The importance of sleep in the life of humans is no longer to be proven, but what posture should be adopted to sleep better and recharge your batteries? Doctors give their recommendations.
Chinese doctors treating chronic low back pain have said that a poor sleeping position can cause this painful condition. “A night of bad sleep can derail all efforts,” they say, quoted by the Chinese daily newspaper The Global Times.
Sleeping on your side is very common, with some simply unable to fall asleep in any another pose. However, this position causes a prolonged rotation of the lumbar vertebrae of the spine. The torsion will cause pressure in the intervertebral disc, moving the pulpy nucleus in a certain direction and thereby causing a lumbar disc herniation.
Indeed, the lumbar muscles in this position cannot relax and, little by little, lose their elasticity, leading to changes in the structure of the lumbar vertebrae, which ends up causing pain, they explain.
Laying on one’s stomach isn’t any better, the head and neck are turned to one side and the muscles are very tense, which could cause cervical spondylosis and, indirectly, lower back pain.
The Chinese doctors did not contend themselves to only criticize one or another position but also cite two of the most relaxing sleep positions. Indeed, a correct position completely dissipates fatigue and relaxes the body while facilitating falling asleep. Everyone knows that the quality of sleep directly influences health, and the Chinese experts cite the best positions for complete relaxation.
The main thing is to choose an appropriate height of the pillow so that the neck is not bent.
“Place another pillow between your legs and flex your legs and knees about 130 degrees so that the spine forms a horizontal line and the muscles can be completely relaxed. While lying on your back, put the pillow under the knee joint. The head should rest at a moderate height and the neck supported by the pillow. That way the pelvis doesn’t lean too far forward and the lower back muscles can relax. ”
For side sleepers with one leg bent, it is recommended to raise the bent leg and arm.
Citing the popular belief that sleeping on the left side may compress the heart, the experts say that this position does not shift the weight of the body on it. This position is to be avoided only in patients with heart failure.
According to them, the main reason we turn around during sleep is to adjust the temperature of the skin and change bad posture to relieve muscle fatigue.
“At the same time, good sleep posture will build muscle memory which, even when you turn around, will return you to a healthier sleep posture,” they add.
Finally, before going to bed, it is strongly advised to avoid drinks that excite the nerves, such as tea and coffee, which will prevent the body from going into deep sleep and increase the frequency of rollovers and the risk of bad posture.
Mandell is currently working towards a medical degree from the University of Central Florida. His main passions include kayaking, playing soccer and tasting good food. He covers mostly science, health and environmental stories for the Scientific Origin.