Last updated on February 23, 2022

Sleep is as significant for health as food and water. You wouldn’t skip eating the entire day because if you did, your body would take a serious hit. But many people tend to make compromises on the vital 8-hour activity.

These regular compromises accumulate over time and cause risky health issues. A balanced diet and consistent workout are futile if you don’t get enough sleep.

For the best sleep quality, it is important to consider factors such as habits before sleep such as which side is best to sleep, timing, duration of sleep, etc. After you’ve scrutinized these aspects and made positive changes, you can enjoy a restful and healthy sleep.

Sleep Is Wealth -
Why Good Sleep Matters

Sleep Statistics

Until 2019, India was the second most sleep-deprived nation as mentioned in the Times of India. Over the last couple of years, India has remained in these top rankings along with Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

Reasons for sleep deprivation in these countries:

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The COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in sleep deprivation across the globe.

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Hectic work-from-home schedules, binge-watching shows or movies, and mental health/stress-related issues have also contributed to improper sleep schedules.

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Ignoring things like which side is best to sleep, eating habits before sleep, or ideal room temperature can lead to disturbed slumber.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

A machine needs fuel (food) to run but without regular rest (sleep), a breakdown is inevitable. The body experiences self-repair and strengthening during sleep so inadequate amounts could lead to undesirable after-effects.

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Fatigue

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Carelessness

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Weaker memory

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Stress and irritability

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Lower attention span

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Rash decision-making

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Heart problems

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Hallucinations

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Diabetes

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Obesity

Although sleeping involves doing almost nothing, except deciding which side is best to sleep, it isn’t always easy. If you’re someone who can doze off in two seconds, you’re lucky. Many struggle with the process of falling asleep, having a decent amount of shut-eye, and enjoying the rejuvenating activity.

It’s not unlikely that you’ve wished your body had a standby button at least once in your life because of disturbed sleep. Certain mild cases can be solved with simple precautions but continuous sleeplessness or sleep deprivation requires medical attention.

The Benefits of Sleeping Well

Knowing the benefits of a good night’s sleep will help you see the activity differently and, therefore, put more effort into maintaining healthy sleeping hours. Here are the top reasons you should never skip out on your zzzs:

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Prevent Unwanted Weight Gain

Although it might seem completely unrelated, lack of sleep at night is a major catalyst for weight gain. It isn’t a mere coincidence that your snack cravings become harder to fight especially when you’re low on sleep. Your body produces more ghrelin (appetite-boosting
hormone) and reduces the production of leptin (hormone indicating fullness) when you haven’t had enough sleep. These scenarios together can lead to some limitless midnight snacking, further leading to obesity.
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Increase Productivity and Focus

Although pulling an all-nighter might impress your manager, lack of sleep at night can truly reduce your productivity. So, instead of working a ruthless 12-hour shift, working an 8-hour shift after enjoying healthy sleeping hours might help you get more work done. If you don’t get enough sleep, it could affect your cognitive skills and concentration levels, causing you to make mistakes at work.
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Strengthen Immunity

If you seem to keep falling sick, then you must fix your sleep schedule using all the tools you can. Adequate sleep helps repair the immune cells so your body can fight off diseases and return stronger.  Therefore, creating the perfect sleep environment and knowing which side is best to sleep can boost your immunity. Sleeping for less than 7 hours makes you 3 times more susceptible to the common cold than if you slept for a solid 8 hours at night. That’s what we call maintaining healthy sleeping hours!
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Promote Healthy Heart

An improper sleep schedule will result in your body producing excess amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. This pushes your heart to put in more effort than it’s used to, leading to serious health complications such as heart attacks. When your body is well-rested, it functions effectively without straining any of your organs.

When your bed pleads guilty of your sleepless nights, just get a better one!

Are You Sleeping
Well? - Understanding Your
Sleep Quality

Sleep Cycle- An Overview

A sleep cycle is a consistently occurring brain wave pattern that goes on for 90 mins to two hours. An individual usually experiences about five to six sleep cycles during his/her slumber. Each sleep cycle includes four stages – Non-REM (3 stages) and REM. REM stands for rapid eye movement.

The body moves to a state of sleep starting with the non-REM stage. The following are the occurrences in the sleep cycle.

Non-REM Sleep:

  • Stage 1 – The body is in light sleep and can be easily awoken. The brain activity and muscle movement slow down.
  • Stage 2 – This is also a stage of light sleep. The body temperature and heart rate start to drop. The body begins to move into a deeper sleep.
  • Stage 3 – This NREM stage involves growth and recovery of the body. Immune cells and muscles are repaired in this deep sleep stage.

REM Sleep:

  • The brain activity during REM sleep is almost similar to that of an awake individual. You breathe rapidly and have an increased heart rate. The duration of this stage increases with every new cycle. A majority of your dreams occur in REM sleep where your brain seems to visualize more vividly.

