How Sleep Positions Affect Your Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, most individuals hone to the principle of "calories out must exceed calories in," particularly by decreasing food intake and increasing physical activity. Mostly, too, individuals lose sight on the importance of sleep on health, even being unaware of the ramifications of inadequate sleep and weight loss efforts. But in addition to acquiring a sufficient shuteye, are there sleep positions that positively impact health and aid in weight loss?
How Sleep Positions Affect Your Health
Sleep has a strong connection to health, with additional implications on how you choose to lay. Recommendations suggest the best sleep positions for...
...digestion. Sleeping face down in the prone position is suggested to aid in and improve digestion.
...heart burn. Elevating your head and sleeping on the left side have been suggested to relieve heart burn.
...neck and back pain. Resting on your back and both left and right sides are suggested to alleviate both neck and back pain, particularly by uncompressing the spine.
...blood flow. Especially for pregnant women, sleeping on the left side is suggested to improve blood flow.
All Positions Aside...
Despite the position slept in, the greatest value holds in the quality of sleep and working towards it. The National Sleep Foundation encourages adults to achieve a solid seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Achieving the recommendation is said to positively impact both physical and mental health, including links to weight loss, reduced risks of heart disease and diabetes, lessened feelings of depression and anxiety, and improved cognition and attention. To encourage and obtain the benefits of sleep, it is important to sleep in the position that best comforts you. To further nurture a more restful night's sleep, try implementing the following tips:
• Turn Off the Lights
Sleep-wake cycles are primarily provoked by natural lighting and the body's hormonal response to it. Initiate more efficient and effective sleep by turning off all the lights, even including the television and all electronic devices.
• Stick to A Bedtime Routine
Staying consistent with a bedtime routine can assist in sleep regularity, ultimately nurturing an appropriate sleep-wake cycle. Form a schedule that best fits your daily routine, but also considering the importance of achieving the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Sticking to so-called "bedtimes" can help nurture and improve sleeping patterns.
• Limit Caffeine Intake
Particularly following mid-morning to early afternoon hours, limit caffeine consumption. Too much caffeine after morning hours can impede on nightly sleep cycles and hinder the ability to fall asleep at a timely hour. Beyond coffee, caffeine is found in energy drinks, teas, and chocolates.
• Avoid Large Portions Before Bedtime
Especially if working late work hours, eating dinner not too close to bedtime may be difficult. But if possible, avoid a large meal portion at least two hours leading up to bedtime, as laying down on a full stomach can surface unpleasant digestive side effects. Spicy and fatty foods may also be irritant and lead to heartburn. If truly hungry, though, try one of these healthy snacks to cure your hunger.
• Sip On Water
Thirst is oftentimes confused for hunger, so before jumping right into a snack, reach for a glass of water. Importantly, too, sip on a small quantity to minimize the risk of an urge to use the bathroom. A warm cup of decaffeinated tea can also offer hydration while initiating a calming effect, having the potential to induce sleepiness.