How To Sleep On Side Without Hurting Shoulder
As a senior, I have been sleeping for many years on my right side. This has caused me no problem until recently when I decided to try sleeping on my left side. What happened next was nothing short of an emergency room visit! The pain was so intense that I could hardly move or even think about anything else but how to get back into bed. After several hours of agony, I finally got back into bed and tried sleeping again on my right side. It didn’t help much, so I went out to buy a new mattress. That’s what you need – a good mattress!
The second time around, I discovered that this experience had taught me something valuable. In fact, there are some things you should know before attempting any kind of major surgery. Before going ahead with your plan, make sure you’ve done all the necessary research first.
Here’s one thing you definitely don’t want to do. If you’re like most people who sleep on their right side, you may be tempted to turn over onto your left side to go to sleep. Don’t do it! Sleeping on your left side can cause serious problems if you haven’t learned what not to do. Here’s why…
Sleeping positions can affect your body differently. For example, sleeping on your stomach puts too much weight on your lower back muscles. When you lie down on your left side, you put more weight on the right side of your spine and the muscles responsible for keeping your spinal column erect. You also press your abdomen against your chest which compresses your lungs and interferes with normal breathing patterns. These factors together can lead to heart palpitations, dizziness, and insomnia.
Another important point to consider is that sleeping on your back will increase the risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring is caused by vibrations from soft tissue while OSA causes blockage of airways due to forward displacement of the tongue during sleep. Both conditions are associated with obesity.
If you suffer from either condition, your doctor might recommend a CPAP machine to treat them in order to avoid health complications. However, if you have chronic sleep apnea, your doctor might suggest another type of treatment such as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or other surgical procedures.
It is best to discuss these matters with your physician before trying to change your usual sleeping position. Your doctor may prescribe a special orthopedic corset, pillows, or other devices designed specifically to prevent these types of injuries.
Now let’s talk about how to sleep on your left side without hurting yourself. First, decide whether you prefer to sleep on your back or your stomach. If you usually sleep on your back, you’ll probably feel more comfortable sleeping on your left side than on your stomach.
Second, find out which side feels worse. Take note of the symptoms described above. Sometimes we tend to ignore our own warning signals because we think they won’t happen to us. But you never know unless you pay attention to your body.
Third, lay on your back and see where you naturally fall asleep. If you normally sleep on your stomach, you’ll probably wake up often throughout the night to use the bathroom. If so, just roll onto your left side.
Fourth, choose the appropriate position. There are two common ways to sleep on your left side. One way is to keep your head low and your shoulders straight. Place a pillow between your upper arms to support your elbows. Be careful not to push your shoulders forward. Instead, allow your arm to swing freely.
You can also prop your elbow up using a rolled towel or similar item. Make sure your forearm isn’t bent at 90 degrees. If it is, your elbow should be allowed to rest freely along your thigh.
Fifth, elevate your hips and legs. Most people spend a great deal of their lives sitting on chairs, so getting used to sleeping flat on the floor can be difficult. Try putting your feet up higher than your hip level. Or you can try propping your knees up using a small pillow.
Sixth, stretch out your fingers and toes. If you’re on your back, lift your top leg upward and hold it so that your knee points toward the ceiling. Use a pillow to raise your bottom leg. Keep both legs relaxed. As you relax each muscle group, stretch your fingers and toes one at a time. Hold for five seconds and then release. Repeat the process 10 times for each finger and toe.
Seventh, tuck your chin under your breastbone. Imagine dropping your chin below your sternum. Tuck your chin gently until it touches your chest. Relax your neck and throat muscles. Breathe deeply through your nose.
Eighth, pull your shoulders backward and your elbows inward. Push your shoulders downward firmly enough to prevent them from rolling outward. Also, bend your elbows at 90 degrees and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Now imagine pulling your elbows close to your sides.
Ninth, squeeze your buttocks as tight as possible. Do the same with your thighs. Let your pelvis drop slightly, but don’t tilt it too far forward. Allow your abdominal area to sink slightly.
Tenth, curl your torso into a ball. Roll your shoulders backwards. Lie on your side with your left shoulder pointing towards the ceiling and your right shoulder pointing downwards. Rest your elbow on your right thigh. Curl your torso into the fetal position.
Eleventh, pull your belly button upwards. Pull your navel towards your backbone. Stretch your fingers upward.
Twelfth, breathe deeply. Deep breathing activates the diaphragm and helps you relax. While relaxing, it is easy to become distracted by thoughts and worries. Concentrate on inhaling slowly and exhaling fully. Continue doing this exercise for 20 minutes every day.
Finally, keep your eyes closed and enjoy the moment. Focus only on your breathing and relaxation. You’ll soon notice that your mind begins to wander less and less.
After following these simple steps, you’ll find that sleeping on your left side actually becomes easier. And it doesn’t hurt anymore! Good luck!
If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to see similar ones,