Steven Park, MD works as a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. Author of several books, he says that sleeping postures do affect our sleep quality and health too, and many other professors and medical professionals agree with him. Park says that headache, back pain, heartburn and sleep apnea are a few of the most common issues caused by wrong sleeping posture.
So if you are unable to sleep well at night, or waking up tired or with pain, then it could be because of your wrong sleeping posture.
Finding the Correct Sleep Position
What is the best sleeping position? It is definitely not on your back, particularly if you are a snorer or if you have sleep apnea. Steven Park says that we tend to gravitate to a position that we are most comfortable in and one that is the healthiest for us, but having said this, we can still end up sleeping for a long duration in a wrong posture.
More and more research indicates that side sleeping is indeed the best position, as it helps us keep the airways open. In fact, researchers have even discovered that when we sleep on our left side, we can get relief from the symptoms of heartburn. However, right side sleeping will make it worse. There can be stomach discomfort too, and these issues might wake you up, or your sleep might be less deep, both of which is bad.
Those who are pregnant are also told to sleep on their left, because this improves blood circulation to the heart, and is thus good for both the baby and the mother. Further, by sleeping on the left, you will also be putting less pressure on your liver. So that is one more advantage.
Some people are however of the opinion that left side sleeping can put additional stress on the heart. But there is no data to support this claim. So, you can go ahead and sleep on your left side.
- The face down position will put additional strain on the neck.
- There can be acid reflux and snoring if you sleep on the back with your arms upwards.
- The foetal position will restrict your deep breathing. This can strain the neck too.
An Interesting Statistics
According to statistics, 63% of people in the United States are sleeping on their sides, whether on the left or right. However, there is no clear data on which side is more popular. 16% prefer to sleep on their tummy, while 14% sleep on their backs. While such a survey has not been carried out in every country in the world, but the experts are saying that should it be done, the results would be much the same.
Experiment with different positions if you so desire, but most experts feel that you should nurture the habit of sleeping on your left side. The mattress matters too. A worn-out, old mattress is likely to be sagged at the middle, making it more difficult for you to sleep on your side.
Do you feel lumpy, sluggish, and horrified when you look at yourself at the mirror? Is the extra 5 pounds making your waistline feel extended? You’re wondering whether it’s just the holidays that has taken its toll, or is this because you are always mortified with the thought of doing conventional workouts. You know you don’t want to look fat for the rest of your life. But how do you get it out from your body? The idea of going to the gym everyday can be tiresome. It can be a tad boring too.
But you can still wriggle those pounds away to get back your fitness? What you need is a new fitness regime. You can try scuba diving and even snorkeling. Yes, it’s true. Both scuba diving and snorkeling can help you get back into shape. And it’s a far more enjoyable way of doing so. And of course, as a bonus, you get to see all those marvelous fish and corals, and visit some exotic locations.
This is a great alternative for everyone who has an aversion to medicine balls, treadmills and dumbbells.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling for Better Health
Water-related activities are more like a vacation or holiday adventure rather than a workout, and that is why they are so enjoyable. However you should know that snorkeling and scuba diving can help you burn a lot of calories, and they will also tighten and tone your body.
Snorkeling and scuba diving can help you burn up 250-500 calories in an hour. Depending on the dive type and diver’s experience level, you can actually burn calories without knowing it. Isn’t that great? They both also promote joint mobility, and prevent stiffness and obesity problems. On top of that, snorkeling and diving are low-impact sports, compared with jogging and walking. So they will prevent aggravating whatever knee or leg issues you might have.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are a whole body workout. Whether it’s your arms or legs, every move you make, instinctively compels your muscles to push against the natural resistance of the water. Wearing fins also provides a great leg work out because you have to kick harder to go against with the resistance created by the fins to your legs.
Scuba and snorkeling are good exercises to develop a strong heart and lungs. As you snorkel or dive your way down, your heart rate is going to be increased. This will make your heart pump more blood. They will both let you build great lung capacity when you are forced to hold your breath underwater for a certain period of time.
When you go below water, you have to lift and carry weights, tanks and other diving equipment. Diving can tone your muscles in return. You can compare that similar experience to weight lifting exercises in the gym. But unlike diving, in snorkeling, you don’t need so much equipment. All you need is a good scuba mask, best snorkel gear and best fins available or flippers (optional, as you need them only sometimes).
They are both going to boost your mental health too. Exercise in any form, including snorkeling and diving, releases endorphins, which is a feel-good hormone that provides relief from stress and anxiety. You don’t flash a sweaty face because the water keeps you cool. You also don’t mind spending a lot of time underwater because you are amazed by the marine life, corals and the other attractions, such as may be a ship wreck.
So keep moving. Try snorkeling and scuba diving. You will start to become fitter almost immediately.