Have you ever awakened in the morning and your neck, back or even your legs hurt? Maybe you have found yourself tossing and turning all throughout the night.

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair
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Some people attribute restless sleep to a semi-conscious refusal to let go of the events of the day. Also, it has been said that during our REM sleep, you are reliving scenarios, resolving internal conflicts, and processing our emotions.
Restless nights have been attributed to bad mattresses, lesser quality of bed linen, and room temperature. So, we toss and turn. All of this may contribute to nighttime restlessness, but usually not body aches.

You go out and purchase new mattress sets, special pillows, new bed linen and even air conditioners or dehumidifiers. Yet, after you begin anew, you are still plagued with recurring ‘restless’ nights. But your morning body aches, even though you sleep through the night can’t be attributed to this.

For body aches, the first thing to consider is your physical selves. How is your body positioned when you sleep at night?  Identify your most perfect and comfortable position. Look for a position that is conducive to restful and body- aligned sleep. How do you find your perfect sleeping position?

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Science can help.

Do you sleep on your side? If so, you join the 41% of people who do. Is this the right position for you, though? Every sleeping position has its pros and cons. A 2011 study showed that people who don’t get enough sleep have a 48% greater chance of having coronary heart disease.
There is a sleeping position the experts agree upon, as best for your general health, but, once again, it may not be for you. If the way you sleep doesn’t cause you to wake with aches and pains, then don’t change it.
What you must do is to stop sleeping on your stomach. The Mayo Clinic found that this position causes back and neck pain, and puts pressure on your entire body. However, this position may help with digestion. If you must sleep this way, place a pillow under your stomach to reduce back pressure.
If you’re a side sleeper, that is great, but it depends on how you do it. In a 2003 study, the fetal position most often caused people to wake up with neck and back pain. If you sleep straight while on your side, it keeps your spine straight.This is a good way to reduce back pain, and if you sleep on your left side, that’s even better.
Sleeping on your left side allows for better circulation since the blood returns to the heart from the right side of your body. It means that certain blood vessels won’t get compressed while lying down.

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Sleeping on your left side also reduces heartburn you may get after waking up. On your right side, loosened muscles can bring up acid from your stomach and into your throat.
The key is to keep your spine aligned. In its natural position, your entire body feels better. Sleeping on your back, experts agree, is the best position if you are experiencing neck and back pain.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping on your back is not the best position because you’ll have trouble breathing. Sleep on your side. If not, the best position is sleeping on your back. Now sleeping on your back may be awkward at first, but you will adjust. Try to place a few pillows under your head to keep back and spine aligned. A study in China found that raisng your pillow higher will reduce neck and back pain.

woman sleeping
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Finally, if you have difficulty falling asleep, sniff some lavender. It has been known to relax the brain and falling asleep becomes easier. Here’s to a good night’s sleep!

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Published by JaDonnia

An education and counseling professional, I focus my expertise on diversity, inclusion and family engagement/empowerment Of particular importance is the partnerships between parents and the community schools that serve their children. Highlighting strategies, tips and evidence-based best practices for family engagement, my aim is to alter mindsets, broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and build capacity. Offering 'food for thought' and inviting discussion, I tell truths rarely explored-to both educators and families. A holistic culturally-responsive approach to teaching, learning and engaging others begins with respect. I promote respect and fully integrating curricular diversity in formal learning settings! Collaboration with families is necessary, because parents hold the master key that unlocks doors to child health and wellness, academic achievement, and believe it or not, teacher excellence and stronger school communities.

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