When you’re a mom, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night is very rare. Unfortunately, a full night of shut eye is extremely important for our health. It can improve memory, lift moods, ease stress and is good for the heart. On the other hand, there are several factors (besides kiddos) that can keep us from getting good sleep including, stress, anxiety, using our phones in bed, not getting enough exercise during the day and even our sleep position. When you turn off the lights and get ready to snooze, are you on your back, side or stomach? We rarely note our sleep positions because we’re not really thinking about it when we fall asleep or wake up but it’s important to take note because the position, we sleep in impacts our health in the following ways:
- Stomach Sleeping: If you have trouble sleeping and happen to fall asleep on your stomach, this particular slumber pose may not be helping. You’re more likely to be restless and toss and turn to get comfortable when you sleep on your belly. It can cause neck and back strain as well. If this is how you sleep, you may want to use a very soft pillow or none at all to keep your neck comfortable.
- Back Sleeping: This position is known for causing pain in the lower back and if that’s something you already suffer from, it can make it worse. If you snore or have sleep apnea, it can make those bigger problems, too. If you have one of these issues and can’t get comfortable another way, talk to your doctor about what might help.
- Side Sleeping: There are many ways to sleep on your side, but the most comfortable is with your knees bent slightly toward your chest in the fetal position. Fun fact? This is the most common position for moms! Women are twice as likely as men to sleep like this.
- If You Have Back Pain: Side sleeping is a win for this condition, too. To take even more pressure off your hips and back, put a pillow between your legs. If you’re a back sleeper, you might place one under your knees to keep the natural curve of your back.
- If You’re Pregnant: It’s usually more comfortable – and healthier for the baby – if you sleep on your side. If you have back pain, put a pillow under your belly to support the weight.
In addition to making sure your mattress and pillows accommodate your sleep position, there are several things you can do on a daily basis that will allow you to slowly flip your sleepless routine into a good night’s rest. Make sure to get bright light as early as possible. Once you hear the alarm clock go off, try and expose yourself to artificial or natural light within the first one or two hours after waking up. Also, stay off social media while lying in bed. There’s nothing worse than scrolling through your phone and getting triggered by trending topics.
Author: McKenzie Hyde is a Certified Sleep Science Coach with Amerisleep and a full-time writer focused on sleep health and the mattress industry. She currently writes articles on a variety of topics, ranging from sleep hygiene to the newest trends in the mattress and bedding industry.