Sleep Expert Advises Two Sleeping Positions For Better Health
In the realm of wellness, sleep is a cornerstone and an acclaimed sleep expert known as Levitex on TikTok has recently shared his insights on the two paramount sleeping positions for maintaining robust health. With a massive following of 650.8k on TikTok, Levitex delved into the rationale behind discarding conventional sleeping postures. The sleep expert advises two sleeping positions for better health offering enhanced well-being.
For those who experience premature backaches reminiscent of those far beyond their years, Levitex's advice might be just the remedy they've been seeking. In his TikTok video, the sleep expert advises two sleeping positions for better health:
These are the only two sleeping positions I'll ever recommend, of course, unless you have some sort of clinical reason for lying on your stomach, which is very rare.- James Leinhardt, Levitex
James Leinhardt, Levitex's Chief Sleep Posture Expert, highlighted that he exclusively suggests two sleep positions: the "dreamer" and the "soldier." Levitex specializes in creating pillows tailored to enhance sleep quality.
The first position he extolled is 'The Soldier.' Levitex elaborated that when you recline on your back, your mattress provides immediate spinal support, ensuring an even distribution of your body weight. By placing a pillow beneath your knees, you subtly tilt your pelvis, facilitating more contact between your back and the bed.
He contended that this adjustment significantly enhances body support and comfort.
The second position, which Levitex emphatically endorses, is 'The Dreamer,' better known as lying on your side. Levitex substantiated this choice by stating:
Clinical evidence dictates that you put the least amount of tension through your side in the sideline position. You want your ears, your shoulders, your hips, your knees, your ankles all stacked on top of each other.- James Leinhardt, Levitex
Elaborating further, Levitex advised:
If you pop a pillow between your knees and ankles, then you're going to de-weight that top leg and keep it better supported.- James Leinhardt, Levitex
The video was captioned, "Do you sleep in one of the magic two sleeping positions?" Its impact has been undeniable, amassing over 2.5 million views, 62.1k likes, and a deluge of comments, reflecting the eagerness of people to engage with this valuable information.
Despite the resonance of Levitex's guidance, many expressed apprehensions about sleeping on their backs due to concerns about sleep paralysis.
One TikTok user candidly revealed:
I'm terrified I'm gonna get sleep paralysis if I do sleep on my back because I've got a history of it but it doesn't happen when I'm on my stomach.- TikTok User
Echoing this sentiment, another chimed in:
Sleep paralysis said no to sleeping on my back.- TikTok User
Diverse theories emerged about back sleeping, with one individual asserting:
But you're guaranteed bad dreams if you sleep on your back.- TikTok User
Tongue-in-cheek humor emerged as well, with a TikTok user jesting:
The sleep demon comes when I lie on my back.- TikTok User
Some candidly dismissed the recommendations, with one quipping:
Unfortunately, I'm not a psychopath so I can't sleep like that.- TikTok User
Ultimately, individual reactions varied, with some adopting a nonchalant attitude:
I'm alive, it's fine mate.- TikTok User
The only two sleeping positions I recommend
In the grand scheme of things, Levitex's insights have initiated discourse on sleep health and preferences, leaving individuals to contemplate their sleep postures through a new lens. The pursuit of sound sleep continues, with Levitex's counsel serving as a valuable guidepost on this restful journey.
In our fast-paced lives, getting good sleep can sometimes feel like a distant dream. But, just like eating well and staying active, sleep is really important for our health. Sleep helps our brains work better, keeps us in a good mood, and takes care of our bodies.
If we don't get enough good sleep, it can make us more likely to have problems like heart disease, stroke, obesity, and memory issues.
Dr. Marishka Brown, a sleep expert, says that good sleep has three parts.
- First, it's about how much you sleep.
- Second, it's about having sleep that's not broken up and is refreshing.
- And third, it's about keeping a regular sleep schedule.
Some people, like those who work at night or have a lot of stress, might have trouble getting good sleep. But there are things we can do to make sleep better.
Why Do We Have To Sleep?
Sometimes people think sleep is just a time for our tired brains to rest. But that's not all. Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, who studies sleep, says that sleep is like a busy time for our brains. It's when our brains do important things, like learning new stuff and making memories.
