On Your Back With A Pillow Under Your Knees
When all of your back is evenly supported by your mattress, it should feel pretty good.
Unfortunately, not all mattresses are created equal and sometimes the curve of your lower back can go unsupported, even in a simple supine position.
If you lay on your bed and feel your lower back curving up from the mattress, that means you arent getting proper lumbar support. To fix this, put a pillow under your knees.
To get in this position lay down on your back. Then, put a pillow either directly under the knees or under the knees and thighs. Lay down again and make sure that all of your back lays flat against the mattress.
You may have to experiment with exact placement and height of pillows to get the support you need.
Whats The Worst Positions For Digestion
Giving you ideas on the best sleeping positions to facilitate digestion is good. However, letting you know that there is the worst position as far as digestion is concerned is more profitable too. Some positions will only worsen the problem even if they are your favorite. In other words, if you often find yourself feeling tired or uncomfortable right from bed, it will be profitable to check on your sleeping habits.
Your Tummy Wants You To Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleeping on your left side might help you properly digest your food thanks, gravity!
Theres literally so much going on inside your body right now, and were lucky not to have to think too much about it. I mean, do you ever stop to ponder your digestive system? You eat, you maybe get a tummy ache sometimes, you poop, life continues. But because all of this happens without us putting much mental power toward it, our brains and our digestive systems dont really communicate much. If they did, our stomachs would be able to tell us some pretty useful information, like that digestion happens more easily when we lay on our left sides.
Honestly, what the hell? Why didnt we evolve to only sleep on our left sides, then?
Whatever, the fact remains: For most people, laying on your left side while you sleep allows your body to pass food and gas more easily. On top of that, though, there are tons of other body-position digestion #hacks you can utilize.
Its not necessarily foolproof, since there are any number of other issues that could be leading to your digestive troubles. Still, its a relatively easy thing to try. Similarly, you can try laying on your left side while awake, too. Some people report that doing so when bloated provides quick relief.
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Avoid Caffeine Nicotine And Alcohol
Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are all considered stimulants, which can make having regular bowel movements difficult. All of these substances are dehydrating which means digestive elimination will get backed up more frequently.
Try to avoid all caffeinated beverages including soda, coffee and energy drinks during times when you are taking Phentermine. Nicotine is actually one of the unknown culprits and makes things worse by drying out your bowels.
Alcohol can also affect your bowel movements because it is a diuretic, causing more frequent urination, especially throughout the night. This can disrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up multiple times during the night, disrupting sleep patterns The lack of sleep and increased dehydration can then lead to a bad case of constipation.
Can Insomnia And Sleep Apnea Cause Digestive Problems
Yes, both of these conditions can lead to digestive problems. When someone is sleep-deprived, as is often the case with insomnia and sleep apnea, the digestive system doesnt get allotted a proper amount of time to heal itself, grow, and repair damaged tissues. Therefore, not getting enough rest can exacerbate existing problems, and even cause new ones to emerge.
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Common Mistakes To Avoid With Constipation
Repeated straining and even one episode of straining forcefully can cause pelvic floor damage.
People often make these similar mistakes when trying to empty their bowel with constipation.
Common mistakes contributing to constipation and pelvic floor injury:
- Pushing down through the pelvic floor
- Straining to empty
- Pulling the tummy muscles inwards
- Losing the inward curve in the lower back and slumping forwards
- Hovering over the toilet rather than sitting on the seat
- Increasing fibre intake can actually worsen constipation in the short-term. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist about stool softening medication if your stool is too hard to empty using the technique described here. When youve successfully emptied your bowels you can gradually introduce the appropriate diet for avoiding constipation.
- Deferring the urge to empty the bowels can cause emptying problems. Try to empty your bowels when you first feel the appropriate urge unless youre prone to faecal incontinence problems and undergoing bowel retraining.
Sleep On Your Left Side For Better Health
Left-side sleeping has the most expert- and science-backed health benefits. Although our bodies appear largely symmetrical, our organ placement makes us asymmetrical internally. How we rest influences the way our systems direct and process waste which should be part of our overall health aspirations.
You might track working out, eating a healthy breakfast, or starting the day with a fresh perspective. Why not give your bowel movement the same attention?
For some, a bowel movement happens like clockwork. But others living with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, lazy bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, or other gastrointestinal conditions may struggle to check this item off the to-do list. So why not let gravity do the work?