Importance of Sleeping a Full Rem Cycle

REM is a vital stage for overall well-being. Right measures to prepare your body for good REM sleep include determining which side is the best to sleep on, what temperature is appropriate, and what kind of bedding works for you.

Why do you need your REM sleep?

  • A lot of activity that enhances brain development occurs during REM sleep. This is why babies have longer REM than NREM stages. Your learning capabilities improve significantly with uninterrupted REM sleep.
  • During REM, the brain also creates and stores memories. If you learnt a new skill and didn’t get enough REM sleep, there is a higher chance that you will forget the skill.
  • REM sleep helps boost the creativity of the mind. A good night’s sleep will let you think outside the box and become more of a problem solver.
  • There is also increased production of proteins during REM sleep.
  • Lack of proper REM sleep could have adverse effects on your brain and body development.

What Indicates That You Have Slept Well

  • How Quickly You Fall Asleep

If you don’t take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, then you are in the green zone. Anything above that indicates low-quality sleep.

  • How Often Do You Wake up In Between

Having continuous sleep with the least number of interruptions is more beneficial for your body health than irregular sleep. A good night’s sleep will keep you rested and undisturbed for the entire duration. Knowing which side is best to sleep can help reduce disturbances.

  • How Long Did You Sleep for

Any healthy adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. Getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep will not allow you to experience all stages of sleep, leaving you unsatisfied and grumpy. Also there are a lot of benefits of sleeping 9 hours every night. If you wake up happy and relaxed, there is a good chance you enjoyed high-quality sleep.

  • How You Slept the Previous Night

Good sleep has a domino effect. If you had a healthy sleep the previous night, then it is highly likely that you’ll experience it again the next day.

Indicators of Bad Sleep

Low-quality sleep has short-term and long-term indicators.

  • The first indication of bad sleep is a grumpy or annoyed mood. If you feel uncharacteristically snappy from the very moment you open your eyes, then you most likely didn’t have good sleep.
  • Appearance-wise, bad sleep is noticeable in the form of puffy/red eyes and dark circles. Recurring bad sleep cycles can cause wrinkles, breakouts, and generally unhealthy-looking skin. Choosing which side is best to sleep can reduce the appearance of breakouts and wrinkles.
  • If you’re finding it hard to focus at work or school, then bad sleep is one of the most common reasons. It also leads to lower productivity rates.
  • A noticeable increase in food cravings is a sign of unhealthy sleep. Over time, this can lead to obesity and weight issues.
  • If you start feeling unreasonably tired during the day and tend to take multiple day-time naps (polyphasic sleep) then it means your night sleep isn’t working for you.

Good Sleep 101: Replace your old, worn-out mattress.

Sleeping Positions:
Does it make
a difference?

What Are Sleeping Positions?

Do you end up sleeping on your back right through the night? Or are you a person who shifts between six different sleep positions during your sleep cycle? You can consider the position you find most comfortable and often resort to during sleep as your sleep position.

Everyone has their preferred sleep position and they aren’t based on any clear factors. Comfort usually is the most predominant basis for choosing which side is best to sleep. No matter what other factors change in your sleep cycle, your sleeping position usually remains unchanged. And so does your mattress as they lack an ergonomic design to them.

Your current sleep position could be perfectly suited for your needs or you could require a better position for any pre-existing condition. There is no correct sleeping position as each position has its own pros and cons.

Lying on the stomach could be beneficial to reduce snoring and breathing issues but might do more damage than good for someone with back problems. Choosing the best side to sleep depends on your personal needs rather than an overall outlook.

Why Does Your Sleeping Position Matter

In your younger years, sleeping positions might not be a deal-breaker for good quality sleep. You didn’t have to ask yourself which side is best to sleep. You could sleep on your back, stomach, or side and face no after-effects. But as you advance in your years, there is an accumulated increase in health issues, especially those that affect your daily activities. Your sleep position affects your health and wellbeing.

As various aches arise in the neck, back, and limbs, it is important to find healthy sleeping positions that do not aggravate any existing issues. It might be hard to shift from a comfortable position to one that benefits your overall health, but it is definitely worth the effort.

You end up spending one-third of your life in this position, so make sure you know which side is best to sleep. But sometimes it’s the room’s ambience that annoys you unknowingly. In this case, giving a complete bedroom makeover will smoothen things out!

Identifying Your Sleeping Position

Although you probably alternate between two or more positions through the night, there is one position you spend the majority of your life in. You might not be able to immediately identify your preferred sleeping position but after a week of analyzing yourself, you will get a rough idea.

The position that you most often begin sleeping in and wake up in is your sleeping position. This can vary mildly, that’s why it is best to observe yourself over a few days. Once you determine your sleep position, you can decide which side is best to sleep.

What Happens if You Sleep in The Wrong Position

It would be the wrong position for you if it did not benefit your situation and only made things worse. If you slept in the wrong position, there is a high chance of you facing back and neck pains due to uncomfortable sleep.

If you are already a victim of these aches, then it is important to find the correct sleeping position for you. Not just for you, also make sure your children experience optimal sleep everyday. You can look at kids bedroom ideas to make the space more conducive to sleep.

