Everyone wants a good night of sleep. You might be tired from work or want to catch up on lost sleep. The reason doesn’t matter. For instance, we’ve all wanted to plummet into bed and sleep on our stomachs right there.
Well, that’s not ideal. When creating my best sleeping position breakdown, I didn’t focus on stomach sleep. That’s because stomach sleepers are at a disadvantage.
But is it terrible to sleep on your stomach? It might be worse than you’d think.
Why is it bad to sleep on your stomach?
As Healthline states, “yes” is the shortest answer. Now, many people have legitimate reasons to sleep on their stomachs. For instance, it helps you snore less. Other people merely find it easier to fall asleep.
The latter is particularly troublesome. Falling asleep has a lot to do with comfort and habits. I used to spend hours changing positions at night. As soon as I lied on my stomach, I fell asleep in minutes.
However, your body doesn’t particularly like sleep.
How long can you look to the side before your neck feels off? Imagine doing that for six or eight hours. Stomach sleepers twist their necks and misalign them from their backs. It might take a while, but neck problems will show up.
Your spine is your main support structure. Stomach sleepers regularly complain about back pain. Sleeping on your stomach strains your spine. That’s because your body weight concentrates on your middle body. Consequentially, your spine position suffers.
Finally, pregnancy multiplies all the disadvantages of sleeping on your stomach. The extra weight can destroy your spine’s alignment. Also, it’s fairly obvious. It’s virtually impossible to imagine it’s comfortable when you’re pregnant.
How to minimize damage when sleeping on the stomach
Layla Sleep has some interesting insight. If you simply can’t give up on stomach sleep, you can reduce the damage. That said, you should still try to change your main sleeping position.
Unfortunately, the transition is lengthy and tedious. You might want to leave it for the holidays. Thankfully, you can make a couple of changes to benefit your body in the meantime.
It starts with your bedroom.
You’ll need a firm mattress with enough contour. It keeps you from sinking, which messes with your spine. The contouring provides support for pressure points, like the hip. Memory foam mattresses might be considerably better.
Consider foregoing your pillow if you sleep on your stomach. Your goal is to keep your neck and back as aligned as possible. If you absolutely need a pillow, go for a flat one.
What are the best alternatives?
Finally, let’s see what change you can make. You might think you only have a couple of options: back and side. Luckily, you can rely on several variations for each one. We won’t touch on them. Nevertheless, feel free to check them out.
Basically, you have to choose on which side you want to sleep. Your back and side offer the most natural sleeping position. They help you align your spine.
However, which one is better? That’s more subjective. It also heavily depends on your goals.
Sleeping on your back
Back sleepers might have worse snoring. That’s probably a worthy investment if you value your health. If you sleep alone, consider this change. A pillow under your knees can bring all the support you need.
Sleeping on your left side
If snoring is a problem, side sleepers are the winners. You can get rid of snoring while improving your position. That said, use your pillows to keep your spine aligned. Curving slightly forward also keeps your natural spine position.
The holistic takeaway
We always say it: sleep is our primary need. We can hardly do anything if we feel tired. From our focus to strength, everything deteriorates with poor sleep. Your sleeping position lets you sleep well, but it does more.
You might sleep for eight hours every night. Does that help if your back hurts the entire day? Can you focus if your neck is stiff?
Sleeping on your stomach is far from ideal. Ideally, you want to get rid of that habit. Just make sure you don’t pressure yourself. Take your time and try different positions. Sleep is personal, so focus on what works for you.