Sleep. We all need it. Most of us aren’t getting enough of it. And it has a huge impact on our health. For something that seems so simple, sleep sure can be difficult! Whether you’re getting too much sleep, or too little sleep, it can lead to a variety of health issues. These issues range from obesity and heart disease, to dementia and diabetes! Furthermore, your sleep position plays a large part in your health. Read on to learn the pros and cons for each sleep position, 5 reasons why sleep is important, and how chiropractic can help!
Pros: Sleeping on your back can be beneficial for your back and neck health. Because sleeping on your back keeps the spine straight, this means it’s not forced into any odd positions. In an ideal, and likely unreasonable world, everyone would sleep on their backs without a pillow. This allows the mattress to do its job, and leaves the neck in a neutral position.
Back sleeping is also linked to fewer facial wrinkles. Since the face isn’t smooshed into a pillow all night long, the fresh air and no pillow pressure helps the skin stay young.
Cons: Unfortunately, snoring and sleep apnea are much more common amongst back sleepers. In fact, back sleeping is so closely linked to sleep apnea, that doctors often tell patients to sleep on their sides to treat the condition.
By sleeping on our backs, gravity pulls the base of the tongue to collapse in the airway, which obstructs breathing and creates snoring noises.
It’s also worth mentioning that in a study done that compared the habits of good sleepers and poor sleepers found that those who spent more time on their backs often had poorer quality sleep.
Pros: Did you know that the vast majority of people claim to be side sleepers? Doctors actually encourage sleeping on the left side during pregnancy because it helps improve circulation to the heart, benefiting mom and baby.
Side sleeping also helps reduce pressure on the lower back. It’s even been linked to easing heartburn and acid reflux.
Cons: While sleeping on the left side has its benefits, it also has its cons. It puts pressure on the stomach and lungs.
Sleeping on your side can also lead to arm-numbness. If you rest your head on a single arm, it can restrict blood flow and press down on nerves. This leads to the arm “falling asleep” or the painful pins and needles sensation.
Sleeping on your side also places a lot of pressure on the shoulders, which can lead to restricted neck and shoulder muscles.
Pros: Stomach sleeping can alleviate snoring and some cases of sleep apnea, but that’s pretty much the only positive to it.
Cons: Unfortunately, most experts agree that sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleep position for your health. It flattens the natural curve of the spine, putting immense pressure on the back. This can lead to serious lower back pain.
Sleeping on your stomach also means you sleep all night with the head turned to one side, straining the neck.
5 Reasons Why Sleep Matters
A great night’s sleep is about far more than getting your beauty rest. It’s very important for your health. Unfortunately, most people are now sleeping less than they did in the past, and overall sleep quality has decreased. Read on for 10 reasons why good sleep is important, and why you should make it a top priority!
1. Poor sleep habits can cause you to gain weight. Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain. In fact, this is one of the highest risk factors for obesity. Why? Not getting enough sleep can mess with your body’s hormones, motivation to recognize, and much more! One large review study found that kids and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese.
2. Quality sleep improves concentration and productivity. Sleep is important for great brain function. If you’re sleep deprived, your cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance all suffer. There are even studies that show that sleep deprivation is as detrimental to performance as alcohol consumption! Good sleep, however, is proven to enhance memory, improve concentration, and boost productivity.
3. Poor sleep quality is linked to a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. A review of 15 studies found that people who do not get enough sleep each night have a much higher risk of heart disease and stroke, than those who get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
4. Inadequate sleep is linked to depression. Many mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. In fact, 90% of patients suffering from depression report trouble sleeping. Quality sleep helps reset the mind and body!
5. Good sleep improves immune function. Have you ever noticed that during weeks you find yourself getting less and less sleep, you often get sick? That’s because even small losses of sleep are shown to hurt the immune system’s function. Making sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night is a great way to boost your immune system!
Healing Hands Chiropractic Can Help Promote Better Sleep Quality
For a variety of reasons, more and more people are not getting adequate sleep each night. Whether it’s due to spending too much time in front of a screen, staying up to watch just “one more” episode on Netflix, pain preventing sleep, or any other reason, it’s time for us to take sleep more seriously.
At Healing Hands Chiropractic, located in Murfreesboro, TN, we understand the powerful effects sleep has on the entire body’s function. Dr. Dee and her staff can help determine the best sleep position for your spine. They can also correct any subluxations in your spine that may be causing pain throughout your body that may be inhibiting your sleep.
Call Healing Hands Chiropractic today to schedule your consultation or appointment! We’d love to help you achieve your wellness goals. 615-203-3505.