When we sleep, the brain totally changes function. It becomes almost like a kidney, removing waste from the system.- Dr. Maiken Nedergaard
Dr. Nedergaard found something amazing: our brains have a cleaning system that works while we sleep. It's like a cleanup crew that gets rid of bad stuff. This helps our brains stay healthy and can even help prevent diseases like Alzheimer's.
Another expert, Dr. Kenneth Wright, Jr., says that sleep is also a time for our bodies to fix things. Just like how we fix things around the house, our bodies fix themselves during sleep. But if we don't get enough sleep, these repairs don't happen well, and it can make us feel not so good.
There are certain repair processes that occur in the body mostly, or most effectively, during sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, those processes are going to be disturbed.- Dr. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
So, sleep isn't just time off for our brains and bodies. It's a time when they get busy fixing and cleaning up to keep us healthy and strong.
How much sleep we need changes as we grow up. Kids need a lot of sleep – at least 9 hours for school-age kids and 8-10 hours for teens. Grown-ups need about 7 hours or more.
There are some things people think about sleep that aren't true. Some think older people need less sleep, but that's not right. They need the same amount, but sometimes sleep gets harder for them. Another wrong idea is that we can "catch up" on missed sleep by sleeping more on weekends. But that doesn't really work if we've missed sleep for a long time.
If you have one bad night’s sleep and take a nap, or sleep longer the next night, that can benefit you. But if you have a week’s worth of getting too little sleep, the weekend isn’t sufficient for you to catch up. That’s not a healthy behavior.- Dr. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
Also, some people think more sleep is always better, but that's not true either. If adults sleep more than 9 hours and still feel tired, there might be a medical reason for it.
If you’re sleeping more than nine hours a night and you still don’t feel refreshed, there may be some underlying medical issue.- Dr. Marishka Brown
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can't get good sleep because of problems like insomnia. Insomnia is when you have a tough time falling asleep or staying asleep, even when you have enough time to sleep and a comfy place to do it.
Another problem is sleep apnea, which happens when the airway gets blocked during sleep, making us wake up often. This can be dangerous if not treated.
If sleep problems stick around, it's a good idea to talk to a doctor. They might ask you to track your sleep and do some tests to find out what's going on.
Sleep Deprivation and its Weird Effects on the Mind and Body
When you sleep, your body does some pretty important things to keep you healthy.
As you fall asleep and go into non-REM sleep, your blood pressure and heart rate go down. Your parasympathetic system takes over, and your heart doesn't have to work as hard as when you're awake.
But during REM sleep and when you wake up, your sympathetic system gets busy. It makes your heart rate and blood pressure go up to normal levels. But if these levels suddenly spike when you wake up, it can lead to chest pain or even heart attacks.
If you don't sleep enough or keep waking up at night, you might have a bigger chance of:
- Heart problems like coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Gaining too much weight
Your body makes different hormones at different times of the day. When you wake up, hormones like cortisol make you alert. Some hormones follow a 24-hour pattern, changing as you grow up.
For example, in kids, hormones that control stuff like testosterone and estrogen are more active at night.
Your body deals with fat in different ways at different times. Circadian clocks in your liver, fat, and muscles to make sure your body knows when to digest fats. Eating at odd times can mess with how your body handles fat.
Research shows that not getting good sleep can lead to:
- More of the hormones that make you hungry
- Trouble responding to insulin
- Eating more fatty and sugary foods
- Being less active
- Metabolic syndrome, which can lead to being overweight
When you sleep, you breathe less deeply and less often, and you take in less oxygen. This can be tricky if you have breathing problems like asthma or COPD. Breathing problems can get worse when you sleep, especially during early morning sleep.
Sleep also affects your immune system, which fights off germs. When you sleep, certain immune cells work harder. That's why not sleeping enough can make you more likely to catch colds and other infections.
Sleep helps you learn and remember things. Not getting enough good sleep can make it hard to focus, think clearly, and remember stuff.
How much sleep do you really need? | Sleeping with Science, a TED series
Have you ever wondered why you feel tired at certain times and full of energy at others? Well, there's a fascinating internal "body clock" that guides your sleep cycle. This clock follows a 24-hour pattern called the circadian rhythm. As you wake up, you start to get tired as the day goes on, reaching a peak of sleepiness in the evening when it's time to hit the hay.