Pro tip for side sleeping
Start out on your left side at night to prevent heartburn and allow gravity to move waste through your colon. Alternate sides if your shoulder bothers you. Place a firm pillow between your knees and hug one to support your spine.
While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning.
Side sleeping might also make you a better bedfellow and leave you more well-rested.
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Why Sleeping On Your Left Side Can Help With Constipation
Your stomach is located on the left side of your body.
So when you sleep on your left side, the food movement throughout your digestive tract is aided by gravity.
This can reduce the symptoms of a variety of digestive issues, including constipation.
One of the most productive times for bowel movements is first thing in the morning, so if you can sleep most of the night on your left side, this will mean that the food and waste material will have moved faster through the stomach and small intestine and should be waiting patiently in your colon ready for when you get out of bed.
Sleeping on your back can make the situation worse because gravity is pulling in such a way that it can keep everything stuck where it is for longer, which can cause an increase in a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Sleeping on your stomach, however, could be the worst position to choose if youre constipated.
Not only are you compressing your stomach and digestive system with the weight of your body, but you can also give yourself lower back pain because of the curve of your spine, which itself can cause constipation.
You may not be able to stay sleeping in the same position all night long, but generally speaking, the position you fall asleep in is the one you stay the longest in throughout the night.
So going to sleep on your left side increase the chances that you will sleep on that side for a good chunk of time.
Fiber Is Not Always The Answer
If adding fiber to your diet in the form of food orsupplements makes you more bloated and blocked than before, there are a numberof potential reasons. For example, in slow transit constipation, a conditionwhere the bowel does not move things quickly through, fiber sits in your gut andcan make you feel worse.
Long story short: If fiber makes you worse, dont just addmore. See your doctor.
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Causes Of Constipation In Children
- If a child is drinking too much milk and not getting enough solids, the lack of fibre can cause constipation.
- A tear in the skin next to the anus may be caused by doing a hard poo. This will make the child try to hold on for longer because it may hurt to go to the toilet.
- Some children ignore the urge to go to the toilet because they are too busy playing.
- Some children hold back when they are being toilet trained.
- Some children dont want to use school or preschool toilets for various reasons, such as lack of privacy or a smelly toilet.
- The child may not be getting enough exercise.
Signs And Symptoms Of Constipation
When you are constipated, you have to strain to defecate and you typically pass small, hard stools. You may also have a feeling that your rectum has not been completely emptied.Other signs and symptoms of constipation may include:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- A sense that something is blocked in your rectum
- Excessive straining during bowel movements
- Lower frequency of bowel movements
- Change in type of stool.
Most people dont need extensive testing to identify constipation: you know it when you have it. Still, understanding whats normal can help you identify constipation earlier and explain it to your doctor.
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Back To Basics For Pain Relief
There are plenty of positives from sleeping on your back, Fish says. First off, it is easier to keep your spine aligned.
Sleeping on your back may also reduce discomfort by lessening compression and pain from old injuries or other chronic conditions.
Finding a comfortable position with any chronic pain condition can be a struggle. But starting out on your back with strategic, trial-and-error pillow support might help.
Pro tip for back sleeping
Sleep on a wedge pillow or elevate the head of your bed 6 inches. Lie with legs spread hip-width distance apart and your arms spread in a goalpost formation. Elevate your knees with a pillow.
Side sleeping is the safest choice if you snore or have sleep apnea. But an elevation method could help with these conditions if you prefer sleeping on your back. Talk to your doctor about whats best for you.
Signs Of Constipation In Babies
It’s important to note that babies’ poop schedules can swing on both sides of the spectrum. Some exclusively breastfed babies poop after every meal others have been known to hold out for a week or longer, Dr. Shu says. Both situations can be normal, as long as their bowel movements look healthy.
“Consistency is key to defining constipation in breastfed babies. Rather than liquidy, seedy, pasty stools, the constipated baby’s stool will be more like little clay balls,” says Jane Morton, M.D., a clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, “though it is extremely rare for an exclusively breastfed baby to be constipated.”
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Formula-fed babies can be all over the map, too. And when solid foods enter the picture, parents should be prepared for the frequency, form, and color to change again. But as a frame of reference, babies 0 to 4 months of age poop on average three to four times a day, and after the introduction of solid foods, that reduces to approximately one bowel movement per day.
