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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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            Last Updated on June 19, 2019

            How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps

            How to Practice Positive Meditation in 2 Simple Steps

            Just by simply spending some effort and time, staying positive every day can be easily achieved. All that is required is a fraction of your time, 10-15 minutes a day to cultivate the positive you!

            But first, what is really positive thinking? Do you have to be in an upbeat, cheerful and enthusiastic mood all day to be positive minded?

            No. Positive thinking simply means the absence of negative thoughts and emotions – in other words, inner peace!

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            When you are truly at peace within yourself, you are naturally thinking positively. You don’t have to fight off negative thoughts, or search desperately for more positive thoughts. It just happens on its own. And here are 2 positive thinking meditation tips to empower you:

            1. Relax as You Meditate

            A powerful, simple yet rarely used technique is meditation. Meditation doesn’t have to take the form of static body posture. It can be as simple as sitting in a comfortable chair listening to soothing music. Or performing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises.

            Meditation is all about letting go of stressful or worrisome thoughts. That’s it! If you spend just a few minutes per day feeling relaxed and peaceful, you automatically shift your mind into a more positive place. When you FEEL more relaxed, you naturally THINK more positively!

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            Start with a short period of time, like 5 or 10 minutes a day. You can meditate first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, right before you go to bed at night, or any time. The most important thing is to consciously let go of unproductive thoughts and feelings. Just let them go for those few minutes, and you may decide not to pick them back up again at all!

            2. Practice Daily Affirmations

            Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day anywhere and at anytime you need them, the more you use them the easier positive thoughts will take over negative ones and you will see benefits happening in your life.

            What are affirmations? Affirmations are statements that are used in a positive present tense language. For example, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better and better” is a popular affirmation used by the late Norman Vincent Peale.

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            So how does one go about using positive affirmations in everyday life? Let’s look at some guidelines to follow when reciting your daily affirmations.

            1. Use first person pronouns in your message (I)
            2. Use present tense (I have)
            3. Use positive messages (I am happy)
            4. Repeat your affirmations on a consistent basis

            Affirmations have to be said with conviction and consistency. Start your day by saying your affirmations out loud. It wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to repeat your affirmations; yet when done consistently, these positive affirmations will seep into the subconscious mind to cultivate the new positive you.

            Here’s an example of a “success affirmation” you can use on a daily basis:

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            I am successful in everything I do. Every venture I get into returns wealth to me. I am constantly productive. I always perform to the full potential I have and have respect for my abilities.
            My work is always given positive recognition. I augment my income constantly. I always have adequate money for everything I require. I spend my money prudently always. My work is always rewarded.

            You can find more examples here: 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life

            Remember, affirmations work on the basis of conviction and consistency. Do yourself a favor and make a commitment to see this through.

            Begin practicing these positive thinking tips right now. And I wish you continued empowerment and growth on your positive thinking journey.

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            Featured photo credit: Jacob Townsend via unsplash.com

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