The recommended amount of sleep for healthy adults is between seven to nine hours every night. If we are being completely honest though, how often do we achieve that especially if we are part of the working class or are trying to raise a family? More often that not, we are lucky to get six hours in and tell ourselves we would “catch up” over the weekend.
Nevertheless, we spend a big chunk of our lives sleeping – about a third of it, actually. Because of this, it is no wonder that the time we spend sleeping and our sleep posture both affect our overall health and may cause problems when not given enough importance. Quality sleep is essential for our body to recuperate, repair, and detoxify from the day-to-day activities we put it through.
The Importance Of Sleep
Sleep puts our whole being on standby mode, and helps our mind and body recharge. Constantly not getting a healthy amount of sleep can cause our immune system to become too weak to fight off diseases and prevent our brain from functioning properly. Following the recommended amount for your age group allows for overall good health, top performance, a refreshed and alert mind, and a proper mental and emotional state.
Dr. Jonathan Lubetzky, director of Sleeping Better Clinic in Melbourne, claims that getting good quality sleep is the most important thing you should look to achieve in a day. He explains that, as sleep is the activity for our body to recuperate and is our built-in healing mechanism, we must then ensure that this healing mechanism functions well enough by providing it ample, quality time. Without it, physiological stress builds up and causes illnesses to arise.
The Best Sleeping Position
Now that we know the importance of quality sleep, the next step is to determine a big factor in achieving it: your sleep posture.
The Fetal Position. This is one of the most popular sleeping positions and it has multiple benefits such a reducing lower back pain, lessening instances of snoring, and alleviating discomforts in pregnancy. However, you must ensure your posture is loose, otherwise this position could limit your breathing and cause soreness when held too tight.
On Your Stomach. This position is least recommended and most problematic as it causes a misalignment of your shoulders and neck. This adds pressure on your muscles and will usually lead to strain.
On Your Side. This is the second best position because either side you tilt to, your head is slightly elevated and keeps your shoulder at the right height to naturally align with your neck. This ensures it is not bent in such a way that can most likely cause a strain and lead to neck or back pain.
On your back. This is the best position you can sleep in and it offers the most health benefits, Back sleepers enjoy better spine protection and hip / knee pain relief. This position uses gravity to keep your spine evenly aligned and reduce any pressure on your joints and back. This position would be even better with a pillow below your knees to support the natural curve of your back.
Tips For Better Sleep
- A regular sleeping and waking up schedule to develop a healthy body clock.
- Try to go to bed before midnight.
- Get comfortable pillows and a mattress that provides good back support.
- Avoid drinking caffeine by mid afternoon.
- Let your mind rest before sleeping by keeping away from work and electronics.
- Keep your electronics far from your bedside to avoid electromagnetic fields.
If you are suffering from back pain its worth checking out some of our best posture correctors. They are a fantastic tool to help realign the spine and decrease mucel and joint pain in and around the neck & back.