Keys to a good rest

To ensure overall well-being, it is vital to have adequate rest, with sleeping posture being a determining factor in the quality of our sleep and, consequently, in our physical and mental health. Conforama, in collaboration with sleep expert Carmen Domínguez, introduces the posturometer, a tool designed to evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of common sleeping postures.

Carmen Domínguez, known for her work in sociology and sleep education, points out that “naturally, during a night, we can change our sleeping position between 20 and 40 times, seeking the greatest comfort according to the needs of our body at that moment.” Therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of each posture on our health to promote restful sleep. However, Domínguez warns about the risk of orthosomnia, or the obsession with controlling and correcting sleeping posture, which could negatively interfere with sleep quality.

Below are some key aspects of the most common sleeping postures:

1. Supine (back position)

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Sleeping on your back can align the spine, but it can also increase snoring and sleep apnea in some people. In any case, the choice of this position should be based on whether there are respiratory problems.

Pros: Provides a uniform distribution of body weight, which can reduce pressure on the spine and prevent neck and back pain. Additionally, it decreases the likelihood of facial wrinkles, as the face is not in direct contact with the pillow.

Cons: Can increase the likelihood of snoring and sleep apnea, so it is not a recommended position for those who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and/or snoring.

Recommendations: To keep the spine aligned, Carmen Domínguez recommends using a pillow with enough height to prevent the head from tilting backward, maintaining proper alignment and preventing the tongue from obstructing the airflow.

2. Side (lateral position)

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The quintessential sleeping position for its comfort and numerous benefits. However, certain aspects must be considered to avoid potential discomfort:

Pros: Relieves pressure on the spine, preventing neck and back pain, and reduces the likelihood of snoring. It is also recommended for people with congestive heart failure as it helps them breathe more easily. Sleeping on the left side specifically helps improve digestion, prevents reflux, and is particularly beneficial for babies and pregnant women, as it relieves pressure on the liver.

Cons: Can cause numbness in the arms if slept on them or discomfort in the shoulders.

Recommendations: For those who prefer to sleep on their side, the sleep expert suggests using a pillow that keeps the head and neck aligned with the spine, helping to prevent muscle tension and reduce the risk of stiffness or pain.

Additionally, using a pillow between the legs or hugging one can provide additional relief for several reasons: it helps balance the posture, provides extra support for the neck and back, improves blood circulation by avoiding pressure between the legs, and creates a sense of security and calm during sleep.

3. Prone (stomach position)

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As Carmen Domínguez indicates, “sleeping on the stomach is considered the worst position as the spine does not rest.” This position is associated with neck pain due to excessive rotation of the spine, causing the chest to not expand well due to the pressure exerted by the mattress, leading to a lack of air. Especially avoid in newborns and babies.

Pros: Can alleviate snoring and sleep apnea in some people.

Cons: The need to excessively rotate the neck from side to side to breathe causes constant tension in the entire cervical spine, affecting the neck and back, potentially causing chronic pain. Additionally, there is evidence that it can cause circulation problems and breathing difficulties.

4. Sleeping as a Couple

Sleeping as a couple can strengthen emotional bonds and offer a sense of protection, but it can lead to more awakenings due to movements and other factors such as snoring and differences in body temperature.

Pros: Strengthens the bond between partners and provides a sense of protection and companionship.

Cons: Increased likelihood of frequent awakenings due to movements and other factors such as snoring and differences in body temperature; possible conflicts over sharing bed space; need to adapt to each individual’s preferences and needs to improve sleep quality; and snoring issues that can affect both partners’ rest.

Recommendations: Sleep experts from Conforama and Carmen Domínguez agree that each person should have their own pillow tailored to their specific needs. They also consider it highly recommended that mattresses are designed to minimize the transfer of movements from the other person. In this case, mattresses with independent sleep zones are the best option for this.

Bedding should be large enough to cover both sleeping partners well. An alternative to avoid problems is for each person to have their own duvet. Additionally, it is highly recommended to air the bedroom well to create a conducive environment. Exceptionally, in the case of snoring, you can use earplugs occasionally to minimize discomfort from these sounds.

via: MiMub in Spanish

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