When you wake up and stretch, chances are that your arms have found their way above your head, a sure sign of the ‘Starfish’ sleeping position. Despite its wacky name, this snoozing style is surprisingly comfortable for many, giving them comfort when they drift off.
In addition to providing a more restful sleep, the right sleeping posture can help combat shoulder pain and neck discomfort while allowing for easier breathing.
Although, some may wonder if sleeping with their arms raised poses any health risks. In this blog post, we’ll help to explain why people resort to it, as well as any potential health risks that could come along with it.
Why Do I Sleep With My Arms Above My Head: 5 Reasons
Although it may look uncomfortable, sleeping with your arms above your head is a surprisingly common habit. From discovering greater comfort and relaxation to accommodating medical concerns, there can be various motivations behind wanting to tuck in at night with one’s hands pushing toward the sky.
ONE: For Comfort and Relaxation
Keeping your arms over your head while you sleep can help stretch your chest and shoulder muscles, making you feel less tension and stiffness. This sleeping position is particularly useful for people who have been sitting or standing for long periods of time during the day.
Apart from that, the position allows for better blood flow and can assist with reducing inflammation in the arms.
TWO: Solve Breathing Difficulties
Arms raised above the head during sleep can help open up airways, which can make it easier to breathe during sleep. This can be especially helpful for those with breathing difficulties, such as sleep apnoea, snoring, or asthma.
However, studies have shown that this position can also cause trouble breathing at night, particularly in people who have big tongues or are obese. So, speaking with your doctor or sleep specialist about your best sleeping positions is essential if you have difficulty breathing at night.
THREE: Defends Against Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is a common issue that affects many individuals, particularly those who work in jobs that require repetitive motions. Sleeping in the starfish position can help prevent or alleviate shoulder pain, as it allows the shoulders to rest in a more natural position.
Research has revealed that those who sleep in the starfish position may experience less shoulder pain than their counterparts lying on their back with arms straight.
FOUR: Relieves Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and sleep position can significantly impact an individual’s level of discomfort. Sleeping on your back, with your arms raised above your head, can help relieve lower back pain.
This position allows for better alignment of the spine, which can help reduce pressure on the lower back muscles. Alternating between back and side sleeping can further aid in relieving lower back pain.
FIVE: Reduces Neck Pain
Proper spinal alignment is essential to prevent pain during sleep, and back sleeping positions can aid in achieving this alignment. Sleeping on your back can prevent neck pain and should be done in a symmetrical arm position, which keeps the spine aligned correctly.
The starfish position is recommended for back sleeping because it supports the head and neck, which can reduce the likelihood of neck pain.
Does Sleeping With Your Arms Raise Pose Any Health Risks?
Sleeping with your arms raised may look comfortable, but it can come at a cost. Prolonged pressure on the joints of your shoulders and arms from this position can result in chronic aches, sciatica nerve pain, and even disc degeneration over time.
Sleeping in this position regularly can also cause numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, which can cause postural shoulder pain.
Furthermore, sleeping with your arms raised can affect circulation and sleep quality. This is because this position increases pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in your armpits, which can impede proper blood flow and cause discomfort.
Moreover, sleeping in a position that does not maintain proper neck and spine alignment can lead to compression of organs and hinder blood flow, compromising your overall health status.
How Do You Stop Sleeping With Your Hands Over Your Head?
If you always wake up with your hands above your head, you might have discomfort in your arms, shoulders, and neck. The position might seem like a personal preference, but it’s actually indicative of a suboptimal sleeping posture, which could be fixed with a wedge pillow.
Wedge pillows are an effective solution to prevent placing your arms above your head while sleeping. These pillows can be placed underneath your upper torso, creating an incline that discourages you from rolling onto your back or stomach and exacerbating the issue.
By sleeping with wedge pillows, you can experience better neck and shoulder alignment while reducing strain or soreness. What’s more, they even help to open up your airways for optimal breathing.
Does Sleeping With Your Arms Up Impact Your Quality Of Sleep?
The way you sleep can have a huge effect on the quality of rest that you experience. Is there any truth to the rumour that sleeping with your arms up could be detrimental?
Despite common misconceptions, raising your arms does not significantly affect the quality of sleep you will receive. Research on the subject suggests that the position in which you keep your arms while sleeping has very little impact on the overall quality of your sleep.
When considering this topic, it is essential to understand that there are various positions you can sleep in. Sleeping on your back, stomach, or side comes with benefits and disadvantages. However, as far as sleeping with your arms up goes, little evidence suggests that it negatively impacts sleep quality.
Slumber with Caution: Know the Best Sleep Positions for Wellness
While we may not give it much thought, the way in which we sleep can have a significant effect on our well-being. If you’re one of those people who love falling asleep with their arms above their head, be aware that this positioning could come at an unexpected cost to your health.
From numbness and tingling in your arms to potential shoulder and neck pain, these discomforts can disrupt your overall sleep quality.
By taking steps to prevent this sleeping position, you can reduce the risks involved and enjoy a more comfortable and restful night’s sleep. It’s never too late to make a change, so start today and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.