This sleep drive, also known as sleep-wake homeostasis, might be linked to something called adenosine, a substance your brain makes. As the day progresses, adenosine levels build up, making you more and more tired. Sleep helps break down this compound.
Light plays a big role too. Your brain has a special part called the hypothalamus, which has nerve cells that process light signals from your eyes. When it gets dark, your brain releases melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel drowsy. In the morning, when the sun comes up, another hormone called cortisol makes you feel awake and full of energy.
Once you fall asleep, your body goes through a sleep cycle divided into four stages:
- Stage 1 NREM -This is like the bridge between being awake and sleeping. It's light sleep where muscles relax, heart rate slows, and brain waves calm down. This stage lasts a few minutes.
- Stage 2 NREM -In this stage, you're in deeper sleep. Heart rate and breathing slow even more, muscles relax further, and eye movements stop. It's the longest stage.
- Stage 3 NREM -This is the restorative stage that helps you feel refreshed the next day. Heartbeat, breathing, and brain waves are at their slowest. Your muscles are super relaxed, and this stage gets shorter as the night goes on.
- REM -About 90 minutes after you fall asleep, you enter Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Your eyes move rapidly under your eyelids, heart rate, and blood pressure increase, and you start to dream. Your body becomes kind of paralyzed, likely so you don't act out your dreams. This stage helps with memory and learning. It gets longer through the night.
These stages repeat throughout the night in cycles of about 90-120 minutes each. Most of the cycle is spent in NREM sleep, around 75-80%. You might wake up a bit during the night, but you usually won't remember – those moments are called "W" stages. So, while you're resting, your body is quite busy following this sleep rhythm.
When it comes to the best sleep position, it's all about supporting your spine and finding comfort. Your choice can depend on your health needs and personal preferences.
Sleeping on your side or back tends to be better for your spine compared to sleeping on your stomach. These positions promote spinal alignment and relieve pressure, allowing your muscles to relax and recover.
More than 60% of people sleep on their sides. This position is linked to healthy spinal alignment and is less likely to cause back pain. Side sleeping can also help with heartburn and snoring. It's particularly helpful for pregnant women, those with acid reflux, back pain, or sleep apnea, and older individuals. If you're pregnant, sleeping on your left side is recommended to enhance blood flow to the baby.
Lying on your back is the second most popular position. It's great for maintaining spinal alignment and even weight distribution, preventing neck or back discomfort. Back sleeping can ease congestion and benefit your skin by reducing pressure on your face, and minimizing wrinkles. It's ideal for people with neck pain, lumbar spinal pain, and nasal congestion.
Side sleeping might lead to shoulder tightness or wrinkles. Pregnant women, snorers, sleep apnea sufferers, and those with certain types of back pain might want to avoid back sleeping. Back sleeping is not recommended for heavier adults or older individuals due to airway collapse risks and potential back discomfort.
Ultimately, the best position for you depends on your unique needs. Experiment with pillows and mattresses to find your ideal setup. Remember, sleep quality matters, so choose a position that helps you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Changing positions during sleep is beneficial for maintaining healthy alignment and preventing stiffness or discomfort. Your body naturally shifts positions throughout the night to promote better sleep quality.
A typical sleep pattern consists of four to six sleep cycles per night, each encompassing various stages that allow the brain to recover and support different bodily functions. The duration of these stages can vary based on factors like age, sleep habits, alcohol consumption, and sleep disorders.
Sleeping without a pillow can be beneficial for front sleepers as it helps align the spine and neck, reducing neck and back pain. However, it might not be suitable for everyone. Back or side sleepers might experience discomfort without a pillow, leading to neck or back pain.
A sleep expert advises two sleeping positions for better health by prioritizing spinal support and comfort. Side sleeping and back sleeping emerge as the prime contenders. These positions not only promote healthy spinal alignment but also alleviate pressure and nurture muscle recovery.
As you venture into the realm of slumber, remember that the choices you make in sleep can reverberate positively through your waking hours, ultimately contributing to a better state of health.