One obvious sign of constipation in babies is a prolonged absence of poop. If your little one isn’t having at least several bright, yellow poops on Day 5 of life, something could be wrong, regardless of whether they’re on breast milk or formula, Dr. Morton says. This usually has to do with the baby not getting enough to eat.
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How Sleep Affects Constipation
One of the lifestyle factors that is often overlooked when it comes to constipation is sleep.
The connection might not seem obvious at first because sleep and digestion can seem disconnected, but, actually, they are very closely linked.
When we are asleep, our bodies dont just stop doing anything.
Some active and important processes happen while we are sleeping, some of which are related to digestion.
1) When we are in the REM stage of sleep, there is faster gastric emptying.
This means that our stomach contents enter our intestines at a faster rate.
So the process by which food is passed along our digestive tract speeds up.
2) There is a more regular intestinal movement throughout the night while we are asleep, which can help keep our bowel movements more regular.
3) There is a growing body of evidence showing that poor sleep can have a dramatic impact on our gut health, and specifically constipation.
It is well known that poor sleep can affect constipation in people with IBS, but there is also evidence that it can also trigger constipation in otherwise healthy people.
4) Lack of sleep can also affect other conditions that can indirectly impact constipation.
For example, sleep problems can trigger anxiety, which can cause constipation.
5) Sleep is important for regulating the hormones that control our hunger and eating.
A lack of sleep increases the level of ghrelin and decreases the level of leptin .
Does It Hurt When You Poop
You should stop worrying as it doesnt hurt much when you poop after your delivery. The perineum, which is the area between the vagina and anus, will usually become numb as your nerves in and around the vagina stretch during the labor process. So, your first poop may not be painful.
Once the nerves in the perineal region recover, you may start feeling the pain when you poop. It is because the pelvic floor muscles and perineum move down while you are pushing the stool.
But the anxiety about pooping after labor can make things worse. When you get anxious, the back passage tightens rather than opening. To overcome this, distract yourself by reading a book or a newspaper while you are on the WC.
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Why Does This Technique Cause Constipation Relief
This breathing remedy increases brain and body oxygen content. When you get increased alveolar and arterial CO2 levels, CO2 will dilate arteries and arterioles. CO2 is the most potent dilator of arteries and arterioles.
Hence, it causes easing the spasm and providing more oxygen for cells. Over 90% of people can stop constipation with this exercise in 1-2 minutes.
This YouTube video provides the same exercise to relieve constipation fast: Constipation Remedies: Relief in 1 Min.
Research Into Patterns Of Sleep Disturbance And Ibs
Researchers hope that a better understanding of the relationship between sleep and IBS will lead to a deeper insight into the underlying causes of the disorder. From the ongoing research, some preliminary findings have emerged:
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Crave More Sugary Foods
Have you ever noticed that when youre deprived of shuteye, you feel hungrier? Its not all in your head. This biological response has been proven.
Its because a lack of rest results in a hormonal imbalance. The hormone ghrelin, which makes you hungry, becomes more prevalent than the hormone leptin, which signals fullness. When you also consider that lack of sleep affects judgment, that extra trip to the vending machine after lunch to grab a Snickers all of a sudden makes sense.
Lower Stress With Mindfulness Meditation
The brain and the digestive tract are so closely linked that researchers have coined the term gut-brain axis.
Digestive symptoms like constipation can lead to anxiety and psychological stress. In turn, stress strongly affects the gut.
Chronic stress is known to modify the gut microbiota and to alter nerve action in the intestines .
Psychological stress influences the gut both directly and indirectly. Availability of coping mechanisms and social support helps determine severity of symptoms and impact on quality of life. Click to enlarge. Image source.
Its important to manage stress, both for overall health and to ease digestive symptoms.
Mindfulness meditation has shown particular promise in reducing IBS symptoms .
In one high-quality study, IBS patients who received online mindfulness training reported a 42% reduction in symptoms at 3 months. By contrast, IBS patients who had access to an online discussion forum reported a 12% increase in symptoms .
The study also showed that the benefits of mindfulness training appear to be long-lasting. Participants who completed all mindfulness training sessions reported sustained benefits 1518 months after the study ended, even without seeking additional treatment .
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