Eagle County: Your sleeping position
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado Over the course of the night, Jason Feins says he rolls around in bed, unconsciously wrapping his body in blankets. I burrito myself, the 29-year-old Avon resident said. Thats why me and my girlfriend sleep with separate covers.For Eagle-Vail resident Cassi Savich, 23, nothing is more comfortable than snoozing with arms and legs flung outward like a starfish.Im a bed hog, she said. I like to sprawl on the bed.No two sleeping styles are exactly alike. Everyone has some kind of late-night ritual that only their closest friends and significant others know about, whether its curling into the fetal position before drifting off or bolting awake for a midnight snack.Dr. Jonathan Rosman, medical director of the Avon Sleep Center, says your sleeping position can affect the quantity and quality of your slumber.For instance, sleeping on your back can make snoring worse because the tongue and structures in the throat collapse onto the soft airways, Rosman said. When you sleep on your side, those structures fall away from the airway, he said.If you tend to have any kind of sleep-related breathing disorder such as sleep apnea, breathing and so forth, its always worse in the supine position, the doctor said.For pregnant women, sleeping on your back during the third trimester can be problematic, Rosman said. The weight of the baby can cut off blood flow through the major vessels that carry blood from the lower body to the heart, which can lead to varicose veins or hemorrhoids, he said. Despite all the problems sleeping on your back can cause adults, its the best position for infants, Rosman said. Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to succumb to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, sudden and unexplained death that typically happens after the baby goes to bed. Although the reason is unclear, infants are less likely to smother themselves if they sleep on their backs, with no blankets or toys in the crib, Rosman said.Several people around town said they sleep on their backs. Eagle-Vail resident Tyler Northrop, 28, said he sleeps on his back whenever he shares a bed with a girl for the first time.If she cuddles up and comes over, Im reading her level of interest, he said.If you sleep on your side, youre not alone. Virtually all Rosmans patients sleep on their side during some point in the night, the doctor said.Sleeping on your sides always good, he said. You dont have the problems from sleeping on your back and its much more comfortable than sleeping on your tummy.Matt Rihm, a Utah resident who was hanging out at Bobs Place in Avon this past weekend, said he starts out laying on his left side so he can cuddle with his girlfriend but then something takes over in my head and I have to sleep on my right side, he said.While the fetal position is popular, snoozing on your stomach is pretty rare. Rosman said its the least common sleeping position among his patients, though he reports no specific negatives associated with it.If you need to change your sleeping position, the transition can be tough.Its hard. It takes you a while to get used to it, Rosman said.To ease into sleeping on your side, he suggests buying a customized pillow for between the knees, along with a shaped pillow to support the neck.For those who keep rolling onto their backs, Rosman supports the age-old trick of sewing a tennis ball into the back of your T-shirt or pajama top.Just remember to have patience because training your body to sleep differently can take several weeks, Rosman said.You dont want to give up too soon, he said.High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow these tips from Dr. Jonathan Rosman for a good nights sleep: A quiet environment is best. If your home is noisy, wear earplugs or block out sounds with white noise like the humming of a humidifier. Cool down the room. The body can have trouble sleeping in rooms above 71 degrees F. Keep pets out of the bedroom. Dont watch TV or use your computer right before bed. Any light on the retinas sends a message to the brain that promotes wakefulness. Dont exercise close to bedtime. Avoid alcohol. While the sedatives can help you drift off, you wont stay asleep. Dont eat in bed. The resulting digestion can disturb your sleep or cause acid reflux. Place babies in a crib instead of in the bed. Avoid fighting with your significant other right before bedtime. Strive for a regular sleep schedule. Dont stay in bed too long in the morning. Invest in a decent mattress.