To power through the day, excel in professional tasks, complete several household chores and engage in intense workouts, getting ample rest the night before is rather important.
And in the present era of the 21st century, people across all age groups are expected to achieve great feats. What with the high levels of competition existing in every field of work and study, providing relaxation to the body and mind is very crucial. Sleep, is therefore, as important an aspect of lifestyle, as diet and exercise.
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Ensuring deep, uninterrupted sleep not only increases productivity, but also confers numerous other fabulous benefits for overall health. These include enhancing immunity, averting chronic diseases, promoting metabolism, improving stamina, as well as elevating brain functions, memory and concentration. Also Read: Kadha: Brew These Traditional Concoctions Right Now, To Boost Immunity And Fight Infections
The Sleep Cycle:
The sleep cycle is defined as an oscillation between the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) or paradoxical and NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) or slow-wave phases of rest. It is also referred to as the sleep-dream cycle, the REM-NREM cycle or the ultradian sleep cycle.
It consists of five distinct stages, wherein the first four, namely drowsiness, light, moderate, deep sleep, all fall under the NREM cluster and the final one i.e. dreaminess, is classified in the REM category.
The entire sleep cycle takes between 1 – 2 hours to complete and approximately every 90 minutes or so, the rotation repeats. As a result, humans go through many rounds of the sleep cycle during the night.
Health Issues Arising Due To Insufficient Sleep:
Healthcare providers and physicians across the globe recommend 7 – 9 hours of sleep daily for adults while advising that children and teenagers get much more. This is because sleep deprivation causes various short-term health concerns, besides leading to grave consequences in the long run.
These consist of rapidly ageing skin, a decline in memory, persistent hair loss, decreased sexual drive, erratic mood swings, untimely eating habits and episodes of insomnia. Also Read: Ayurveda For Insomnia: Time-Tested Therapies For A Good Night’s Sleep
Moreover, a constant lack of sufficient sleep makes people quite prone to acquiring serious illnesses late on in life, such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and dementia.
It comes as no surprise then, that how long a person sleeps, apart from in what way they doze off, influences their wellbeing. Doctors and medical researchers recommend lying down in certain positions, to assure improved sleep quality and prevent health-related problems of snoring, back pain, indigestion, apnea and heartburn.
Read on, to discover some excellent tips to attain sound sleep, sans any disturbance, in a comfortable manner.
5 Best Sleep Positions For Enriched Overall Wellness:
On The Back
Lying flat on the back guarantees a strong and healthy spinal structure, besides preventing acid reflux and digestive disorders. In this position, body weight is distributed uniformly in a lengthwise manner. Also, the head, neck and spine are evenly aligned in a straight line. Inserting a pillow beneath the knees further reduces joint aches, muscle strain and hip pain.
Towards A Side
Sleeping facing one side helps to maintain the nasal passage exposed to the outside environment, thereby keeping the airways, tubular pathways to lungs wide open. This ensures smooth respiration and eases breathing, averting instances of obstructive sleep apnea, snoring and gastrointestinal ailments. Having a pillow in between the knees supports the muscles of the spine, hips and pelvis.
This is the most popular sleeping position, which features conveniently bending the upper body or torso and curling up the legs, whilst laying on a side. This sleeping stance is especially recommended for pregnant women, as well as people with spinal cord complaints such as low back pain, sciatica and herniated disc, as it lowers pressure on the spine.
On The Front
Usually, lying flat on the stomach is regarded as an improper way to fall asleep, due to uneven levels of the head, neck and spine. However, as quite a few people prefer to go to bed in this pose, doctors suggest keeping a cushioned pillow in the region of the lower abdomen, to raise the hips and provide a parallel alignment with the body.
Falling asleep on the back, at a slight angle to the hips and legs, provides immense pain relief to people suffering from spondylitis, neck sprain and stiffness in the shoulder muscles. Placing a thick pillow under the head, as well as the upper back, ensures a straight arrangement of the entire body, balancing the curvature of the hips and alleviating aching in joints.