If every human got their recommended 8 hours of sleep a day, over the course of a lifetime, they will sleep over 230,000 hours, or in other words, 1/3 of their lives. Since 1/3 is a significant chunk, it is important to take the art of sleep seriously. Did you know that lack of sleep can actually raise the sensation of hunger by 25%? That you can actually shorten your lifespan by sleeping under or over 7-8 hours daily? Believe it or not, humans are more likely to die from sleep deprivation than from starving. It takes 2 weeks to starve while it only takes 10 days of no sleep to kick the bucket. With that being said, developing healthy sleeping habits plays a big role in your overall wellness and outlook on life. Additionally, sleep medications have been shown to help those with chronic sleep issues and sleep disorders.
The three main sleeping positions include sleeping on your side, back, or stomach. According to doctors, sleeping on your side ensures the most comfortable rest and less of a likelihood of interrupted sleep. Though there are several variations of side-sleeping, the most comfortable position involves bending your knees slightly upwards towards your chest. If you have a troublesome back, you might consider placing a pillow between your legs, which works to alleviate pressure on the hips and lower back area.
Sleeping on your back might actually contribute to lower back pain and as well as episodes of apnea (shallow or stunted breathing while sleeping) which interferes with normal sleep and restfulness. If you prefer to sleep on your back, it is advisable to try placing a soft pillow or rolled up towel under your knees to facilitate the natural curve of the spine.
Out of the three main sleep styles, sleeping on your stomach is the least healthy because it places a strain on your lower back and increases the likelihood of neck pain. Stomach sleepers are advised to not use a pillow, and some are advised to never sleep on their stomachs at all. A helpful tip for stomach sleepers is to place a pillow under the hips to take stress off of your lower back and neck.
Research says that if you make an effort to stop using all technology 30 min before bed, you’re better off. As it turns out, the light from screens like cell phones and computers blocks melatonin that helps you fall asleep. Also, do your best to discontinue all forms of caffeine after 3:00pm. We have a tendency to “binge” on sleep when given the opportunity, but oversleeping can affect health just the same as under sleeping. Do your best to sleep only one hour longer during the weekend (or your day off) than you would on a normal day.
For those that have chronic problems with falling or staying asleep, a serious sleep disorder could be the issue. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and others can impact the quality of sleep and could impact your health. Consider contacting your doctor about your issues with sleep. Your doctor may prescribe a sleep medication that could help you manage your sleep disorder.
So remember, quality and quantity when it comes to sleep. Think about how you position yourself, invest in a decent mattress and pillow, always get the recommended amount of sleep for your day and reach out to your doctor if you are having persistent issues with your sleep. It’ll pay off when you’re living longer and enjoying your days much more fully after a goodnight’s sleep. Visit our Sleep Conditions page for more information and to print or download a free discount for popular sleep medications.