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The 5 Best and Worst Sleeping Positions

The 5 Best and Worst Sleeping Positions

Some days, we wake up feeling limber and well rested, and other days we wake up with aches and pains. These differences can be attributed to our sleeping positions. While it’s difficult to control our sleeping habits once we’re asleep, it’s possible to prime yourself for a good night’s sleep by starting out in the right position. Similarly, bad positions can have a negative effect on your health and the quality of your sleep.

Here are the 5 most common sleeping positions, ranked from best to worst by award-winning Colorado chiropractor Dr. Aaron Casselman.

1. On your side

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    Many specialists consider sleeping on your side to be the best option. It doesn’t strain any parts of your body, and is comfortable for people who experience pain in their joints throughout the day. The most common variation of this sleeping style is to sleep with the legs bent slightly, bringing the knees in towards the chest. Curling slightly like this is especially comfortable for people who have a bad back, because bringing the knees up and in can help stretch the muscles in your back. As long as the position isn’t overdone (see item number 4!), this slight stretch can ease an aching back without contributing or adding to any pre-existing back problems.

    2. On your back with your arms at your sides

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      This position alleviates tension in the spine and neck (as long as you don’t overdo it with the pillows). Make sure, when you’re on your back, that your head is supported but not tilted too much. Too much of an angle can cause neck pain, which defeats the purpose of this sleeping position! The downside to this position is that it is often accompanied by snoring. This sleeping position is also not recommended for people with sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back also has beauty benefits. For instance, sleeping on your back keeps your face away from your pillow, which can have dirt and oils from your skin on it, which can contribute to acne. Also, sleeping with your face away from the sheets can help keep wrinkles at bay.

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      3. On your back with your arms raised

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        Also known as the “starfish position,” this has the same benefits as sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides. However, it can lead to snoring, and having your arms raised above your head for a considerable length of time can lead to shoulder pain in the morning. If you often sleep like this, you might attribute aches in your shoulders and upper back to the way you’re sleeping.

        4. Curled up

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          Some people prefer sleeping on their sides, but instead of slightly bending their legs, they bring them all the way to their chests. This fetal position can feel comfortable at first, but it can cause neck pain and restrict breathing throughout the night. This can also be too much of a stretch in your back, which could lead to back pain in the morning. If you do like to stretch your back out, consider doing some stretches before bed. This might help you stay away from this sleeping position.

          5. On your stomach

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            This is widely considered to be the worst position to sleep in. It strains the neck and can cause serious pain in the morning. Sleeping on your stomach can also restrict breathing because the mouth and nose are both partially covered by the pillow. This position can also strain the vertebrae at the base of the neck after just a few minutes — imagine what hours of sleeping in that position can do!

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            Featured photo credit: z Q via flickr.com

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            Maggie Heath

            Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on September 25, 2019

            How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

            How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

            As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

            When we were still children, our thoughts seemed to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

            Just imagine then, how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power!

            We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities.

            We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

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            We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb.

            We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits.

            And we’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head…

            But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

            So, how can we tap into the power of positivity?

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            “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

            It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are 4 simple yet powerful ideas on how you can get started.

            1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

            Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

            Just take a look at these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

            2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

            This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

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            You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty.

            If you seek it, you will find it.

            3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

            This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what really is important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

            Here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life that can inspire you.

            4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

            How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking.

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            Instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

            Learn from this article how to change your mental images: How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

            If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

            And remember:

            You are (or will become) what you think you are.

            This is reasonable enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

            More About Staying Positive

            Featured photo credit: Lauren Richmond via unsplash.com

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