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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

        A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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        Last Updated on November 19, 2019

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

        Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

        If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

        1. Create a Daily Plan

        Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

        2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

        Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

        3. Use a Calendar

        Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

        I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

        Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

        4. Use an Organizer

        An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

        These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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        5. Know Your Deadlines

        When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

        But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

        6. Learn to Say “No”

        Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

        Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

        7. Target to Be Early

        When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

        For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

        Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

        8. Time Box Your Activities

        This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

        You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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        9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

        Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

        10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

        Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

        You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        11. Focus

        Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

        Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

        Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

        12. Block out Distractions

        What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

        I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

        When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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        Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

        13. Track Your Time Spent

        When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

        You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

        14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

        You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

        Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

        15. Prioritize

        Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

        Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

        16. Delegate

        If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

        When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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        17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

        For related work, batch them together.

        For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

        1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
        2. coaching
        3. workshop development
        4. business development
        5. administrative

        I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

        18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

        What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

        One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

        While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

        19. Cut off When You Need To

        The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

        Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

        20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

        Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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