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How Sleeping Position Affects Your Health: A Complete Guide

How Sleeping Position Affects Your Health: A Complete Guide

Did you know that you can sleep your way to better health? It’s true. The way you sleep at night has a direct impact on the way you feel the following day. If you sleep in the wrong position, you’ll suffer needlessly. Here’s a guide to show how your sleeping position affects your health.

Sleeping on your back is like doing yoga

Students at Inspired Yoga in Washington, D.C., perform Corpse Pose, Monday, Sept. 14, 2009. Corpse Pose or savasana is used at the beginning or end of most yoga classes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam Baylor)
    Image via Flickr by aclintonb

    Are you familiar with the Savasana pose in yoga? Instructors have named it the death pose due to its resemblance to lying in a coffin. The underlying thought process is that people are most comfortable when they lie flat on their back. Yoga experts will tell you that Savasana will improve posture, reduce headaches, increase energy, and cure insomnia.

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    All these advantages are possible when you train yourself to sleep in this position. You will also enhance the strength and stability of your neck and spine, as long as you pick the perfect mattress. The explanation is that the primary purpose of a mattress is to do much of the work of the Savasana pose. It’ll shape your body as you sleep. The only downside to sleeping on your back is that it might be problematic for people with sleep apnea. Shop around and check out different mattresses that fit the needs of how you sleep. Once you’ve found one you think you may like, you can also read mattress reviews online to make sure that it is the right product for you.

    Sleeping on your stomach damages your neck

    Many people sleep on their stomachs several times a week, if not every night. That’s regrettable due to the lasting damage you can do to various parts of your body, particularly your neck. When you lie on your stomach for a long time, you place undue stress on the upper part of your body. You also constantly bend your unsupported neck the wrong way. It straightens your neck, which can cause a loss of sensation in your extremities in some instances. If your neck doesn’t curve, you’ll have to do exercises to fix the issues.

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    That’s not the only problem with sleeping on your stomach. You will also press down too much on your lungs, which can hamper your breathing. If you accidentally bruise a lung, you’ll suffer for weeks due to one bad night’s sleep. No matter how natural sleeping on your stomach might feel, you should avoid it at all costs.

    Sleeping on your left side is good for the heart

    woman lying in bed
      Image via Flickr by Lilmonster Michi

      Sleeping on your left side aids circulation and heart function, as well as keeping pressure off the liver, but did you know that most gynecologists recommend that women sleep on their left side while pregnant? They do this for several reasons. First of all, it’s the most comfortable sleeping position when carrying a child. You’ll find this is especially true as the size of your belly increases. Also, better circulation will provide the added benefit of delivering more nutrients to the baby via the placenta.

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      Sleeping on your right side increases acid reflux

      There’s one other reason to tend left. Most people change positions several times each night, which is better for your health anyway. If you fall victim to acid reflux, however, you should train yourself to go left whenever possible. By sleeping on that side, you reduce acid reflux due to the reduction in esophageal build-up. When you go right, you actually increase this issue, which makes insomnia and stomach discomfort more likely.

      Until now, you’ve probably not given a lot of thought to your sleeping position. Now that you’ve read some of the ways it can impact your health, you know that you should have a game plan each night when you go to bed. It should all start with picking the perfect mattress.

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      Featured photo credit: Seniju via flickr.com

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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