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How to Sleep Better and Finding Your Best Sleeping Position

Mon, Nov. 20, 2017 Posted: 04:40 AM


When it comes to sleeping restfully and getting enough sleep, you must start with what your most natural sleeping position is. The reason is that the sleeping position dictates what type of mattress and pillow will suit that sleeping posture. Where one position might suit a firm mattress, another position would cause pain along the rib cage or spinal region when the bed and pillow aren’t suitable.
Let’s consider how you can improve your sleep so you wake well rested for the day ahead.

How Can You Sleep Better?

First, get the fundamentals right. If you’re staying up past midnight and hoping to wake up late morning feeling refreshed, you’re asking too much from your body. We need to sleep in the late evening until the early morning hours to follow our natural circadian rhythms to benefit from the most rest. Do anything other than that and the result will be less than optimal.

How Many Hours Sleep Do You Need?

Most people require 7-9 hours of sleep a night to feel good the next day. A few of us manage fine with 5 hours of sleep, but that’s highly unusual. People usually require less sleep the older they get with babies needing the most and pensioners needing the least. It’s not a good idea to force yourself to sleep more if your body doesn’t want to; deliberately sleeping 9 hours when you don’t need it isn’t good for you either.

What’s the Best Sleeping Position for You?

The best sleeping position for every person is different. While sleeping on the back is usually best for spinal support and maintaining good posture, the reality is that that position just doesn’t feel right to everyone. If you cannot sleep that way or will naturally move to a different position while sleeping, then your body is communicating to you what it needs.

Differences Between Sleeping Positions

When sleeping on your side, you’ll find the mattress supports the collection of muscles along the body and the spinal column above that. A firm mattress is a poor one for a side sleeper because it may hurt the rib cage while sleeping. A plush to medium-firm mattress provides enough support while allowing the side of the body to sink into the mattress a little for added comfort. Your pillow also needs to be higher than with a back or stomach sleeper to properly elevate the head and support the neck too or you’ll wake with a bad neck and be in pain all day.

Back sleepers tend to require a firmer level of support to align the spine correctly. The pillow should also be a shallow one or have a contoured design in an inverted “S” shape to support the natural curvature of the neck.

For stomach sleepers, a softer sleeping surface avoids the rib cage digging into the mattress. Again, the pillow should be lower and benefits from a plush sinking feeling, so that the head and neck are not at a bad angle for good sleep.

Getting the best night’s rest requires that you choose the right sleeping position for you and have a suitable bed and pillow that is comfortable with that posture. Once this is set up properly, then being able to turn out the lights completely helps to get a deeper level of REM sleep for the best result next morning.

Boris Dzhingarov