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Why Poor Sleeping Posture Should Be Blamed For Annoying Morning Headache

Why Poor Sleeping Posture Should Be Blamed For Annoying Morning Headache

Have you ever woken up with one of those headaches that just won’t shift? You start to eliminate all the possible causes but can’t quite think what it could be. The answer could be the way that you sleep.

Getting to the crux of your morning headaches is necessary to increase the quality of life since some headaches can be stubborn and in turn, they can affect your productivity and mental well-being.

A study published recently says 1 in 13 people have suffered from morning headaches despite not drinking alcohol and drinking enough water the day before. Our sleep patterns are vital for overall health and well-being so waking with a morning headache could well be a sign that you need to take note of the position you sleep in as well as how long for.

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How Sleeping Positions Affect Us

Our bodies adapt quickly to the positions we adopt. This is why posture is so important because by having bad posture, the muscles are adapting to a position that is not supporting your spine or neck. While we’re sleeping, the muscles don’t need to work as hard to support us since we’re lying down. However, they are still adapting to the position we choose to sleep in for 8 hours and eventually tighten up.

The Foetal Position

foetal-position-sleep-back-pain-13102011

    The most common sleeping position that most of us find easy to fall asleep in, is the foetal position. Curling up is actually the opposite of what we’ve been trying to do during the day which is keeping our backs straight and aligned. While it may seem comfortable, this position forces our heads down and shoulders forward, getting tucked upwards and in causing tension in the neck. If we stay in this position for too long during sleep, the muscles in our neck tense up and get locked.

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    Lying On The Stomach

    lying-on-stomach

      This position, although straightening your back, forces your head and neck to twist at an unnatural angle again causing tension in the muscles around your neck. While it may increase the flexibility of one side, it will tighten up the other resulting in neck ache and tension headaches when you wake up. This position is also not ideal for your lower back which all adds up to tension up the spine and into the neck.

      In addition, placing your arm over your head while sleeping on your stomach results in circulation being cut off due to pressure on the collection of nerves of the brachial plexus and the brachial artery. This disrupts regular blood flow around your body including your head and neck.

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      Lying On Your Back

      sleeping-on-back

        The best position to sleep in is to lie on your back. While this is quite a difficult position for some people to adapt to, it not only keeps your spine straight all the way up to your neck, but it keeps the muscles in the correct position allowing sufficient support and a neutral posture for optimal blood flow. This ‘corpse’ alignment promotes a healthy posture that continues from day into night.

        This position isn’t for everyone, however. Those with sleep apnoea and problems snoring can find sleeping on their back aggravating for these conditions and this, in turn, affects sleep quality. In this instance, sleeping on the side of the body as straight as possible, making sure the neck is not elevated too much by your pillow, will be the best alternative and promotes better neck health.

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        Tossing And Turning

        If you find you’re tossing and turning a lot in the night, this is because the curled positions you sleep in are causing muscles to tighten and blood flow to be cut off. The feeling of discomfort results in you changing positions regularly – usually from one curled up side to the other. This is a good indication that you should attempt to sleep on your back to eliminate the chance of chronic morning headaches.

        Try sleeping with a pillow that allows your neck and back to be straight and aligned. Also, try placing a pillow underneath your knees to prevent you from turning over onto your side. If you find you wake up with that dull, annoying headache each morning, adopt this position and see if it makes a difference.

        Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via static.pexels.com

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        Jenny Marchal

        Freelance Writer

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        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

        1. Breathe

        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

        2. Loosen up

        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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        3. Chew slowly

        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

        4. Let go

        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

        It’s not. Promise.

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        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

        5. Enjoy the journey

        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

        6. Look at the big picture

        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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        Will this matter to me…

        • Next week?
        • Next month?
        • Next year?
        • In 10 years?

        Hint: No, it won’t.

        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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        8. Practice patience every day

        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

        Final thoughts

        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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