A good night’s sleep is something everyone dreams of. It is a person’s basic need to stay healthy and ready for all daily activities. However, a lot of people are struggling to achieve a good night’s sleep due to several reasons. Some people are having problems with their sleeping positions, while others are experiencing sleep disorders.
Getting a good night’s sleep can help us function efficiently throughout the day. This also has a significant impact on our overall wellness and health. Sleep, as known to be the best form of sleep, plays an important biological role in energy conservation and recovery. It is also found out that good sleep has a great impact on emotional regulation, learning, neural development, removing toxins from the body cells, cardiovascular functions, and metabolic activities.
What are Sleep Disorders?
You might have already experienced some sleepless nights. No matter how tired you put yourself into sleep, still, you end up in the morning feeling weak and sluggish. It is vital that you become aware of the possible sleep disorders you may have so that you can find the right ways to prevent or manage them.
What are sleep disorders, by the way? Sleep disorders are conditions that keep a person from getting good and restful sleep. These disorders can result in sleepiness and dysfunction during the daytime. There are eight commonly known sleeping disorders, as follow:
One of the most known and typical sleep disorders is insomnia. It is characterized by the recurring struggle to fall or remain asleep. Individuals suffering from insomnia may also experience cognitive impairments and excessive daytime sleepiness. As a result, they can have poor results at work, home, and communication with other people. Insomnia can be described as a chronic condition when a patient is showing the following symptoms, at least three times in a time range of three months or longer.
- Struggling to fall asleep
- Waking up at night and having difficulty to go back to sleep
- Acquiring an unrefreshing sleep
- Waking up so early in the morning
- Experiencing daytime problems like mood issues, fatigue, sleepiness, poor concentration, and involvement in accidents due to lack of sleep
#2 Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is considered a possible serious sleep disorder that happens when a person’s breathing is disturbed or interrupted while sleeping. This is basically due to the blockage of a person’s upper airway causing an issue when breathing. People experiencing this condition often wake up gasping for air or choking. Another common symptom to be aware of is heavy snoring. Sleep apnea often causes excessive fatigue and sleepiness during the day. Like other sleep disorders, this can also lead to cognitive impairments. There are two known categories of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
How Proper Sleep Ergonomics Help in Getting a Better Sleep?
Sleep disorders can bring various adverse effects to a person’s overall well-being. However, sleep problems can still be solved and achieve a good night’s sleep. Implementing sleep ergonomics will be a big help. Start by getting aware of the several sleeping positions that may play a vital role in having a better sleep.
#1 Back Sleeping
When you sleep on your back, you should place a pillow underneath your knees so that you will lift them a bit and enhance the spine’s position. The pillow will support your neck and head and aid to contour the natural curvature of your cervical spine. It also promotes the proper alignment of the rest of the spine.
#2 Stomach Sleeping
Sleeping on your stomach is not advisable and must be prevented This position prevents the correct spine alignment and might cause neck pain. You can also have stiff and aching muscles because of sleeping in this position.
#3 Side sleeping
A lot of people like sleeping on their side. If you’re one of them, you should place a pillow between your knees. Make sure that the pillow has the proper density and size in supporting your head. It will help you keep your neck on its proper alignment with the rest of the whole spine.
Do not place your head on your arm or lift your arm above the head because it will decrease the blood flow, putting pressure on your nerves and leading to stiff shoulders upon waking up,
An article published by Dorsoo recommended the following:
“A side sleeper needs a soft shoulder zone and a smooth hip zone to keep the back in a straight position during the night. For a back sleeper, the lowering of the pelvis is important to support the natural S-shape of the spinal column. However, both need a firm back zone to ensure that they continue to lie ergonomically correct and this during on average 10 years after which any mattress should be replaced.”
Sleeping positions are vital in improving sleep and also promoting overall good health.
The following are some tips to consider when applying sleep ergonomics:
#1 Practice the right sleeping positions to reduce back pain
The way you sleep can lead to many issues like back pain and a stiff neck. That is why it is essential to learn how to sleep properly and what position should fit you. Make sure to apply the tips mentioned above for each sleeping position.
#2 Sleep on a good mattress
You should invest in a good mattress to make sure you support the body in its neutral position. This will allow your body to take a rest and recover from the overwhelming jobs and activities the whole day. When buying a mattress, make sure to choose the one that will support the natural curves of the spine.
#3 Make sure to choose the right pillow when sleeping
One of the reasons why a person may acquire tension in the neck and lower back is due to staying in one position for long hours. That is why it is crucial to choose the proper pillow for sleeping. An ergonomic pillow can be a big aid. It is designed to lessen the tension caused by lying down in a position for long hours. Choose a pillow that has the right size, weight, and ability to support the neck, shoulder, and head.
#4 Use ergonomic equipment and accessories at work.
Your activities during the day can also impact how you will sleep at night. For instance, when you work in a comfortable and safe work environment, it will be easier for you to fall asleep at night. However, when you feel tired and have some pains in the body, it will be more challenging. Make sure to promote proper posture when working so you will feel good at night and sleep well. Include standing desks and desk converters in your work station. They will help promote proper posture and prevent the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle. You should also use an ergonomic chair to get rid of the potential risks of neck pain and lower back issues.
Our body requires rest, and sleeping is the best form of it. However, there are sleep disorders that can hinder it. The best way to keep them prevented is to apply ergonomics and make sure to be in the right sleeping positions. Consult your doctor for further information.