best mattress for stomach sleepers

Is Sleeping on your Stomach bad for you?

Admit it that sleeping on your stomach is no good practice. But the point is why you would do it if you were clear about its drawbacks. Well we all adapt to a specific sleep position, because we seek comfort in it. Of course, you could side sleep or sleep on your back. But the fact that your body has chosen this sleep position indicates that it is most comfortable and at ease when it falls flat. Therefore changing the sleep position instantly against the natural instinct of your body may not be easy.

What happens when you sleep on your stomach?

sleeping on stomach bad

When you hug your mattress face down your spine is exposed in the open with no support throughout the night. Therefore, the various segments of the spine do not get the natural alignment from the mattress as obtained in other sleep positions when they touch the mattress and are aligned accordingly. While you may derive pleasure and comfort from this awkward sleep position, your spine does not.

Stomach sleeping affects the following areas:

  • Your lower back region sinks into the mattress causing a deeper curve towards the lower end of the spine.
  • Your head is slightly higher than the lower region of the body which sinks and hugs the mattress causing unnecessary pressure on the various segments of the spine.
  • While your body is parallel to the mattress even though upside down, your neck is at a right angle on the pillow, because you need your dose of fresh air to breathe. You cannot possibly breathe through your pillow. And all this right and left angle can leave you with a stiff and strained neck in the morning.
  • If you are pregnant, then stomach sleeping is a complete no for you. By doing so, you stress the vena cava muscle and deprive your little monster of the necessary air and blood flow. For sure you do not want to stress that little soul between your spine and that mattress even before he steps into the world.

Though clinically stomach sleeping has been found to reduce sleep apnea and snoring, the bundle of ill effects and the discomfort and stress that it offers to your spine and neck cannot be ruled out. But think over it… is it easy enough to change that habit? After all your spine and neck have sustained all that stress for years, can it not continue a little longer?

What if Stomach Sleeping is so dear to you?

Having discussed the side effects of belly sleeping does not mean that it is easy for a sleeper of this position to abandon it overnight and embrace a healthier option. Some habits especially those that are detrimental to us are dearer to us. Doing away with them is just not easy.

So here we suggests a few trick and tips which you can incorporate into your present stomach sleeping habit and turn it closer to the healthy scale if not completely hitting it.

#1 - Reduce the bend in the lower back


When you sleep on your stomach, the mid section or the torso bears all the weight of the body. Your pelvis literally sinks into the mattress causing your hips to lower down and exerting pressure on the different segments of the spine, the muscles and the nerves attached to it.

So how do you release the pressure from the lower back region? Here are some simple tricks to follow:

#1 - Place a pillow under your hips: Since your head is already alleviated, you need to raise your pelvic region to almost that height. An adjustable pillow works well here when it is placed under the hips. Alternatively you can also place the pillow below your waist, although it may be a bit inconvenient. This will exert less pressure on your spine and the pelvic region.

#2 - Use a thin or no pillow at all: When you use a thin or no pillow at all, you are lowering the angle of your head. It shall be more at level with the spine and thus exert lesser pressure on the middle and the lower section.

#3 - Sleep on a firmer mattress: Plush mattresses no doubt add a malleable and soft touch to your sleep but they also cause your lower body to sink deep into the mattress increasing the curve of your spine and all the extra stress that it exerts on the lower region. Try sleeping on a slightly firm mattress that supports your torso and keeps it naturally aligned rather that pushing it down.

#2 -  Try an adjustable pillow


Most pillows tend to raise our heads higher than our body while sleeping. In an inverted sleep position this could result to be highly unfavorable. Stomach sleepers are often recommended to sleep sans the pillow.

However, falling flat on the bed with nothing to cuddle under your arm may not be easy too. What you can do is use an adjustable pillow with different layers of comfort which can be added or removed as per the requirements.

This also gives you a chance to test and try the ideal height which you would like to maintain for your head rest that perfectly aligns your neck. Adjustable pillows with different layers of comforting encased in a zip cover are easily available in the market.

#3 - Warm up and stretch before leaving bed completely


sleeping on stomach bad

Do you jump along with your alarm clock in the morning. If yes, then do away with that habit before changing any other. Getting out of bed with a jerk can not only spoil your mornings but the entire day.

It can leave you heavy headed and with a feeling that you have been sleep deprived for days. It is not only important to sleep correctly during the night but also equally important to wake up in the correct position, especially if you are trying to counteract the ill effects of an already condemned sleep position.

  • Sit with your knees folded, toes pointed backwards and shin touching the ground
  • Push the pelvic region downwards
  • Stretch both hands forward touching the ground
  • Stretch in this position slightly to feel the pull in the muscles of your back

However, practice this stretching ritual mildly without overdoing or stressing yourself.

Does Stomach Sleeping still sound bad?

Nothing is too bad in this world and neither too good. Moderation and balance are the magic wands which can change the perspective with which you view things. Indeed, stomach sleeping is not the best or ideal sleep positions for an individual but what if you just can’t part with it? Going by the maxim, “What can’t be cured should be endured” we have suggested some of the most practical tricks and hacks which you can choose to incorporate in your sleep world and put all the raising fingers down who suggests that stomach sleeping is bad.

Adopt these tricks and derive the best out of your stomach sleeping… remember there is a little goodness in everything… even in falling flat and hugging your mattress.

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2 comments
Bablofil says April 18, 2017

Thanks, great article.

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Heidi says April 27, 2017

You mean I don’t have to pay for expert advice like this anymore?!

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