Business Insider

How to Fix 9 Common Sleep Problems With Science

Spoiler: it's all about the pillows.

SKYE GOULD AND REBECCA HARRINGTON, BUSINESS INSIDER
18 MAY 2017
 

It seems like it's getting harder and harder to get a good night's sleep. Myriad distractions are in cahoots, keeping you from getting enough shut-eye.

We're supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep, but many Americans don't hit that target every night. Sleep can provide incredible health benefits, like helping us lose weight, improving our memories, and even making us happier.

 

So when you're lying in bed with one of these nine common sleep problems, here's what the science says you should do:

Strategically placing pillows is a good way to relieve all sorts of pain. If you wake up with a sore shoulder, try hugging your pillow when you're going to sleep.

Strategically placing pillows is a good way to relieve all sorts of pain. If you wake up with a sore shoulder, try hugging your pillow when you're going to sleep.

Sources: Mayo ClinicHennepin County Medical Centre

Sleeping on your stomach is probably not the best position if you have back pain, though a pillow under your legs can help. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs to relieve discomfort.

Sleeping on your stomach is probably not the best position if you have back pain, though a pillow under your legs can help. If you sleep on your side, try a pillow between your legs to relieve discomfort.

 

Source: Mayo Clinic

If your pillow doesn't hold its shape, it's time to get a new one.

If your pillow doesn't hold its shape, it's time to get a new one.

Source: Journal of Pain Research

It can be tough to banish phones before bedtime, but you should. Their blue light can wreak havoc on your REM cycle.

It can be tough to banish phones before bedtime, but you should. Their blue light can wreak havoc on your REM cycle.

 

Sources: Journal of Applied PhysiologyNeuroendocrinology Letters

Your body should be cooler when you sleep to get the best rest.

Your body should be cooler when you sleep to get the best rest.

Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismNational Sleep FoundationRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

Scientists call not waking up at the same time "social jet lag." Try setting your alarm for the same time seven days a week.

Scientists call not waking up at the same time 'social jet lag'. Try setting your alarm for the same time seven days a week.

Source: Chronobiology International

About 7 million Americans have acid reflux disease. Medication and sleeping elevated on your left side can help.

About 7 million Americans have acid reflux disease. Medication and sleeping elevated on your left side can help.

Sources: Cleveland ClinicHealthline

Whether you or your partner are noisy, there are interventions you can try to prevent snoring. If you're the snorer, start by avoiding sleeping on your back.

Whether you or your partner are noisy, there are interventions you can try to prevent snoring. If you're the snorer, start by avoiding sleeping on your back.

Source: Harvard Medical School

Scientists aren't sure what causes nighttime leg cramps, but it's probably related to muscle fatigue and nerve damage. Stretching and massage can help.

Scientists aren't sure what causes nighttime leg cramps, but it's probably related to muscle fatigue and nerve damage. Stretching and massage can help.

Sources: Cleveland ClinicMayo Clinic

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

More from Business Insider:

More From ScienceAlert

Never stop learning with this eduCBA Tech Training Bundle

500+ courses for coders, designers and more.

14 hours ago
Oklahoma doctor charged with murder for prescribing too many opioids

The US is in the midst of an 'opioid epidemic'.

15 hours ago
H2-Oh! Scientists show water can exist as two different liquids

Forget what you think you know about H2O.

14 hours ago