“In which positions can I sleep, and in which I can’t (and why)?”

“After sleep, I often encounter a feeling of weakness, spasm of the neck muscles, and during the day I often suffer from dizziness, I observe a deterioration in memory and attention. At some point I realized that this is largely due to the poses I choose for sleeping. Can you tell me which poses are most conducive to good sleep and maintaining health, and which ones are better to give up?”

Reader marieclaire.ru, 24

Specialist’s response:

Sleep is a rest, and you also need to be able to relax. Mood and well-being in the morning directly depend on how you slept last night.

A quality night’s rest is possible if a number of conditions are met: the room is well ventilated and cool, there are no unnecessary sounds and noises, the room is dark, and the place to sleep is equipped with an orthopedic mattress and pillow.

The absence of an orthopedic pillow leads to straightening of the physiological bend in the cervical region (lordosis), and this is already fraught with displacement of the vertebrae and the development of degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs. The need to select the right pillow is not a fairy tale at all, as is osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Sleeping positions: which ones are better to give up?

As for sleep postures, the most harmful option for a night’s rest is sleeping on your stomach. This situation leads to twisting of the carotid artery (long live the lack of oxygen in the blood). In addition, due to the incorrect position of the neck, our throat is squeezed, which makes it difficult to breathe, reduces the volume of the lungs and chest.

If the stars have come together like that, and you feel maximum comfort in this position, then before you finally go to the kingdom of Morpheus, you need to have time to pull out a large pillow from under your head. In this situation, sleeping without support for the neck is permissible, but it is still recommended to place a thin pillow under the head. Similarly, you can put something small under the pelvis. Upon awakening, it is recommended to do stretching to relax the muscles and get rid of numbness in some parts of the body.

From the point of view of psychology, such a pose speaks of extreme fatigue. Falling asleep on our stomach, we seem to be protected from the outside world and its endless problems. We try to fall asleep as soon as possible, we protect our rest from aggressive attacks.

All of us have ever fallen asleep sitting down, not even imagining what harm we are doing to our musculoskeletal system. In this position, the muscular corset relaxes, and the load on the lumbar discs increases. There will be no recommendations here — you just can’t sleep like that.

Poses for a comfortable and healthy sleep:

  • Sleeping on your side is probably one of the most useful options. When you sleep on your left side, the symptoms of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases, as well as apnea, are smoothed out. For pregnant women and snoring people, this pose is just a godsend!

  • For the most effective “side” sleep, it is necessary to take into account the following nuances: in this position, the back muscles relax, but for this you need to keep your posture, as well as during wakefulness. Also, between the knees, in the upper third of the thighs, you need to place a thin pillow to relieve tension from the back and legs.

  • The embryo pose, which, by the way, we remember from “prenatal times”, is also quite popular. It is very convenient. According to research, we often accept this position unconsciously, because this is how we feel safe. But our lower back has the opposite opinion, unless, of course, we take the right position. In order for sleep to be pleasant, and in the morning there was no broken state and painful sensations in various parts of the spine, it is recommended to put your legs a little lower — the knees should not form an acute angle with the trunk. Do not curl into a ball too intensely: in other words, do not allow a feeling of tightness in the diaphragm, otherwise breathing problems cannot be avoided.

  • The posture on the back is also favorable for sleep. We can say that this position is the most natural, because the arms, shoulders, legs are not squeezed, vessels and nerves are not squeezed and function properly. The load on the neck in this position is reduced, which means that you can do without overstressing this part of the spine.

  • The so-called pose of the tin soldier indicates the presence of problems and worries that do not let you go even during rest. People who are prone to snoring should remember that sleeping in this position can lead to even stronger snoring. Apnea is a categorical contraindication to night rest on the back.

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