Ah, remember the good old days of sleeping in the bed undisturbed by spouses or children? For parents with babies & young children sleep is often broken & accompanied by extra bodies in the bed. We read all the time how important sleep is for us, but what does that really mean?
Sleep helps the body in so many ways. It’s a truly undervalued way of staying healthy. Sleep should be a priority every night rather than pushed back to get other things done.
There are a few factors that contribute to good sleep including the mattress we use & the position we sleep in. Not all sleep is created equal – I found the best & worst sleep positions for your health to share with you.
Benefits of sleep
Amazingly, studies show people who get the right amount of sleep live longer than those who don’t! Why could that be? Well, when we are asleep, the body does a lot of good repair work. Sleep helps…
- Boost the immune system
- The heart by reducing cholesterol & other issues
- Reduce stress
- Improve your memory – that explains why parents of infants don’t know what’s going on around them… I lived in a haze!!
- You lose weight – the best diet I ever heard of!
- You be in a good mood – agreed!!
How much sleep do we need?
It’s recommended by the sleep foundation that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to maintain their health. To do so it’s important to have a sleep routine that’s consistent, even on the weekends.
To help get to sleep with ease, have a comfortable temperature in the bedroom & a comfy mattress & pillow to sleep on. Turn off electronics & avoid caffeine or alcohol before bed.
If you’re a parent reading this, stop laughing now, please. I know – no alcohol is madness. As is the set routine, even on the weekends (we wish we could have a different routine on the weekends). As a parent, the routine is dictated by the littlest member of the household. End of discussion.
Type of Mattress
The amount of sleep, the position & the mattress all play big roles in achieving optimal sleep for health. There are so many different types of mattress & riser recliner chairs to choose from which would aid in sleep position, providing different benefits.
The main goal of the mattress is to support the body in a neutral position so that the spine has a nice curvature & the bum, shoulders, heels & head are supported in proper alignment, says Arya Nick Shamie, MD.
The best & worst positions to sleep in
Apparently, not all sleep is created equal! There are great, good & terrible positions to sleep in. The majority of the population has a back issue at some stage in life says the Medical Daily. Sleep positions can be the cause of back, stomach, neck problems & premature aging!! Here are the positions that are best according to the Medical Daily…
The Best Position: On your back, IF you don’t snore because it keeps the head, neck & spine aligned. Also, it stops acid reflux because the head is elevated above the stomach. AND, it leaves your face fresh to the air which reduces wrinkles.
Second Best: On your side. It’s best for pregnant women & those with back pain. The downsides of side sleeping are unwanted skin aging, one side of the face getting more wrinkles (the side touching the pillow) & saggy breasts. Sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn. Sleeping on the left side can place a strain on internal organs. I’m now rethinking my side sleeping routine…
The Worst Position: On your stomach. It doesn’t support the natural curve of the spine & places pressure on joints.
Second Worst: Fetal position (on the side with knees curled to chest). The shoulder & neck aren’t aligned in this position & again there is a strain on the joints.
Clearly, sleep is super important for us. It helps our body repair & refreshes itself for the day ahead. It’s not easy when you have little ones at home & are getting up multiple time at night. You can really feel the toll lack of sleep takes on the body.
As for the sleep position, I’m going to attempt the back sleeping after reading all the cons of side sleeping although I’ve been a side sleeper all of my life…it won’t be easy!
What are your thoughts on sleep? Do you have a preferred sleep position?
*In collaboration with Adjustamatic.