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Friday, October 12, 2012

Your sleep posture: Does it Matter?

  Probably the last thing that crosses your mind as you lie down to sleep is the significance of your sleep position. Recently there has been a lot of buzz about how your sleep posture may be affecting the quality of your sleep. Instead of blaming your bed it may be your posture that is the culprit for your sleeplessness. Although sleeping flat on your back may be good for your neck, back and joints this position can worsen snoring and sleep apnea by causing your tongue to close off the airway. Sleeping on your stomach worsens gastroesophageal reflux, diminishes the depth of your breathing and hyperextends your neck. Probably the best position is dozing on your side. The side position complements the natural curvature of your spine and allows your airway to stay open as you rest. But sleeping beauties—beware. Sleeping on your side may worsen your wrinkles as you press your face upon your pillow. You should choose a sleep posture tailored to your individual needs—one size does not fit all.

Dr. Idzidkowski, a sleep specialist, maintains that your sleeping position is also linked to a specific personality type. Wherever you go—there you are—even as you sleep. For example, the “freefall” types, those that lie on their tummies with their arms out, like they’re jumping out of an airplane, are often the gregarious, brash and sensitive types. On the other extreme those who rest on their backs with the arms out—the “starfish” stance—tend to be more friendly, helpful and receptive to others. Apparently the most common is the fetal position—almost 41% sleep in a ball. These personalities are often tough on the outside but tender on the inside.

I don’t think sleep specialists are ready to describe my sleeping habits. If “Extreme Sleep” was a TV reality show, I would win hands down at putting sleep to the test. In medical school I was so exhausted that I once slept standing up during surgery while holding retractors. I’m not proud to admit that! I’ve fallen asleep at the steering wheel of my car after staying up for three days during surgical residency. I’ve been so sleep deprived that I’ve fallen asleep eating soup. I’ve even slept on the floor of an African bus with pigs and chickens—probably infested with some rare deadly type of ebola virus.

Has it ever occurred to you that God is also interested in your sleep posture? The most important position that you can embrace is not a physical one—it’s a position of surrendering control of our lives over to the Shepherd of sleep.
You can rest assured:
  1. Knowing that God has removed your sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
  2. Trusting that God is watching over you and working for you as you rest (Psalm 34:15; Psalm 121:4).
  3. Understanding that your future is secure in His providential care (Jeremiah 29:12). You have nothing to fear or worry about—whatever you face tomorrow God has planned it for His glory and for your good.

Tonight as you prepare for rest make sure you get into the proper “spiritual” position. Resting in a clean conscious before God and man is the softest pillow that you can experience. Fall to sleep in His arms.

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