Sleeping on the stomach isn’t the most common nor comfortable position, but for the 16% of people, it’s the only way to get a decent shut-eye. This habit presents a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages.
For people suffering from acid re-flux and indigestion, sleeping face down relieves their discomfort. It can also reduce snoring and prevent sleep apnea. However, sleeping in a prone position puts a strain on one’s spine. If you sleep for a whole eight hours, this can be very taxing on your back and neck. Over time, this could lead to severe muscle and joint damage.
Unfortunately for tummy sleepers, experts agree that its cons outweigh the pros. If you belong to this sleeping minority, you can still get a good night’s rest by following these useful tips:
1. Use a soft, breathable pillow
Sleeping on your stomach causes your head to bend sideways to allow you to breathe. This is an unnatural position and puts pressure on your jaw and neck. Removing the pillow works better because it keeps your neck closer to the mattress. However, most people compensate for the lack of support by propping their heads with their arms. Doing so will also strain your neck and back muscles, and, not to mention, give you numb, aching limbs when you wake up.
Instead, choose a soft, breathable pillow that can easily be molded to your head. Cushions with shredded foam or those with removable fillings are great to help reduce neck pain. Alternatively, you can use thin, low plushes so you can keep your head better aligned with your body as you sleep.
2. Prop up your body with an extra pillow
Sleep experts suggest that stomach sleepers try the sideways position. If this is still uncomfortable for you, use the help of an extra pillow. Prop your body to lie on its side by supporting your back with a large, firm pillow. Choose one that’s made of a breathable material such as latex foam, so you don’t have to deal with sweaty, dirty pillowcases.
3. Keep your legs straight
If turning to your side still gives you sleepless nights, you may find yourself still sleeping face down. Most stomach sleepers tend to pull one knee up toward their body during the night. This seemingly comfortable position is bad for the spine and may lead to severe back pain in the long run. Instead, try to keep both of your legs as straight as possible while you sleep to prevent your spine from twisting.
4. Choose a firm mattress
Aside from your pillows, the bed plays a crucial role in reducing back pains while you snooze on your belly. Medium to firm mattresses ensure that your hips and chest don’t sink deep into the foam. To get that “just right” firmness, try adding a plush topper to soften a firm mattress.
A good stomach-sleeper bed should also be breathable. If you sleep on your belly, your body tends to hug, or sink into, the mattress. You may feel hot through the night, which adds to your discomfort. A foam that promotes good airflow helps to reduce heat and promotes better sleep.
If sleeping on your stomach is the only position for you to sleep well, help your spine and joints by following these tips. You’ll wake up feeling more refreshed, ready to tackle the day’s challenges!
If you’re looking for a high-quality mattress in Reno Nevada, get in touch with Sierra Mattress Company today! We’re happy to help.