9 Benefits And Drawbacks Of Sleeping On Your Stomach
Each person sleeps differently. While most people prefer sleeping on their back or side, some would favor sleeping on their stomach as it makes them feel good and comfortable. While this may not be everyone’s number one choice, it can provide wonders for your body. It might be worth giving it a try to see how you like it.
However, when sleeping on your stomach, you might need to use a different pillow as your regular one won’t be beneficial. While you can always give it a try, you might only catch yourself waking up with intense neck pain because your head wasn’t properly aligned to your spine. As you watch this video, you’ll be able to see how a stomach pillow can significantly benefit your body while you sleep on your stomach at night.
If you’re still contemplating whether you should sleep on your stomach or not, listed below are some benefits and drawbacks of sleeping on your stomach:
One of the most involuntary annoying things that a person can do while asleep is snoring. While it can help wake up some people from their sleep, snoring can also be unhealthy for you. It might be a sign that something is hindering your breathing, such as a blockage in your respiratory conducting passages. Intense snoring can also lead to more severe problems, such as diabetes, heart problems, hypertension, and stroke. With that, preventing snoring is highly recommended.
There are plenty of ways to prevent snoring. While most people would recommend sleeping on your side, sleeping on your stomach can also be helpful. If you’re having difficulty lying on your side, especially if you’re not fond of using body pillows, sleeping on your stomach can help open your respiratory passageways for easier breathing. In doing so, you can decrease your snoring volume or surprisingly eliminate them together.
Lessen Movement While Sleeping
If you’re the type of sleeper who can’t stay in a single position throughout the night while finding the best sleeping position, going for a stomach position might be the best option for you. When you sleep on your side or back, there might be too much free space for you to move. You might find yourself constantly tossing and turning throughout the night. To limit your movements, you can try sleeping on your stomach instead.
When you sleep on your stomach, you unconsciously restrict yourself from tossing and turning. You encourage your body to stay in the same position for as long as possible. This might work especially great if you’re sharing a bed with a light sleeper and have a mattress that distributes every movement to every corner of the bed.
Minimizes Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder wherein a body may stop breathing for a short while before returning to its regular rhythm. While it might sound harmless, it can be threatening, especially if you never know when your body will start breathing again. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, you should consult with a doctor and ask for treatments that may lessen the risks that come with this sleeping disorder.
One of the few things you can do to combat sleep apnea naturally is to sleep on your stomach. In this position, you can allow your tongue and passageways to relax, allowing for obstacle-free breathing. Moreover, it can also help relieve any sleep apnea symptoms, such as loud snoring, dry mouth, insomnia, and morning headache. To help you sleep better, you should also consider using a Pillow for Stomach Sleepers. This type of pillow curves around your head, allowing you to sleep comfortably every night without putting tension on your neck and spine.
Helps Improve Digestion
Your body’s digestion process will depend on your lifestyle and the foods you eat. Ideally, your body shouldn’t have any problems absorbing the nutrients from the foods you take and processing them in your stomach. However, there may be instances wherein your digestion might not go as smoothly and upsets your stomach.
To ensure that you digest your food with no problems, you should consider sleeping on your stomach, along with eating healthy natural food. Sleeping on your stomach helps stimulate proper digestion because your body weight will put comfortable pressure on your gut. So, whenever you’re having a digestive problem, you should consider sleeping on your stomach for the night.
While there are plenty of great benefits that come with sleeping on your stomach, there are some drawbacks that you should know. Before you decide to try sleeping on your stomach, here are some disadvantages:
May Cause Body Pains
Since you’re going to sleep on your stomach, expect that you’re going to put extra stress on your spine, neck, and shoulders. Even if you use a flat pillow or don’t use one at all, you’ll still need to position your head sideways so that you’ll be able to breathe with no difficulty. However, if you stay in the same position for hours, expect to wake up with some neck pain that could take a toll on the rest of your day. To free yourself from neck pains, you should look for the Best Pillow for Neck Pain to give yourself a good night’s sleep and feel relaxed the next day.
Apart from neck pain, your body will not naturally curve as you sleep. Ideally, your spine should form a shape similar to a parenthesis, and you should keep it that way while you’re awake and asleep. However, when you sleep on your stomach, your back won’t be able to lay flat on the bed and cause discomfort. To help ease the back pain, you can use a pelvis pillow and sleep on it every night.
Can Develop Discomfort Due To Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is uncomfortable as stomach acid travels from your belly back up your esophagus. This could cause heartburn, difficulty swallowing, dry cough, sore throat, or the feeling of a lump in your throat. There are plenty of ways to avoid acid reflux, such as not eating specific types of foods. But the way you sleep can also contribute to the possibility of experiencing it.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll be putting pressure on your stomach because of your body weight pressing down on it. When this happens, your acid reflux might worsen as it’ll force the contents in your stomach to come back out. This position may become very uncomfortable and even make your symptoms intense and painful.
