How to fix all of your sleep problems with science

From strategically placing pillows to stretching and massaging, there are many ways you can enhance your rest

Skye Gould,Rebecca Harrington
Friday 16 March 2018 00:53
Health professionals recommend people spend 8 hours in bed each evening
Health professionals recommend people spend 8 hours in bed each evening

It seems like it’s getting harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

Myriad distractions are in cahoots, keeping you from getting enough shut-eye.

We’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep, but many Americans don’t hit that target every night.

Sleep can provide incredible health benefits, like helping us lose weight, improving our memories, and even making us happier.

So when you’re lying in bed with one of these nine common sleep problems, here’s what the science says you should do.

Strategically placing pillows is a good way to relieve all sorts of pain. If you wake up with a sore shoulder, try hugging your pillow when you’re going to sleep.

Cushions should be replaced regularly with one year being the average life span (Shutterstock)

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Hennepin County Medical Center

Sleeping on your stomach is probably not the best position if you have back pain, though a pillow under your legs can help. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs to relieve discomfort.

Source: Mayo Clinic

If your pillow doesn’t hold its shape, it’s time to get a new one.

Source: Journal of Pain Research

It can be tough to banish phones before bedtime, but you should. Their blue light can wreak havoc on your REM cycle.

Sources: Journal of Applied Physiology, Neuroendocrinology Letters

Your body should be cooler when you sleep to get the best rest.

Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Sleep Foundation, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Scientists call not waking up at the same time “social jet lag”. Try setting your alarm for the same time seven days a week.

Source: Chronobiology International

About seven million Americans have acid reflux disease. Medication and sleeping elevated on your left side can help.

Eating smaller meals and maintaining a healthy weight can assist with easing symptoms

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Healthline

Whether you or your partner are noisy, there are interventions you can try to prevent snoring. If you’re the snorer, start by avoiding sleeping on your back.

Source: Harvard Medical School

Scientists aren’t sure what causes night time leg cramps, but it’s probably related to muscle fatigue and nerve damage. Stretching and massage can help.

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic

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