It was said that you spend a third of your life in bed, sleeping.
Sleep, scientists found, is vital to maintain your overall well-being. If you do not get enough, you will experience tiredness, drowsiness, loss of concentration, and mood swings. Long-term, it will lead to several life-threatening illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Sleep is supposed to be an opportunity for your body to repair itself and replenish your energy, but why do you wake up feeling exhausted? Why do random parts of your body hurt?
Here, we take a look at the root of the problem and identify the steps that you can take so you can wake up every morning feeling refreshed.
How Your Sleeping Position is Causing You Pain
If your body tends to contort into odd shapes while unconscious, you might wake up aching and sore.
Your sleeping position can determine whether you will have pain, especially on your back, when you wake up. People do not usually think about their sleeping position; they are, after all, knocked out.
You may need to take medication or go to a chiropractor for back pain relief, but to stop the problem from happening over and over again, you will need to try to sleep on your back.
Sleeping in a supine position is the ideal one because it distributes your weight evenly on your widest body surface. It also ensures that your internal organs are correctly aligned throughout the night.
Side sleepers, on the contrary, should try to alternate sides. If you sleep only one side throughout the night, you might experience pain due to muscle imbalance when you wake up.
The worst sleeping position is sleeping on your stomach. It puts your neck in an uncomfortable position.
Your Mattress May Be Causing You Problems
Not all mattresses are the same. Some are too firm, while some are too soft. Either way, your mattress may not be suitable for you.
Like Goldilocks, you need to find a mattress that offers sufficient support for your back, but not entirely uncomfortable to sleep in. For reference, a medium-firm bed is recommended for the majority of the population.
You will also need to replace your mattress if you have been using it for over a decade. Even if it does not show wear and tear, its quality has reduced significantly over the years. It becomes less efficient in supporting your weight while you lie in bed at night. As a result, you get into odd positions, causing you pain and stiffness when you wake up.
You Did Not Get Enough Sleep
You only think that you get enough sleep every night because you were in bed for eight or nine hours, but the quality, in addition to length, matters, too. When you sleep, you go through multiple stages of your sleep cycle. The first stage is the moment between being awake and being asleep. The second stage is when your breathing and heart rate slows and your body temperature drops. Stage three and four are the most restorative; your tissues and muscles start to heal themselves, your immune function gets a boost, and you begin to build energy for the next day. The final stage is the REM (rapid eye movement), where your brain becomes active, and you start dreaming.
To be able to say that you slept well, you should go through the different stages of the sleep cycle multiple times during the night. Some people do not reach the latter stages of the sleep cycle, which means they only sleep lightly and do not get the restorative benefits of sleep. Disorders such as sleep apnea may disrupt your sleep, preventing you from reaching stage three and four of the sleep cycle. You will wake up feeling tired and have no energy as if you did not sleep at all.
Sleep is a necessary part of life. If you are not getting enough of it, you have a serious problem in your hands. Aside from the immediate symptoms, you are raising your risk of developing life-threatening illnesses.