A wrong sleeping position such as sleeping on your back could hinder the airways of your lungs and lead to obstructive sleep apnea. It is a serious issue that causes difficulty in breathing and disturbed sleep. You should determine sleeping on which side is better and make the necessary change.

Sleep Hygiene & Habits

Besides following the correct sleep position, you must follow simple sleep hygiene care. For example using the right mattress, paying attention to room’s lighting, revisit your night routine before bed, and more.

Understanding which side is best to sleep on alone does not guarantee healthy sleep. You need good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is the process of ensuring that your sleep environment is suitable for a healthy night’s sleep.

Poor sleep hygiene could lead to frequent interruptions, low quality sleep, inadequate sleep, and other sleep deprivation symptoms. Having good sleep hygiene also involves creating healthy routines before bed. Whether it’s finding the right mattress for back pain or changing your habits, let’s find out. Here are some factors you should consider when going to sleep:

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Mattress

The mattress and pillows affect the quality of your sleep. Although the choices may vary between individuals on whether they want soft or firm bedding, it is always important to consider support.

It is ideal to replace your mattress every 6 to 8 years. But if you are facing any discomfort before this period, there is no harm in investing in a high-quality mattress. The different types  of mattresses at Wakefit can easily fulfill your specific needs.

If you have back or neck problems, you’ll find the orthopaedic memory foam mattress supportive and comfortable. The Wakefit latex mattress is hypoallergenic with great airflow for a night of safe and pleasant sleep. You can also choose a foam spring or dual comfort mattress.

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Stress Levels

Poor sleep hygiene can cause unhealthy stress levels before you go to sleep, it is best to avoid emotionally draining subjects, work-related issues, etc., before going to bed so that your mind is at peace. Sometimes tidying up your room can solve half the problem. That’s because your mind becomes overwhelmed seeing mess. And that’s how you can manage stress. By involving yourself in some work.

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Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder when you experience lack of sleep at night and feel tired even after you wake up. It is generally caused by consistently unhealthy sleep cycles and poor sleep hygiene. It will take great effort to undo the harm done. Also, consider the different types of beds that might suits your sleeping style to get optimal rest.

However, if you find any sleep deprivation symptoms like constant yawning, grogginess, mood swings and poor concentration, please consider checking your sleep position.

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Habits Before Sleep

When it comes to food intake, avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed. Avoid exercising too close to your sleep time. You can follow these healthy sleeping habits to make the most of your day!

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Room Temperature, Lighting, and Ventilation

A slightly cooler temperature is great for healthy sleep. Make sure to turn off lights and use blackout curtains. Clean, fresh air also enhances sleep quality. Lack of proper lighting and ventilation may lead to poor sleep hygiene causing and aggravating insomnia, etc. Also, the wall colours can do a lot of damage or lull you to sleep. Hence, consider your house wall design ideas keeping the bedroom’s purpose in mind.


Frequently Asked Questions about Sleeping Positions

A woman can choose any comfortable sleeping position in first trimester. When considering which side is best to sleep on as the baby grows, sleeping on the left side provides the most support and helps in improving blood flow to the uterus. Pregnant women can place a pillow between the legs for added comfort.

Sleeping on your side with your knees bent slightly is the correct sleeping position for back pain. The back curves naturally and does not face any external pressure. Stick to the optimal and correct sleeping posture so that you get enough sleep and be productive the day after!

If you have sleep deprivation symptoms and insomnia, you should consult with a doctor. Snoring and interrupted sleep are indicators of unhealthy sleep cycles. If you find it difficult to sleep at night for at least 7 hours, then it might affect your health. If you seem to be sleeping for 7 hours and yet feel exhausted throughout the day, it could indicate low-quality sleep.

Most sleep professionals do not recommend sleeping on your stomach. Other positions like sleeping on your back and side are common practices.

Sleeping on the right side is said to reduce the possibility of additional health damage for heart patients. It’s the best side to sleep as it helps the heart to function better and you get enough sleep to be more productive the next day.

The fetal position is the most comfortable position during the menstrual cycle. It helps relieve the tension in the abdominal muscles and reduces cramps.

Side sleeping position is known to be the best for breathing. This is also a very common sleeping position among adults. This position allows steady airflow to the lung, especially if you experience Obstructive sleep apnea or snore heavily.

Your left side is the best position to sleep at night. This improves digestion because whisk on your left side at night, gravity pushes the food in your body into your colon systematically, which encourages you to take a trip to the bathroom in the morning.

Snoring doesn’t happen overnight. There are a few things you need to look at in order to reduce snoring. However, here are a few tips on how to reduce snoring naturally without any medical device:

  • Sleep on your side
  • Lose weight if you find obesity symptoms
  • Stop taking sedatives before sleeping (unless it’s doctor’s prescribed)
  • Correct your normal breathing pattern
  • Strictly avoid alcohol before sleeping

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