We have all been there. You get tucked up in bed, fall into a nice deep sleep only to wake up with a dead arm, tight shoulder muscle and for some reason, you can’t turn your head to the left or right?
Well recently this has been happening pretty frequently to me which is why I started to do some research on the matter and I found that our sleeping position can actually cause neck pain, headaches, muscles cramps, tummy troubles and fatigue. Have you ever had that where you go to bed without a headache but wake up with one? This could be the reason why.
And I don’t know about you, but as soon as my neck or shoulder muscles become tense, tight and aggravated, it can cause a headache. So today I’m going to share with you the optimal positions for sleep and how you can make the switch to prevent a headache.
Optimal Position – On your back
Now I know this might not feel natural at first, but trust me, this position is the best position for your body by allowing the head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. This way there is no chance that you will wake up with a cricked neck and soreness. Although be aware, if you snore, you might be in for a noisy night.
Position 2 – On your side
This again feels a bit more natural to most of us, seeing as though it resembles the fetal position in some way. The aim in this position is to keep your legs as straight as possible because it helps to ward off back and neck pain. Avoid your loose arm tucking in and hunching over so that your shoulders don’t end up tight and tense when you wake in the morning.
Position 3 – In the fetal position
A whopping 41% of us choose to sleep in this position, due to the fact that it resembles all those months that we spent in the womb. This position, if tucked up with your chin into your chest, shoulders hunched over and your knees up high to your chest for long periods of time can cause soreness, so try to avoid this posture if possible.
Position 4 – On your front
And here is your enemy, sleeping on your front. As much as it may seem comfortable at the time, it commonly leads to back and neck pain the morning after. Additionally, it can irritate nerves and put pressure on muscles and joints. Avoid, avoid, avoid at all costs friends.
So after learning all of the above, it was no wonder that I was waking up with a headache, considering the fact that I was spending most of the night on my front or in the trusty fetal position.
Ok, so how can we change this?
Well, the position that we choose to sleep in is actually just a habit, and as with any habit in life, it can be changed. It just needs patience and practice.
I began using cushions as a gentle reminder to keep me on my back. I placed one horizontally on my left and right side so in the night so when I went to turn over, I had this gentle reminder to stay where I was. I used this for several nights and it really helped. I have also read that you can tape a ball to your breast bone, so that that you feel it dig in every time you try to roll over. A little extreme I thought but maybe worth a try if you are a deep sleeper.
For the first few nights I have to say I slept very lightly because I was conscious that I was trying to change this habit, but a few nights later my sleep returned back to normal and since then I haven’t woken up with a sore shoulder or cricked neck so it must be working.
I’d love to hear how you get on with this and if adjusting your sleeping position has helped you and your headaches? Feel free to leave me a comment below.
#Headaches #Sleep #Habits #Healing #Health #Migraine