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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 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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