Not Suitable For Pregnant Women
Being pregnant is one of the most magical experiences in life, but it can also cause discomfort for the mom. While you grow a new life inside you, your everyday routine might change from what you usually do. Pregnancy could affect your sleeping position as your regular one might cause discomfort or harm your unborn child. With this, you should be aware of how you sleep while you’re pregnant.
Some doctors might allow you to sleep on your stomach while your belly is still flat. You can do this for up to two to three months of your pregnancy. However, suppose you’re starting to show and feel discomfort sleeping on your stomach. In that case, you should immediately switch to sleeping on your back or your side. Professionals may also say that sleeping on your left side would significantly help deliver the maximum nutrients for your baby.
May Develop Face Wrinkles
As you sleep on your back, expect your face to be tilted towards the pillow. Even if you’re sleeping on the side of your head, you may unconsciously change your head’s position and add pressure to your face. Since your pillow covers will not be smooth unless you’re using tight silk, expect to see your face with wrinkles every time you wake up.
Since you’re adding pressure to the parts of your body touching the mattress and pillows, the folds of the pillowcases and bedsheet might imprint on your face. When this happens, the marks may be hard to remove. It can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient, especially if you’re running late. While there are some remedies that you can do, simply waiting for time to pass will make the wrinkles go away naturally.
As you sleep on your stomach, you’ll be putting constant pressure on your face and body, which might cause you to drool excessively. Because of gravity, your saliva would have no other place to go but down to your pillow, causing pillow puddles.
You may not be able to prevent yourself from opening your mouth in this position, as it’ll help you be comfortable and breathe effortlessly. However, the possible drool might ruin your pillowcases and pillows. To prevent this from happening, you could use a waterproof pillow protector. It’ll help to save your pillows from getting dirty, along with keeping them away from bed bugs.
How To Sleep More Comfortably On Your Stomach
If the drawbacks don’t scare you and you’d still like to proceed with sleeping on your stomach, there are ways to make it more comfortable. After all, there are people that can sleep comfortably on their stomachs and enjoy the rest of the day as usual. Below are some tips on how to improve your experience when sleeping on your stomach:
Use A Thin Pillow Or No Pillow At All
You can say goodbye to the struggle of finding the fluffiest and most oversized pillow for sleeping because you’re not going to need it in your bedroom at all. Ideally, you should ditch using a pillow and sleep flat on your mattress. You can use your arms as a soft cushion, but you might stop after a couple of minutes as they might cause you arm pains.
However, if you cannot sleep without a pillow and find sleeping on a plain mattress uncomfortable, you should consider purchasing a thin pillow and using it under your head. This will help provide enough cushion for your head without lifting it too high, which can cause strains. There are plenty of thin pillows that you can find on the market. Just ensure that it can help promote proper sleeping alignment for stomach sleepers.
Switch To A Firm Mattress
Your mattress plays an important role in how you can sleep comfortably every night. For a stomach sleeper, having an extra firm mattress will help keep your night enjoyable because your body won’t sink down on the bed, causing stress to your spine, neck, back, and shoulders. With a firm mattress, you can allow your body to be in a flat position, giving yourself a great night’s sleep.
There are plenty of firm mattresses that you can try out when finding the right one. While a spring mattress has the right bounce to it, going for a memory foam will provide the right firmness that your body needs. If you think that a memory foam mattress is hot because of lack of airflow, you can always purchase a cooling topper that can help keep your sleep refreshing and cool.
Stretch Every Morning And Night
The number one concern of most stomach sleepers is their body pain every time they wake up. Surprisingly, those side effects can be prevented as long as you do the proper stretches before going to bed and after waking up. This will help prepare your body and stretch every muscle, allowing your body to be pain-free as you sleep on your stomach.
There are plenty of stretching exercises that you can do during the day and at night. You can begin by doing a shoulder stretch, head and neck stretch, along with some yoga poses such as child’s pose, cat pose, and cow pose. You can do them quickly before hitting the hay and waking up, and you should free your body from any tension. Moreover, it can also make your body healthier and much more flexible.
Sleeping on your stomach can provide plenty of benefits and drawbacks to your body. And if you find it most comfortable sleeping on your stomach, you should constantly look for ways to make your sleeping time much more enjoyable. At the same time, you may need to switch your mattress and take away your pillows. You’d be surprised how much more comfortable you’ll sleep at night.