Something as simple as sleeping with your head at a five-degree elevation can help you sleep better at night and change your life forever. Dive in and let's talk about why elevating your head is essential.
Great sleep is an essential part of your routine. The quality and quantity of sleep can be affected by several factors, such as what you have for dinner when you have your dinner and your bedtime routine, among others.
Keeping this in mind, it imperative that you do the most you can to ensure that you have a quality sleep each night. One way you can achieve this is by sleeping in a comfortable position and ensuring that your back and neck muscles don't get strained while you’re sleeping.
So, What is the Best Sleeping Position?
The best sleeping position is where your head and legs are elevated. This position has several benefits. The first one is that it creates a zero-elevation zone around your abdominal area, allowing your heart to pump blood evenly throughout your body.
Sleeping with your head elevated also helps combat certain sleeping conditions such as sleep apnea, postnasal drip, and even heartburn. It's also the best position for patients who have heart conditions and other respiratory problems.
How Does Sleeping with Your Head Elevated Help You Sleep Better?
Sleep apnea is a condition where the airway gets obstructed either by the tongue falling back into the windpipe or when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses due to gravity and blocks the windpipe. The National Institutes of Health states that bed elevation significantly affects people suffering from sleep apnea and other respiratory conditions.
These obstructions can affect your breathing when you’re asleep with pauses of up to ten seconds at a time. If this happens more than a few times, the brain will detect the drop in oxygen concertation in your blood and signal you to wake up.
You may not notice these obstructions or the effects when you wake up in the morning; however, they'll lead to poor sleep every night.
If left unchecked, sleep apnea can lead to fatal medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. The best way to avoid this is by sleeping with your head elevated, which helps keep your airway open.
When you elevate your head as you sleep, you constrict the soft, back tissue and minimize the chances of the tongue falling back and blocking the airway. This simple change in your sleeping position will help you have better quality sleep.
Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, is a condition that has affected most of the population at least once in their lifetime, and one thing is for sure, it's not a good experience. However, if you're suffering from constant heartburns, especially when you sleep at night, you know how hard it is for you to get a good night's sleep.
If you've tried antacids and other medical prescriptions to help you reduce these problems to no avail, then I have to tell you that the solution to your problem might not be so complicated after all.
Sleeping on your stomach applies pressure on your abdominal muscles, which causes unwanted stress on your stomach. This unwanted pressure causes your stomach to release digestive juices comprised of hydrochloric acid back into the esophagus.
The esophagus does not have the same protective lining as the stomach. Therefore, this acid burns or digests its walls, leading to unbearable pain, especially if this has been going on for quite a while.
Clinical trials concluded that head and thoracic elevation dramatically reduces the impact of acid refluxes for most patients- clinicaltrials.gov
The best remedy for this is:
- Taking your meals at least three hours before going to bed gives your body enough time to complete most of the digestive process and push most of the food to the small intestines. Sleeping three hours after meals will not cause too much stress on your stomach, reducing the chances of acid reflux and, thus, promoting a good night's sleep.
- Sleeping on your back and elevating your sleeping position also eases any undue pressure from your abdominal area and allows the food to work its way downward, preventing acid reflux, which will help you sleep better at night.
Sleeping in a non-elevated position can lead to migraines, which will, in turn, cause you to have an awful night's sleep. Migraines come about when your legs are elevated, and your head is not. Gravity causes the blood to accumulate in your head area. The blood causes too much pressure on the blood vessels in your head, which leads to migraines.
If you want to have a good night's sleep free of migraines, then you should sleep in an elevated position that moves your center of gravity from your head to your abdominal are where it's needed, especially at night to absorb and transport nutrients.
Improved Blood Circulation and Brain Detoxification
Elevating your head and legs allows your abdomen and thoracic cavity to be a zero-gravity state, allowing more blood to flow back into the heart. The heart then works harder to pump blood to the rest of the organs, improving detoxification and oxygen distribution.
Studies were done by the National Institutes of health note that the glymphatic system responsible for detoxifying the cerebrospinal fluid- responsible for nourishing the brain- works better when you sleep in an inclined position.
Elevating your head by as little as five degrees every night helps the lymphatic system work better, which improves the brain's detoxification process. Doing this enables you to sleep better and wake up healthier, having had a good quality night's sleep.
As we've seen, the sleeping position you adopt at night plays a huge role in the quantity and quality of sleep you get at night. If you assume a good sleeping position at night like sleeping on your back at an elevated position and occasionally switching to your left side, you’ll avoid some of the minor problems that can cause you to have a bad night’s sleep.
These simple changes can also help you avoid long-term medical conditions such as heart disease, some types of cancer, and a whole lot of respiratory disorders. Make a simple adjustment and change your life forever. As always, sleep great, feel better.
Read more, 10 Incredible Reasons Why Sleep is So Important.