Science

Try these sleep positions if you wake up in the middle of the night

It's a crummy situation. You were up a little too late and you have to be up early for work. Around 2:30AM for seemingly no reason, you jolt awake and stay that way for about an hour.

This makes for a pretty groggy Wednesday morning, huh? It may really stink to wake up like that, but it's actually actually an old, evolutionary trait.

If you often wake up in the middle of the night, it's actually because you're supposed to. Humans used to do what's called "segmented sleep," which sounds exactly like what it is.

We slept for four hours, woke up for one or two, then slept another four. It's a natural biological clock that we have learned to ignore.

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People once used that hour in between sleeps to pray, to write, to drink some tea or just relax some other way.

During this time, the brain produced prolactin, which is a hormone that promotes relaxation.

"For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology," says psychologist Greg Jacobs.

"The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleep and is likely to seep into waking life too."

Russell Foster, a professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford backs up Mr. Jacobs' assertion. “Many people wake up at night and panic," says Foster.

"I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern. But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural.

Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centers where sleep is studied."

So before you look to diagnose the problem, consider that it's just your body doing what it naturally does.

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Sleep Positions For Best Sleep

When I go to bed, I usually fall asleep on my right side. No reason for it really. It's just what I do. It turns out, I might actually be doing myself a pretty major disservice by doing so.

You can sleep in several ways. On your chest, back, left, or right sides.

Each way impacts your health. Sleeping on your back isn't get for you if you have breathing issues. Sleeping on the right worsens digestive disorders. So how should we sleep?

When you sleep on your left side, you're probably dramatically improving your health and maybe even saving your life.

Holistic medicine calls the left side the dominant lymphatic side, and when you sleep on that side, your body more effectively filters toxins through the lymph nodes.

Sleeping on the right side can cause that entire system to slow down.

This increases the chance of deadly diseases. Sleeping on the left side makes your body's disposal system stronger. It can also ease heartburn!

If you have trouble sleeping on your left side, consider sleeping with your back to a wall. A small pillow between you and the wall can make it more comfortable.

It may take some time to get used to it at first. You can also keep a dim light on your right side, making your body naturally want to turn away from it.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.How many hours do you sleep every night? Let us know in the comments below. If you found this article helpful, please SHARE it with your family and friends on Facebook!

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