Sleeping on your stomach isn’t the most advisable sleeping position. Many sleeping experts would agree that this sleeping position comes with benefits and downsides. While sleeping on the stomach can be beneficial to people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux, it can cause problems for people with back and neck pain.
Even with the downsides, about 16% of people choose to sleep in this position. However, selecting supportive mattresses that provide enough pushback can help mitigate these problems. If you are fond of sleeping on your stomach, here are some essential tips to improve your sleeping experience.
Choose a softer and more flexible pillow
When you sleep on your stomach, you would need to bend your neck to the side, which could cause pressure on your neck and jaw. Additionally, this sleeping position also mounts your chest and hips directly against the mattress. As a result, sleeping on the firm pillow increases the pressure on your spine, causing further spinal misalignment. It can result in neck, jaw, or shoulder pain. To avoid this misalignment, you should opt for a softer and more flexible pillow. Additionally, stomach sleepers can also use shredded foam pillows as it helps reduce neck pain.
Choose a firm mattress
Firm mattresses support the optimal alignment of your spine throughout the night. So if you are a penchant for stomach sleepers, these are the best mattresses to consider. Sleeping on a firm mattress can prevent your chest and hips from sinking too far into the mattress. It can help prevent (or even reduce) neck and back pain. While it might be difficult for you to get the right bed to support your stomach sleeping position, you can get a mattress topper to provide the right firmness level you desire.
Keep your legs as straight as possible
Most stomach sleepers usually pull one knee towards their body because it makes them comfortable. However, being in this position for a long time can result in severe back pain because it throws the spine further out of alignment. One of the best ways to improve your stomach sleeping experience is to place your spine as straight as possible. You can achieve that by positioning your leg to ensure your spine does not twist and curve unnaturally.
Choose a bed with additional cooling comfort
When you sleep on your stomach, a more significant part of your body is in direct contact with your mattresses than back or side sleepers. It can make your night extremely hot. As a result, stomach sleepers prone to sleeping hot should opt for beds with super cooling comfort – they help you keep cool during the night.
Add an extra body pillow
Many sleep experts will advise that stomach sleepers try their best to get used to sleeping with their side. However, people fond of sleeping on their stomachs should use an extra pillow to position their bodies more onto the side. You can achieve this with a larger and firmer pillow. It supports better spine alignment, gives you comfort, and also improves your stomach sleeping experience.
Do Morning Stretches
Stomach sleepers should try their best to stretch every morning. This can help to realign their spine. Besides relieving tension, morning stretches can help energize and wake you up.
Talk to your doctor
Though sleeping on your stomach is considered a bad practice, there are some ways you can improve your sleeping experience. If you have tried a few sleep tips and are still not getting a comfortable and sound sleep, we recommend talking to your doctor. They will help you solve your sleeping issue based on your medical history.
Sleeping on Your Stomach – Benefits and Downsides
Sleeping on your stomach comes with benefits and downsides.
- Can prevent snoring
- Reduces acid reflux
- Decreases sleep apnea symptoms
- Can result in neck problem
- Can result in wrinkles and stiffness
- Can cause strain on your back
Stomach sleeping can also pressure your joint, causing you to wake up with numbness and aches. Additionally, if you are used to turning while sleeping, it can lead to shoulder and neck pain. However, if you have snoring and apnea sleeping issues, sleeping on your stomach helps prevent that by keeping your airways open.
Should I change my sleeping position?
Changing your stomach sleeping position depends on whether you feel pain and aches when you wake up. If you experience soreness or stiffness, you should consider trying out a new sleeping position. Sleeping on your side or back provides more health benefits than sleeping on your stomach.
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended by most sleeping experts because it can put more pressure on your spine, leading to neck and back pain. However, several people are fond of sleeping on their stomachs. If you’re one of them, following these few essential tips can help you improve your sleeping experience. But, if possible, we’d recommend that you try and reposition your bodies into a side sleeping position.