How many times have you woken up with that annoying tingling feeling? The one that lets you know just how long you’ve been sleeping on your arm, ear, or hand –depriving it from necessary functions. No matter the level of sleep at the time, once the tingling starts in, there’s virtually no way to lay back and relax. Until the blood flow has fully returned to whatever area you were unwillingly cutting off circulation, you’re forced to curse and bear it. And if occurring night after night, it can cause a serious strain on one’s sleeping patterns
While this instance may be self induced, proper circulation in any situation proves for a healthier night’s sleep. To the layman, this seems like a no-brainer: steady blood flow means the body is functioning correctly. However, there’s a little more to it than that. Poor circulation can lead to pain, discomfort, and wakefulness rather than sleep. Even without fully realizing it, improper circulation can cause one to wake throughout the night, interrupting REM and leaving them tired and unrested.
There are also medical reasons that back up these circulation perks, such as rested muscles, brain functions, and allowing one’s extremities to completely relax.
To improve circulation while you sleep:
- Work on neck and spinal alignment – If your neck, head, or back isn’t properly aligned when lying down, it can interrupt circulation cycles. Make sure your pillow(s) support and won’t crane at any obscure angles. Abnormal sleeping positions can pinch nerve or cut off blood supply throughout the body. This is also one of the easiest fixes to an ongoing problem.
- Get more movement throughout the day – The better shape you’re in, the easier time your veins will have pumping through the night. Be sure to work on cardio and range of motion, which will give you a strong heart and limbs that won’t constrict. This can mean a steady workout plan, or just getting in a few walks per week.
- Drink water … a ton of water – The general rule of thumb calls for seven or eight glasses per day. But few of us actually consume that much water. Opt for a H2O-heavy routine to increase blood flow and flush impurities that can build up and cause blood clots.
- Check your sleeping posture – Are you a side sleeper who regularly crushes your own arm (or other limb)? Choose a circulation-friendly position to avoid waking with numb body parts. And if you can’t get comfortable, it may be time for a new mattress or body pillow to remove some of the pressure.
- Avoid fatty foods – Known as artery plaque, these fats can ban together and slow down blood flow. By sticking to a healthier diet, you can work to reduce any buildups that may interrupt (or block) circulation.
- Talk to your doctor – If numbness or cold extremities are the norm, it may be time to talk to your doctor about the cause. Be sure to track pains, waking patterns, or any other unusual sleeping behavior.
When it comes to curing poor circulation, however, it may take a bit of testing to see which tip can help provide the best results. Diet often does wonders for some, while a new set of pillows is the only cure for others. To receive the best results, consider taking on all of the above, even in small strides. By opting for a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, there are many perks to be had, including that of proper blood flow.
Try out these easy-to-follow tips for better circulation – and better sleep – throughout any time of the day.
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