Are you sleepless because of sleeping position? Do you strive to achieve a good sleeping position at every night?? Read relation between sleep and sleeping position in this letter.
Letter to the patient suffering from insomnia
We are dreaming of sleep better. We are learning what to do and what to avoid. Few physical things can affect our sleep although sleep is a natural phenomenon. And the sleeping position is one of them.
What is sleeping position?
Sleeping position is a physical state of body that enhances sleep initiation and maintenance. The best sleeping position is expected to provide physical comfort, pain amelioration, and comfort breathing during sleep.
There are two types of people. One who falls asleep as they lie down, others keep on struggling. Sleeping position hardly matters to those who fall asleep within a short span. However, strugglers continue to knock the door of heavens.
Have you ever strived to achieve best sleeping position??
If ‘yes’… then let’s see the importance of the sleeping position.
Importance of sleeping position
Recently we are applying string theory for the origin of the universe. Strings propagate in space. They keep on interacting with one another, the theory says. Vibrations are the basic characteristics of these strings.
Think of our mind, it is also in propagation. Keeps on forming, suddenly dissolving. I feel our mind also possess properties of strings. Hence it keeps on vibrating.
At a certain time, it can beam at one point. And for the next moment, it can disappear in nowhere.
Highly volatile!! Profoundly projectile…what I can describe the characteristics of mind!!!
Sleep process relates to both, our body and mind. Both need to be equilibrium to initiate and maintain sleep. In our awakened state, mind projects centrifugally. Meaning it travels through our senses within or out of a body. However, during sleep initiation, it beams upon itself. It retracts from outside world and consolidates in itself.
Probably the moment at which mind and body together achieve equilibrium is the starting point of sleep.
Before we discuss sleeping position in detail let we figure out the journey of mind during sleep process.
Mind and its journey
If we observe the journey of mind while sleep initiation, it looks it is acting centripetally. Meaning it forces within itself. Probably it recollects in our thoughts. For a while, it vibrates in thoughts. And as the sleep moment arrives, it just passes into another dimension.
That is what we call it sleep!!
Is it so easy??
Not all the time. As it consolidates in our thoughts, it has to find the needle hole. I feel so. If it succeeds to pass through it, then only we can sleep. Otherwise, it remains trapped in its property of vibration. It just keeps on oscillating.
That is what we term it as racing mind or train of thoughts!!!!
Dear friend, ‘needle hole’ is just my assumption. Yet we have not identified the exact location of mind. Hence our imagined ‘needle hole’ is the farthest thing.
But we will proceed logically to understand the importance of the sleeping position.
Well, what happens to the mind when it passes in another dimension??
Probably it enjoys idle state! Probably it keeps on bouncing in dreams for a while!! But surely it shuts the door of consciousness.
Although sleep makes us unconscious, our mind retains limited control on our body. For example, it keeps control of breathing or sleeping position. Our breathing deepens if needed. Its frequency changes, if necessitated. Our sleeping position changes as per comfort requirement.
Does that mean mind returns back from the needle hole for making such adjustments??
Yes… seems like that. And it returns back to sleep after making such adjustments.
Is it hard to understand?? I know you are experiencing it. Probably you never come across its description in such a way!!!
Let I try to explain you with an example.
Let’s imagine you are traveling in a train. Imagine a person sitting next to you is trying to sleep. Now, what happens to him?
His physical body goes in a relaxed state. It just tries to find support. Probably this is the sign when his mind and body are arriving in equilibrium. Suddenly his body loses control and next moment he bounces back.
Why and how he lost control of his body?
Why and how he bounced back??
Probably it was to and fro travel of his mind through the need hole!!!
Sleep and body state
In above example, we have seen mind requires the relaxed state of a body while sleeping. Especially while passing through the needle hole.
And how it can be achieved?
By surrendering to the Gravity!!!
Yes… as we lie down the gravitation force divides. Probably it weakens as it gets the larger area of the body to act upon. Naturally, our most of the muscles find comfort and relaxation. They no longer needed to be in a tense tone and working against gravity.
So in above example, the person sitting next to you became off-balanced because his mind was passing through the needle hole. But in the next the moment he bounced back. Even though his mind traveled to another dimension, it kept limited control over his body. As it interpreted the danger of falling from train seat, it regained and adjusted body position.
How much time mind has taken to gain control of his body??
Probably fraction of second!!!
Mind and body are interdependent
Science has not intercepted our mind yet. Still, we don’t know how it is made up of. Is it solid or gaseous? Where it is situated?? Still, we are not sure of answers. We just feel it. Sometimes it remains engaged… sometimes it gets distracted. For a while, it is calm but can rush with a light speed at the very next moment.
It is a bout of emotion which can bring tears to someone’s eyes!
It can be the same bout of emotion which can redden someone’s eyes with a rage!!
In conclusion, mind and body are interdependent!!!
We can see the body but not mind. Just imagine how tiny would be needle hole if it really exists!!!
From above discussion, we have identified two challenges
- Lightning speed of mind while passing through needle hole
- Perfect sleeping position that facilitates consolidation of our mind
Mind and sleeping position
Let we describe our sleeping process in the context of above discussion. We will use the virtue of interdependence between mind and body.
In regards to above discussion, our sleep is nothing but travel of mind from exterior to inner dimension through the needle hole. The mind has to consolidate enough to pass through this tiny aperture. Factors like anxiety, depression, pain etc. impact consolidation of mind.
Probably they disallow mind to consolidate in it!! Probably they obstruct mind to find the needle hole and pass through it!!!
Stabilized and resting posture of body facilitate the consolidation of mind. It is impossible to sleep while running. Our muscles must be enjoying maximum state of comfort. Muscle relaxation helps the mind to distract from the physical body. This pulls back of mind enhances its consolidation. The equilibrium of body and the mind set sleep in us.
The exercise of body stabilization is individualistic!!
Few find comfort in lying on back… few find comfort in lying on their left or right sides. There are hundreds of variations one can create to achieve the comfort. But one who regularly succeeds in achieving the good quality of sleep in particular sleeping position then that position is the best sleeping position for him.
That sleeping position must be medically justifiable. Suppose a person getting good sleep while lying on stomach. But if he had a history of neck disorder, then his sleeping position cannot be categorized as best sleeping position. It may worsen his disorder in future.
Best sleeping position
As we discussed earlier, the sleeping position doesn’t matter for few people. They just lie down and within few minutes fall asleep.
Hence the best sleeping position is the key concern for those who have this span longer. We can differentiate these people in two types.
- People taking a long time to consolidate mind: Usually these people suffer from anxiety, depression or the certain type of mental disorder. Often they start with their regular sleeping position. However, the delay in sleep caused by their mental problems tends them to change sleeping position. This may further results in their striving for best sleeping position. They remain tossing and turning in bed.
- An Underlying disorder affecting physical stabilization: These people usually have painful disorders like arthritis, back pain, neck pain etc. Sometimes few of them have breathing disorders like asthma, COPD etc. The distress of their disorder continues or sometimes worsens in bed. They keep on finding the comfortable sleeping position and miss the sleep. Delay in finding sleeping position sometimes creates mental agony. This further adds in causing sleeplessness.
As we have defined earlier, the best sleeping position is expected to take care of our health. It should provide good quality of sleep. Pain amelioration, cognitive development, refreshment of senses, an increase in alertness throughout the daytime and immune modulation are some of virtues best sleeping position should offer.
Dear, I hope you would have understood the importance of the sleeping position.
In the next letter, we will discuss different types of sleep positions.
Dr. Suraj Awadhani