5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sleep Flat
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And the benefits of elevating your body and feet while sleeping
Experts have long known that better sleep leads to more energy and superior wellness. But the science behind how to achieve it is only beginning to emerge now. The answer is out there and Ultramatic has it.
The first place to start is the sleep surface. Our bodies are not flat, so why do most people historically sleep on a flat surface? Quite simply put, its due to ease. It turns out it is cost prohibitive to manufacture custom-shaped mattresses that exactly fit the curves of our bodies, as we humans come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Even if you were to purchase a custom-built mattress, your body weight and contour will probably shift as you age, requiring a different mattress profile over time.
Some animals eliminate this problem completely by not requiring a sleep surface: Bats sleep upside down, horses and elephants sleep standing up, and flamingos sleep on 1 leg! Their muscles and skeletal structure have evolved physiologically to support sleep this way. Flamingos, for example, have thigh muscles that are oriented horizontally, instead of vertically like ours. By placing their leg under their center of gravity, they can sleep balanced on leg with very little muscle force.
Humans are designed to sleep horizontally – from our muscles to our circulatory system. But once we’re in a horizontal position, there’s nothing physiological that says that we should sleep on a completely flat surface. As long as the surface is relatively horizontal, a sleep surface that conforms to the natural C-shaped lordotic curve of our spine is the most optimal way to sleep.
Longer, Deeper Sleep
Ultramatic discovered that placing a pressure-relieving mattress on top of an adjustable base allowed one to curve the mattress to the natural contours of the body. This custom curvature was accomplished by elevating the leg portion of the bed at the knee joint, and by raising and inclining the back of the bed. This sleeping position led to fewer interruptions during the night and a longer, deeper sleep. There were other health benefits as well.
Reduced Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Back Pain
Using an adjustable bed to raise the leg portion of the bed can shift your body weight away lower, reducing pressure on your lower spine and lower-back muscles. The weight shifts to the buttocks, which is designed to bear our body mass.
Some adjustable beds, like the Ultramatic Supreme 9.5 Pillow Tilt Adjustable Base allow even more curvature customization, further reducing pressure on the spine. This base has a Lumbar-Booster™ button which raise the hips and boosts support for vertebrae L1 to L5 of the lower spine, promoting better posture and spinal health. And, the base has the trademarked Pillow-Tilt feature, which allows you to customize the support to your neck and cervical vertebrae. Increased support to vertebrae C1 to C7 of the upper-spine reduces shoulder and neck pain. The customized curvature is particularly beneficial to those suffering from sciatica, arthritis, herniated disk or scoliosis.
Adjustable sleep systems are also great for people with hypertension, high blood pressure, or cardiac issues, as they can improve circulation. By elevating your head and feet above the level of your heart – often called the zero-gravity position – your blood can flow more easily back to the heart, putting less pressure on the heart. The Ultramatic Posture-Plus 4.5 Adjustable Base is pre-programmed with the zero-gravity position and glides quietly into position at the push of a button. Better blood flow is good for you in general, but particularly if you’re recovering from illness, a heart-attack, or healing from surgery.
Easier Breathing & Relief for Sleep Apnea
Other benefits of sleeping in an elevated and inclined position include being able to breathe easier. Many people snore less, as elevating your back puts less pressure on your lungs and opens up airways. There’s relief for those with obstructive sleep apnea as well. Sleep apnea is a common and serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops for 10 seconds or more during sleep. The disorder results in less oxygen in the blood and can briefly awaken sleepers throughout the night. The American Sleep Apnea Association says “Sleeping on your back with your body elevated from the waist up may help keep your airway from collapsing and, in turn, improve your condition”.
For those who simply wake themselves up snoring, or find breathing difficult when laying flat, a Eucalyptus Memory Foam Pillow may be able to help. Infused with eucalyptus essential oils, which help open up airways, this pillow gently cradles your spine and is perfect for both side and stomach sleepers.
Better Gut Health
Finally, the fifth reason not to sleep flat is that you can alleviate stomach issues with an adjustable bed. Stomach pain is a major cause of interrupted sleep – In fact, over 65% of people with IBD report experiencing sleep problems. Doctors say that even common symptoms like abdominal pain, and cramping can be more tolerable if you can adjust your sleep position with an adjustable bed. By raising the back and minutely adjusting the position of your chest and neck, you can alleviate acid reflux, indigestion and GERD – and promote better gut health. You can achieve this quite inexpensively with the Ultramatic Sunshine Adjustable Base.
It’s important to think about how your sleep may be impacting your overall health, and what steps you can take to improve it.
To learn more about how you can improve your sleep quality, contact the friendly sleep experts at Ultramatic. Visit our showrooms in Toronto / Mississauga / Oakville, browse www.Ultramatic.ca, email [email protected], ping us on Facebook Messenger, or call 1-866-413-4169 for a free consultation.
Plus, C.A.R.P. members receive special savings:
- 25% OFF All Sleep Accessories (like Pillows and Sheets)
- Up to $500 OFF Mattresses, Bases or Walk-in Bathtubs