Almost everyone has a restless night now and then. But if it’s happening to you on a regular basis – you need to get to the root of the problem. So here’s a sleep quiz, courtesy of sleep specialist Dr. Lisa Shives. Ask yourself:
Do you toss and turn, finding it impossible to get comfortable? You may need to diagnose your best sleep position. If you get heartburn, sleep on your left, so your stomach acid doesn’t leak into your esophagus. If you have heart trouble, sleep on your right, to give your heart more room to pump blood. If you have back pain, sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees to take the pressure off your spine. Two sleep positions to avoid: The stomach and the fetal position. Sleeping curled up restricts breathing – and stomach sleeping stresses your back and neck.
Next sleep question: Do you wake up drenched in sweat? Well, no wonder you can’t sleep. Our core body temperature needs to drop to trigger our sleep hormones. If you’re sweating – that’s your body’s way of trying to cool you down so you can sleep. In fact, our body temperature reaches its lowest point around 5am – and your bedroom should be around 65 degrees for optimal sleep.
One last sleep question: What did you have for dinner? Poor sleepers eat more fatty foods than people who sleep soundly. And heartburn is linked to sleep disorders. So try cutting out fatty, acidic, and spicy foods. Because 20% of people with sleep problems also have digestive issues and bloating. Fix one, and you just may fix the other.