Our blood circulation is responsible for our optimum health and fitness. Blood circulation is important for carrying oxygenated blood to various parts of the body. It helps carry toxic waste to the bowels for excretion and promotes fitness by absorbing nutrients and carrying them to various body parts.
However, the best way to boost blood circulation is through movement, which is at its lowest while sleeping as the body is stagnant. That is why those who remain stationary for the entire day for work or bed-ridden patients who lie down most of the time are at greater risk of developing heart disease.
Choosing the best sleeping positions to promote blood circulation can address various issues arising from poor circulation while sleeping. Depending on one’s health condition, this could differ for different people. Discomfort while sleeping will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, and you will end up having more issues.
If you are not sure about which sleeping positions work the best for you, then you can consult a doctor. But some general rules might help you sleep more comfortably.
How to Know There is Poor Blood Circulation while Sleeping?
If your sleeping position hinders your blood circulation, you may not know it at first. It could be a while before you figure out the reasons. Here are some of the symptoms you may notice.
1. Tingling Sensation
You may notice a tingling sensation in various parts of your body if you have poor circulation.
The sensation will be more in your extremities, like your limbs. You may also feel a slight numbness for a few seconds when you try to move or change sides.
2. Breathing Problems
Poor circulation during sleep can give rise to breathing problems. This is because oxygenated blood reaches all parts of the lungs more slowly when the body is in a flat resting position.
Those who already have heart or lung issues can develop slight breathing problems.
You may have cramps in your muscles if there is slow blood circulation in your body. The muscles do not get adequate oxygen, and you may develop cramps when you try to move on waking up, or your limbs may feel very stiff, resulting in pain when you try to move them.
What are Some of the Ideal Sleeping Positions for Blood Circulation?
Some sleeping positions facilitate blood circulation in the body. Here are some positions that can help you sleep better and promote circulation.
1. Sleeping on the Back
Sleeping on the back facilitates circulation by keeping the spine straight and providing a clear passage to the heart to pump blood throughout the body. The arteries and other nerves do not have any obstruction, and blood can flow freely.
Moreover, back sleeping maintains your posture and prevents strain on your neck and back.
2. Back Sleeping with Legs Raised
Keeping your back straight and raising your legs slightly on a pillow allows the heart to pump blood to all body parts without compressing any veins. This prevents the tingling sensation and numbness in the limbs.
It also results in the even distribution of weight as there is no additional pressure on any particular part of the body.
3. Sleeping on Side
Sleeping on your side can also facilitate blood flow, especially if you find your back sleeping too stiff. Sleeping on both sides can help with circulation as gravity can prevent blood pooling on any particular side.
Every time you change sides in your sleep, blood flows smoothly in all directions. However, avoid sleeping in a fetal position because this can restrict blood flow by compressing some of the veins in the abdomen.
Tips to Sleep Well for Proper Circulation
Although every person has their own preferences for sleeping, some general sleeping tips work well for almost everyone. Here are some of them.
1. Use Good Pillows
If you are using pillows to raise your knees or additional pillows below your neck, make sure they are soft and comfortable. Hard pillows compress the nerves and make it uncomfortable to sleep on them for too long, resulting in a lot of tossing and turning.
2. Use a Relaxing Mattress
Using a relaxing mattress is essential for proper sleep. Avoid using hard and lumpy mattresses that will cause your muscles to cramp after a while. A high-end foam mattress will aid blood flow when you move and also result in deep sleep by regulating your body temperature.
3. Relaxed Forearms
Many make the mistake of using inadequate pillows while sleeping and then fold their arms beneath their heads. This can restrict the blood flow to your arms, and you will end up with a numb sensation upon waking up. The best way to sleep is to keep your arms relaxed by your side, and this will enhance blood flow right to the tips.
Improper blood flow may have some lasting impact on the body. Hence, it is only natural that you may have questions regarding blood flow and sleep. These answers might help you.
Can lying down too long impact blood circulation?
Yes, lying on the back for too long can affect blood circulation. Blood flows best in the body when there is movement. That is why bedridden patients are often advised to undergo physiotherapy and change sides to facilitate blood flow. Choosing the right sleeping positions can help everyone enhance blood flow in their body while sleeping, especially those who already have any kind of heart ailments.
Can improper sleep posture cause heart conditions?
Improper sleeping positions may not cause heart conditions, but they will aggravate any existing problems. Moreover, if someone continuously sleeps in an improper position that restricts blood flow to some parts of the body, then it could cause heart problems over time as the heart will have to work double-time to push blood through the body over long periods. Choosing the right sleeping position can be very beneficial.
Can proper blood flow result in comfortable sleep?
Yes, proper blood flow can result in comfortable sleep. You will feel a burning or tingling sensation in your arms and legs, or you may develop cramps if your sleeping position is not comfortable enough. You will toss or turn through the night, or you may wake up with stiffness and pain in your limbs. A comfortable sleeping position can help prevent all that.
Choosing the right sleeping position not only enhances your blood circulation but also promotes overall health and good body posture. You may have to try a few times to figure out which positions work best for you, but sleeping on your back or sides on a comfortable mattress can result in optimal blood flow.
You can try changing the position the next day if a position does not work for you. By aligning your spine well and finding a good posture, you will ensure the overall health of your body.