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Sleep is something which is often neglected even though the science tells us that if we get too little or too much sleep then our bodies will suffer. We should aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night and here are a few tips.
Try to have a Routine: it is not always possible to go to bed at the same time each night, but if you follow the same routine pre-sleep, your body will be more ready.
Turn Off the Blue Lights: the stimulation of blue light from tv’s, computers and mobile devices should be stopped about an hour before bed.
Avoid Alcohol too close to bedtime as this prevents the body from entering the deep REM sleep cycle.
- Back Sleeping: for some, this is not a bad position particularly if the knees are propped up a little to ensure the natural curve of the spine. However, it is unsuitable for anyone with OA in the neck or sleep apnoea, and is more likely to encourage snoring.
- Tummy Sleeping: this position tends to aggravate low back problems and sleeping with the head rotated for extended periods can worsen neck conditions.
- Side Sleeping: this leads to fewer instances of neck, shoulder & arm pain than the other positions. The ideal side sleeping position includes using a pillow between the knees to keep the hips & pelvis level. There is also evidence that sleeping on the left side has other benefits (eg helps heartburn) & is the preferred position if you are pregnant.
- If you are changing your sleeping position, allow 4 weeks to adapt & use pillows to encourage the correct position.
- Swapping to the other side of the bed every 6 months alters your sleeping position which is good for you.
For information of choosing the pillows & mattresses see the blog here.