With the busy schedule most of us hold down during the day, we’re thankful for any amount of rest we can get at night. There’s nothing like waking up the next day and feeling that we got at least a little bit of rest to get us through another day.
However, just because you get your eight hours every night doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good quality sleep. The position that you sleep in at night has a lot to do with your sleep quality, which means that there are better positions to be sleeping in than others.
When it comes to sleeping on your stomach, unfortunately, it could end up doing more damage than good. Let’s take a look at why sleeping on your stomach can be bad for your health.
3 Main Reasons Why Sleeping on Your Stomach Can Be Bad For Your Health
1. It Can Cause Neck Pain
When you sleep on your stomach, you are putting both your spine and your neck at risk. Unless you’re managing to breathe well through your pillow, you’re always going to have to turn your head to one side in order to keep breathing correctly throughout the night.
Unfortunately, while this may be the answer to your breathing problems, it certainly isn’t the solution to your neck issues. In fact, it can cause your neck to come out of alignment with your spine, resulting in serious ongoing pain and discomfort.
While you may not notice any damage or discomfort immediately, if you’re sleeping on your stomach consistently night after night you’ll begin to reap the consequences in your neck. For this reason alone it’s recommended that you don’t sleep on your stomach.
2. It Can Cause Pain in Your Spine
Like with the neck, the spine is also susceptible to issues as a result of sleeping on your stomach. In fact, when it comes to your spine, you can be in so much pain from your sleeping position that it can keep you awake at night.
Sleeping on your stomach is detrimental to the health of your spine because it causes unnecessary strain and pressure on it as you sleep. This is because your torso is where the majority of your weight is, so if you’re sleeping on your stomach most of your weight is bearing down on your spine and causing pressure.
Because the spine is integral to your central nervous system, sleeping on your stomach can actually cause pain to spread beyond your spine and into other parts of your body. This is why it’s essential that you look after the alignment of your spine by sleeping in a better position.
3. It’s Not Recommended if You’re Pregnant
It’s evident that you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach in the second or third trimester, but what about the first? Surprisingly, it’s recommended that you avoid sleeping on your stomach even in the earlier stages of pregnancy.
This is because that extra weight that’s now around the torso area is just going to put more pressure on the spine. Additionally, if you’re pregnant, you need as much rest at night as possible.
If you aren’t placing the baby between the mattress and your spine, they will have more room to move around and grow while you’re sleeping. As well as room, you have a higher level of blood circulation when you sleep on your back or side, which is why it’s recommended for pregnant women who are at all stages of their pregnancy.
Things to Think About as a Stomach Sleeper
If you’re someone who just can’t comprehend sleeping in any other position aside from your stomach, there are some things you can do to increase the quality of your sleep. Let’s take a look at what these are:
Adjust Your Pillow Thickness
When sleeping on your stomach, you need to choose a pillow that’s not too thick – or you could even try not using a pillow at all. The flatter your pillow is, the closer your head and neck are to the surface of the mattress, which means they’ll be more in alignment with your spine.
Choose the Right Mattress
If you love to sleep on your stomach, then we recommend choosing a mattress that’s quite firm. This will help you get a much better night’s sleep in this position.
Place a Pillow Under Your Pelvis
Placing a pillow directly under your pelvis can really help to keep your spine in alignment, which can help avoid all types of different health issues.
Try Morning Stretches
If you feel like your body is a bit out of alignment from sleeping on your stomach the night before, try some morning stretches. This will help your spine return to its normal position and stretch any muscles that were out of place as you slept.
Despite the reasons why you shouldn’t, there are still going to be a lot of people who prefer to sleep on their stomachs. As you now know, sleeping in this position can put unnecessary strain on your spine and neck and cause health issues that you didn’t have before.
In saying this, however, if you’re someone who isn’t prepared to give up sleeping on their stomach just yet, there are a number of things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
While there are many disadvantages to sleeping on your stomach, there are certain things you can do to prevent any health issues from getting worse, too.
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