Am I Sleeping Right?

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Sleep is necessary. It gives your body time to rest, replenish itself, and get refreshed for another day. Your muscles, your brain, your vital organs, and even parts of your body such as your hair and your nails too benefit from sleep. Since sleep is crucial, you will notice consequences when your sleep is not up to par. You might, for instance, feel achy or tired throughout the day. It may be difficult for you to concentrate. Some people even experience digestive difficulties as a result of improper sleep habits.

In order to improve your health and boost your energy levels, you need to start sleeping better. Here are some of the factors you might be sleeping incorrectly:

Sleep Problem 1: Too Little or Too Much Sleep

You know the feeling: it’s an early morning, and it was a late night. Again. You’re not sure you’ll be able to stay awake through another long day. The problem is clear. You are not getting enough sleep. Your body does not have the time to replenish itself and rest, so you have no energy and don’t feel well.

There is another feeling too that you might have noticed. It’s 10am and you can’t seem to get out of bed. You went to bed early, put in a solid 10 hours of sleep, and somehow you’re still feeling sluggish. It is possible to get too much sleep, incidentally signaling to your body that it never needs to fully wake up.

Sleep Solution: Recommended Hours

On average, it is recommended that adults should sleep for 6 to 8 hours a night. Sleeping for less than 6 hours often has negative effects on your health. If you consistently sleep for more than 8 hours or the recommended hours, your health may also be jeopardized.

Sleep Problem 2: Poor Positioning

When you settle into bed, you probably have a position that you instantly huddle into. Some people automatically flip onto their stomach in order to fall asleep soundly. Others have a routine of twisting and turning until settling into a contorted position.

Whatever your case, you ought to be careful. The position you sleep in can be extremely harmful. As you sleep, your body settles into a resting mode, which means it isn’t working as hard to keep your vital systems going or to alert you of pain or strain. This means that if your sleep position is putting stress on your muscles or decreasing blood flow to your heart, you probably won’t know about it –until you wake up in the morning sore, stiff, or with heartburn.

Sleep Solution: Find the Best Position for Your Needs

Using pillows, you can train your body to sleep in healthier positions. For those who just don’t find side sleeping comfortable, the back is best because it strains very little and is unlikely to put pressure on your airways, vital organs, or digestive system. Just be sure to keep your head level with your body, as elevating it too much can make it harder to breath.

The one position you should avoid completely is stomach sleeping. Besides crushing your organs and making it hard for your body to circulate all that it needs to while you sleep, stomach sleeping seriously strains your back and neck muscles.

Sleep Problem 3: Disruptive Sleep Environment

Just because you can sleep with the lights on and music blaring in the next room doesn’t mean that you should. Many people, referred to as “heavy sleepers” find that they crash regardless of what is going on around them. If this is you, use caution.

When you sleep in a disruptive environment, your body gets less rest. You may have trouble reaching or staying in a deep REM cycle, which is necessary for your health. Even if you don’t remember it happening, it is likely that you will wake up several times a night, disrupting the natural sleep cycle, simply because something startled you.

Sleep Solution: Setting Up for Sleep

At bed time, shut the door. Turn off the lights. Be sure that you stop worrying, thinking, or entertaining yourself before you even get to the bedroom. Habits like these will signal your body that when you get into bed, all you plan to do is sleeping.

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