Is it Safe to Sleep on Your Stomach?

February 9, 2015 by  
Filed under General Advice, Tips for Ayurveda



In this busy world most of us go to bed and do not get sleep at all. Most of us keep tossing and turning and finally go to sleep in any position that the body tunes to. It can be side sleeping, sleeping on your stomach and the recommended posture sleeping on your back.

sleeping-on-stomach Is it safe to sleep on your stomach? The logical answer is ‘NO’. When you sleep on your stomach you may avoid snoring but you end up straining your neck and back. When you sleep on your stomach you are putting a big load on your spine which is not in recommended posture. The back pain problems will continue throughout the day and you are restless at work too.

All pain starts with the spine

Most of the stomach sleepers experience through a lot of pain. It could be neck pain, back pain, joints pains. The pains will not provide a deep sleep, you will wake up with pricking pain and you are tired in the morning due to insufficient sleep.

When you sleep on your stomach you are straining your neck and back. As the spine is connected to the other nerves in your body, you can feel pain at any other critical joint in your body causing tingling and at times numbness too.

Neck problem

You cannot obviously breathe through your pillow and therefore force your neck to rest inclined on the pillow. This position will put your head and spine out of alignment, twisting your neck. You may not realize the negative effects immediately or after one night’s sleep in this position. With time your neck problems will become evident.

The neck problem you need to avoid is a herniated disk. That is terribly painful and this situation is when one of your spinal vertebrae has shifted enough to rupture the gelatinous disk inside it. When this gel leaks, it can irritate the nerves.

Extra care for Pregnant women

When an expecting mother goes to bed she is actually sleeping for two, that means you need quality sleep and rest. You cannot even imagine to sleep on your stomach in the latter months, you need to avoid this posture during early pregnancy too. That extra weight around the middle will increase the pull on your spine.

Your baby will get more room if not forced to squeeze in between your spine and the mattress. A medical study suggests that sleeping on your left side when you’re pregnant can increase healthy blood flow and provide the optimum oxygen levels for you and your baby.

If it has become a Habit

If you have been sleeping on your stomach all your life and despite all feedback and warnings you just cannot sleep in other position then here are some tips that will help you avoid any potential complications.

  • Use a thin pillow or no pillow at all. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your head and neck.
  • Put a pillow under your pelvis. This will help keep your back in a more neutral position and take pressure off your spine.
  • Stretch in the mornings. A few minutes of stretching will help get your body back in alignment and gently strengthen supporting muscles. Be sure to warm up with a little movement before stretching, and be gentle!

Read: A good sleep will make you look younger

The most common symptom of an incorrect sleeping position:

  • Constant tiredness, from mild to severe
  • Irritability, temper and moodiness
  • Loss of concentration, and in severe cases memory loss and hallucinations
  • Loss of coordination, in severe cases the incidences of auto accidents increases with loss of sleep
  • Problems with relationships
  • Absenteeism and tardiness at work or school
  • Loss of appetite or the opposite, binge-eating
  • Use of prescription sleep aids that could become habitual
  • Use of stimulants

Regardless of your sleep problems, a consistent sleep routine and improved sleep habits will translate into better sleep over the long term. You can address many common sleep problems through lifestyle changes and improved sleep hygiene.

Read: Bedtime Yoga for Relaxation and Better Sleep

To be rid of these disorders it is necessary to learn to sleep in the correct position. Please add a comment and, if you like the post, feel free to share it with your friends. You can also visit our Facebook page and Google plus page for more insight on other articles.

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