Sleeping With Arm Under Pillow Shoulder Pain
Sleep is supposed to be restorative. It’s supposed to refresh us mentally and physically. But we don’t always get that kind of restful sleep when we need it most. For many people, sleeping in an uncomfortable position like crosswise (sleeping with one side higher than the other) is more comfortable than sleeping in our natural positions. This article will show you how to avoid sleeping with your arm at odd angles, which could cause pain later as the night goes on.
Crosswise is not just about sleeping with arms raised above the head. Sleeping with your legs crossed is another common mistake. If you sleep this way, you may have noticed that one foot is usually propped up by pillows or a foam wedge. When you’re lying on your back, your feet are pointing toward each other — if they aren’t, you’ll wake up confused because you won’t remember falling asleep!
The reason why you shouldn’t sleep with your feet together is simple: When your lower body is bent, your pelvis tilts forward, putting stress on the spine. Also, when you lie down with your knees bent, you force your spine into a C-shaped curve. This can hurt your lower back and result in poor circulation. Instead, try stretching both legs out so that they form 90 degrees with the floor. You should be able to touch them without bending over. A better option would be to use a small step stool to prop your bottom up while you sleep.
If you sleep in the same basic position every night, you might experience some discomfort after awhile. The best remedy for this is to change sides every now and then. One popular sleeping position is to sleep on your left side, with the right arm tucked behind your body. Your head and upper chest will be resting against the bed, and your left leg extended diagonally across the bed.
This position puts less strain on your shoulders than sleeping crosswise does, but it still isn’t ideal. As anyone who has tried to hold their head upright for long periods of time knows, it’s difficult to keep your chin parallel to the ground. To make things worse, this sleeping style doesn’t allow your breathing passages to expand fully. Because of these factors, this position often causes snoring and interrupted sleep.
Another popular sleeping position is called “legs up the wall.” In this case, you stretch your legs along the edge of the bed so that they are horizontal with the mattress. Then you tuck your torso between your legs, allowing your elbows to fall flat against the mattress. Sleepers using this method report great comfort, as well as improved circulation throughout the hips and thighs.
But there’s a major drawback to this setup: Since your chest is supported only by your legs, it’s hard to breathe deeply. And since your upper half is hanging off the end of the bed, you’ll likely find yourself bumping into furniture and other obstacles during the night.
To solve these problems, you can place two pillows under your buttocks and lean backward onto them. Or you can buy special beds designed specifically for sleeping in this manner. Some even offer built-in lumbar support systems. The important thing is to elevate your buttock area slightly; otherwise, your body weight will crush your spinal disks.
We’ve all heard that our spines were made to carry heavy loads. But what happens when we go beyond carrying our own weights? We spend far too much time driving, sitting in front of computers, watching television and reading. These activities require little movement, so our spines don’t receive any exercise. Over time, this lack of motion causes stiff muscles and joints and weak ligaments.
One study showed that women aged 50 and older suffer from osteoarthritis at a rate three times higher than men of the same age group. Even young adults can develop arthritis due to a lack of proper posture. How do you prevent joint stiffness and muscle aches? Simple. Take walks around the block whenever possible. Stand up once in awhile. Stretch regularly. Wear supportive shoes and use ergonomic office chairs.
Now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about what you should do. First, take frequent breaks from computer work. Get away from the screen every 20 minutes or so. Go outside, play video games, read books or do whatever else gets your blood circulating. Next, adjust your chair height so that your monitor is at eye level. Doing so keeps your spine in good alignment and prevents soreness in your wrists, hands, neck and shoulders. Finally, stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins from your system and reduces swelling.
For those interested in preventing future health problems, consider consulting a chiropractor. He or she can help you correct bad postures, improve your range of motion and relieve pain caused by tight muscles and discs that bulge or herniate.
A few years ago, researchers discovered that certain types of bacteria found in our colons produce methane gas. The waste product of these bacteria is known as “fecal sludge,” and it’s considered to be the leading source of odor in our sewage systems. Now imagine sticking your finger(s) down the toilet bowl. That’s pretty gross, but nothing compared to actually eating fecal matter. Fortunately, scientists discovered that certain probiotics found in yogurt can break down the methane and turn it into carbon dioxide and water vapor. Eating yogurt before going to sleep can reduce the chances of getting smelly dreams.
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