Sleep disorders are very common in the United States. American Sleep Association reports about 50-70 million US adults (that’s 1 out of every 5 Americans) having sleep disorders.
About a third of our life is spent sleeping. The amount and quality of sleep we get are directly linked to our overall health.
Fixes for Common Sleep Disorders
If you have a sleep disorder and are struggling with issues during sleep, read on to learn the best recommendations for getting some quality shut eye.
How to sleep with back pain
It is crucial to maintain the normal curvature of your spine if you suffer from back pain. If your mattress is too soft or has sagging spots, it is time to purchase a new one.
Sleeping directly on your back is most likely the safest sleep position. Placing a pillow under your knees will further restore the natural curves of your spine and reduce tension. You can also try rolling up a small towel to place under your lower back for extra support.
If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, try placing a small pillow under your lower stomach and pelvis to stop the lower part of your back from moving forward.
If sleeping on your side is your favorite position, it is best to try the fetal position. Place a small pillow between your knees, keep your back naturally arched, and draw your legs partially toward your chest. This will help reduce the load on your lower back.
How to sleep with neck pain
Just as with back pain, it is important to support your neck during sleep. Typically, it is best to sleep on your back with a pillow beneath your head and under each arm. People with neck pain need to be careful when choosing their pillows. An orthopedic or roll pillow is the ideal option for neck pain.
If you like to sleep on your side, be sure to use a pillow that is not too high (it should not be more than six inches thick). The height of your pillow should be equal to the width of one shoulder. This will keep your neck in the proper position.
If you must sleep on your stomach, it is best to use the thinnest pillow possible. It is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach since lying with your head turned to one side will cause strain.
How to sleep without snoring
If you spend your nights snoring, try to avoid sleeping on your back. While sleeping on your back, your throat tissues sag and your throat is narrowed because your tongue falls backward into it.
It is also important to carefully select your pillow. Pillows that are too soft allow your head to tilt back even further – this makes snoring even worse. Consider using an extra pillow to lift up your head. This will help stop your tongue from narrowing your windpipe.
You can also try sleeping on your side. This natural position ensures that nothing will restrict your airflow.
In addition to adding an extra pillow or sleeping on your side, you can also do specific exercises that strengthen your tongue and throat muscles and learn the 4-7-3 technique developed by Harvard-trained Dr. Andrew Weil.
How to sleep with leg cramps
Leg cramps occur when the muscles in the feet, thighs, or calves suddenly spasm or tighten. A vast majority of people of all ages suffer from this issue. Leg cramps that occur at night are often a result of nerve damage, a lack of trace elements, or certain diseases. If you experience leg cramps often, mention it to your physician.
An excellent way to prevent leg cramps is by stretching and strengthening your calf muscles. Try massaging your legs or doing yoga before falling asleep and try to exercise on a regular basis.
How to sleep with shoulder pain
If you suffer from pain in one or both shoulders, avoid sleeping on your side. It is also recommended to avoid sleeping on your stomach since this can cause your shoulders to become misaligned.
The ideal sleeping posture is on your back. Use a thin pillow (preferably an orthopedic one) underneath your head. Next, place another pillow on your stomach and hug it. This will align your shoulders in a correct, stable position.
If you dislike lying on your back while sleeping, try lying on the side that is least painful. Add a pillow between your knees and pull your legs slightly toward your chest. It is not suggested to sleep with a hand under your head as this creates an odd shoulder position.
You can also try these all-natural ways you can relieve shoulder pain fast to get a better night’s rest.
If you can’t fall asleep
It can difficult to stop using your phone or computer before bedtime, but you should consider ditching them if you want to fall asleep easier. The LED light that comes from the screens disrupts our body’s sleep-wake cycles and suppresses the melatonin levels.
Avoid eating or drinking anything with caffeine (energy drinks, dark chocolate, black tea, soda, coffee) at least 6 hours before you plan on going to bed.
Also, consider exercising in the morning and afternoon. This will boost your health, improve circulation, tone your muscles, and help you fall asleep faster. Or you can try adding these plants to your bedroom for a better night’s sleep.
If you have difficulty waking up
Although this late-chronotype behavior is extremely common, it is quite easy to fix: set your alarm to go off at the same time each day (even on weekends). If you need to wake up early in the morning, it is important to go to sleep early at night.
If you have trouble staying asleep
If you wake up frequently during the night, it is important to avoid alcohol or digital gadgets before going to sleep. Drinking alcohol affects the water balance in the body and disrupts your sleep cycle an can cause sleep disorders.
It also helps to keep your room at a slightly cooler temperature; typically around 65-71°F.
If you have other sleep related issues…
If heartburn is an issue for you, doctors recommend lying on your left side while you snooze. This position helps discourage the contents of the stomach from coming back up into the esophagus. Researchers also recommend using a specially designed body pillow that could help replace drugs for some patients.
If your legs ache at night, try rolling up a pillow at the bottom of your bed to elevate your legs while you sleep. The blood that has accumulated in your legs will run downward and provide relief. You can also try lightly massaging or rubbing your legs before lying down for the night. Avoiding caffeine will also help or try these home remedies that soothe leg cramps and prevent restless leg syndrome.
Sleep disorders can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from issues with the digestive or nervous system or fatigue. Only a physician can pinpoint the cause of your sleep struggles and suggest the proper treatment.
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