Once you fall asleep, you feel that the world is dead…who cares then whether you sleep on your belly or on your spine…did your head rest on the pillow or on your arms last night…did you touch the edge in the morning or did you hug it all night.
It is a common perception that sleep transforms us to the world of unconsciousness or rather sub consciousness where we are detached from worldly affairs and lost in slumber land.
Well…that is the sleep of prince and princess in fairylands…in this world of hustle and bustle where an average person struggles for sleep each night it is important that you know what is the recipe to a good sleep or rather understand where you can go wrong and mess up with your sleep.
Let us check out some common pitfalls where you can go wrong while snoozing off.
1) Using pillows only for your head
Pillow is synonymous with the head as sleep is to night. But there is another truth to this fact. No doubt a good pillow supports your head and neck but understand that other parts of your body need their share of support too.
So if you are a back sleeper or side sleeper, use that piece of cushion between your knees to pamper your spine and legs.
If you fall flat on your stomach, then use the pillow under your pelvic area. This shall support the torso region of your body and ensure a healthy, restful sleep.
2) Sleeping on your stomach
Now this has been told to you by your mom and we reiterate it here because it is vital.
Yes…sleeping on your stomach is bad not only for your spine that is barred of any support but also for your digestive system that goes against its natural gravity to work up and absorb your food.
Sleeping on the back can severely hamper your neck and shoulder tissues leaving you crammed and strained in the morning. If you are really in for giving up that sleep position, place a small tennis ball in the front pocket of your pajamas.
So every time you roll on your stomach, that little annoying thing in your pocket will restrict you from do so…ultimately changing your sleep position.
3) Not having a sleep schedule
Do you play around with your bed time? Seriously, there are millions of us who stretch Monday nights on a Netflix movie thinking it to be an extension of the weekend.
Then on Tuesday we swear to sleep on time to avoid yawning at the work desk which we were caught doing during the day…and on Wednesday our biological clocks go for a toss perplexed to figure out the correct time to sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule and allow your body to adapt to it diligently.
4) Sleeping on a full stomach
Feasting on a heavy dinner with friends and family can be a good idea but at least 3 hours before your bedtime. By doing so, you give your stomach ample time to absorb the food and channelize it in the right direction.
A dinner or night snack which is too close to your bedtime can leave you with acidic reflux and heart burn which can make the night scary and disturbing. So..Eat Right…Sleep Tight.
5) Sleeping in a fetal position
We may have left our mother’s womb years back but it is a natural tendency to take up the fetal position when enjoying the warmth of the bed.
This posture is mostly seen with side sleepers, who tend to get so fetal that they almost choke their breath with their curled knees. Solution…is simple. Just wedge a light pillow between your knees.
This will maintain adequate distance between the knees and upper body, straightening the spine and giving you some fresh air to breathe.
6) Sleeping in a very old mattress
Sleeping wrong does not mean that it is always YOU who is at fault…your mattress can also contribute in bad sleep.
An old mattress that has grown patches of sagging foam and sinking coils can be a major contributor to bad sleep. Evaluate your mattress at regular intervals and know when it is time to replace it with a new one.
No doubt silks and satins arouse your senses both in lingerie and bed linen but to buy good sleep, keep them back on the store shelf.
Rather pick up cotton, linen or bamboo fibers that are natural, soft and comfortable. If you have a foam mattress prefer using an organic cotton cover that will not only keep the heat away but also absorb your body moisture keeping you cool as well.
Have you ever noticed how a blinking notification can disturb your sleep even when your eyes are closed. Electronic screens like that of television, smart phones and iPads emit a blue light that triggers your brain nerves and activates them rather that preparing them for sleep.
Keep all electronic gadgets and light emitting equipments away from bed. Away means away…out of reach where you are not tempted to outreach it for one last glimpse.
9) Sleeping with your pet
The bed is for you and the floor is for your pet. It may sound harsh to treat your beloved with such discrimination but that is the hard truth so accept it.
While you can cuddle him all day and share your living room, garden and kitchen…but remember not your bedroom.
Sleeping with pets disturbs your sleep in more than one way. It may not share the same sleep pattern and position like yours.
More so, mattresses that have pets stretching on them are more subject to infections and allergies, leaving you sleepless with the stinking smell of your pet, whose weekly bath is long overdue.
10) Sleeping on super soft and fluffy pillow
Who does not love a super soft fluffy pillow that caresses through your cheeks and hugs your head like the soft hands of your mother.
But before you indulge in that luxury…know that it is important for your head to be slightly elevated than your body when you sleep, especially if you are a side sleeper.
Your head can sink in a super soft and fluffy pillow lowering the upper body rather than elevating it. This can seriously strain your neck and back. Choose a pillow that gives you the ideal firmness and support without compromising on the feel and texture.
So…what are your plans this night? Before embarking on the sleep journey take a couple of minutes to evaluate the above checklist. See how many you could hit right and set your target for gradually changing all wrong sleep habits into the best ones.
Conquer these 10 sleep monsters and you are all set to conquer sleep…not just tonight but for a lifetime.
Jeff is the founder and editor-in-chief at Sleep Junkies . A passionate sleep advocate, he started the site in 2012, reaching millions of readers across the globe. Jeff also runs the product curation platform SleepGadgets.io . He is often asked to speak at about current trends in consumer sleep technology at various events.