position. Choosing the best pillow with right height will support and slightly elevate your head above your body, easing conditions such as heart burn and post-nasal drip. This position is not recommended if you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring as it may worsen your condition. Pregnant women should also avoid this position as it is likely to put pressure on lower back and decrease blood flow to baby.
The next best sleeping position is by far the most common sleeping posture and it is side sleeping. This position is best suited for people suffers from neck and back pain. Patients with heart condition is advice to sleep on the right side, avoiding putting pressure on the heart while patients with heartburn is recommended to sleep on the left side. Useful tip is to put a pillow in between the knees and bend the knees up about 45 degree, decreasing spinal tension and allowing lumbar to be at neutral . Interesting side note, study suggested sleeping on side may increase wrinkles on the face as half of the face is pressed on the pillow the whole night.
A variation of side sleeping is fetal position where your body curl forward, bringing arms and bent knees together. This sleeping position might feel cuddly and secure, but it stretches the mid and lower back muscle, potentially causes back ache the next day. Fetal position is most recommended for pregnant mum as it supports the growing tummy.
The least favourable sleeping posture is sleeping on your tummy. This position forces the head to turn maximum to one side, putting stress onto the cervical spine and pressure on chest. Sleeping on stomach might also cause back aches and putting pressure on nerves, causing symptoms such as hand numbness, tingling and other nerve pain. It is best to slowly change your sleeping habit if you are a tummy sleeper.
Next is how to choose a pillow which suits your sleeping style. Side sleeper is recommended to use a firmer pillow with medium to large thickness so it can support the height difference between your head and shoulder while lying side way. Ideally when you lie on the side, your neck is aligned with the rest of your spine, without too much tilting up or down. Picking a pillow for back sleeper is easy too. All you need is a soft to medium pillow to slightly raise your head above the body.
So you think you might have found the best sleeping position and pillow? You can bring your pillow in and talk with one of our Wellness Directors to check it, and have a Wellness Assessment so you can know where your health is now, then plan for a great future.
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