Regular physical exercise, proper balanced diet and a stress-free lifestyle can help you get good sleep at night. But do you know that the way you are sleeping may actually be killing you? While we lie unconscious and flat on the bed at least one third part of our lives, we might be doing more harm than good to our bodies by taking rest for hours at length. Learn more about how the way you sleep might harm you in the following article.
How The Way You Sleep Impacts Your Health:
- Do you prefer sleeping on a flat bed with the face down and your eyes and nose compressed by the pillows?
- Do you get sleep by lying on the back and head tilted up slightly (practiced in cultures using non-flat surfaces or hammocks for sleep)?
The position in which you sleep affects the blood circulation to your brain and head. The way gravity affects blood circulation in the brain is completely mechanical, relating directly to the way your head is positioned in relation to your heart. In an upright position, the blood from your heart takes a lot of effort to reach your brain, as it has to work against gravity. However, the blood from the brain reaches very easily to your heart in this position, again due to the pull of gravitational force.
On the other hand, when you are lying on the bed in a horizontal position, your heart and head remain on a single plane, which prevents gravity to act on the blood circulation. The intracranial pressure is increased because of heart’s powerful blood pumping action (into your head) without any resistance from gravity, and your brain has to send back blood into your heart without the help from gravity. Consequently, a blood backup is created in your brain, lowering the brain circulation, and increasing the intracranial pressure.
Effects of Lying On Bed for Long Time Period:
It is this increased intracranial pressure that affects your body during sleep, causing excessive cerebrospinal fluid to occupy the ventricles of the brain, which bathes your brain in excessive fluid. This leads to brain edema, which can reduce the level of available oxygen as well as sugar in your brain cells. Again, the ineffectiveness of gravity leads to blood backup in your brain’s collecting sinuses and venous system, causing your brain circulation to become stagnant (relatively). Apart from your brain getting swelled due to the pressure, your ears, face, eyes, gums and sinuses (your entire head) also get pressurized. When this pressurization continues for a long time because of your horizontal sleeping position, the various centers located in the brain start malfunctioning. This can lead to the following medical conditions:
- Sleep apnea
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Sinus congestion and baggy eyes
- Impaired circulation in breasts of women sleeping sideways
- Compression or dysfunction of testicles in men sleeping sideways
How You Can Avoid Health Hazards Caused By Sleep:
Sleep on a Comfy Mattress – Invest in a proper mattress for sleeping at night visit SleepingCulture.com. When you do so, your body will be more comfortable, and you can lower the impact on your health caused by sleep, including experiencing physical pain in different areas of the body when you wake up.
On The Back – Most importantly, you have to try and lie on the back as much as possible during your sleep time. This would prevent any possibility of health hazards caused due to sleep.
Elevated Head Rest – Whether you use foam wedge or more pillows, your aim should be to elevate your head between 10 and 30 degrees above the horizontal position. You can also consider elevating your legs when you are lying horizontally on the bed.
Recliner – If you can, sleep on a recliner, as it eliminates the chances of health problems caused by sleeping. Although the back support offered by a recliner is poor, you can consider adding pillows under your buttocks, arms and legs to avoid any pain.
What you can learn from above that sleeping is an act in which you need to be aware of the position you choose, as it will determine how your health is going to be affected. Lying flat on the bed for a long time may not be as helpful as you think. So, start exercising caution from this very night!