Stomach Sleeping: The Ultimate Guide On Sleeping Comfortably
Many of us have at a point in our lives slept on our stomach. While some persons were quick to adopt other sleeping positions as they grew older, some still continue sleeping on stomach.
Even though stomach sleeping has some negative consequences, there are things you can do if you want to continue sleeping on your stomach safely.
There are ways you can also stop stomach sleeping if you feel you are not sleeping well in this position. So, this is the genesis of stomach sleeping.
Why People Sleep On Their Stomach
You probably would have heard and read a lot about stomach sleeping and wonder why people still continue sleeping in this position.
Well, why for some, they are good at managing the consequences when they wake up, others have learned to sleep on their stomach without any negative effects.
Have you seen babies sleep?
Yes, you would have noticed that parents usually allow their babies to sleep on their stomach because of how tender and soothing this position is to them.
Growing up, a lot of us fell, in love with this position and it seems we can’t sleep comfortably if we don’t get into it. Sometimes, it just happens naturally and all we know is that we wake up in the morning with our stomach in the downward position.
The Good and Bad Sides Of Stomach Sleeping
As like any other things, stomach sleeping has good and bad sides too. Let's talk about the bad sides first.
The Bad Side Of Stomach Sleeping
Well, in as much as I don’t want to see you get scared, I will also like to feed you with some facts about stomach sleeping. So, take a seat and relax while I reveal the bad side of stomach sleeping to you.
Why is it bad to sleep on your stomach? This should be the question going through your mind right now.
Well, it is believed that sleeping on your stomach can flatten your spine’s natural curve. When you sleep on your stomach, your head will also be turned to just one side. This can strain your neck and cause neck pain too.
Laying on stomach will also make it uneasy for you to maintain a position that is neutral with your spine.
What’s more, this position also mounts pressure on your muscles and joints, which can irritate your nerves, cause pain, tingling, as well as numbness.
In summary, the bad side of sleeping with your stomach is that it can cause:
- Neck Pain
- Back Pain
The Solution To Stomach Sleepers Neck Pain
If you are experiencing neck pain from sleeping on stomach, it means you are either not using the right pillow or doing things the right way. If you want to avoid the stomach sleepers neck pain, DO NOT use a pillow that is too high or too stiff. This can keep the neck flexed throughout the night, and can also result to pain as well as stiffness.
In summary, the solution to sleeping on stomach neck pain is:
- Sleep on a low and thin pillow
- Pillow should be soft and not stiff
The Solution To Stomach Sleepers Back Pain
Does sleeping on your stomach hurt your back? The answer is yes it does. Back pain from sleeping on the stomach can result when you don’t align your neck, head, and spine properly.
As a stomach sleeper, you can eliminate back strain by placing a pillow underneath your pelvis and lower abdomen.
The Good Side Of Stomach Sleeping
Stomach sleeping is not completely bad after all. There are some benefits associated with this sleeping position that you may find very interesting.
Let us take a look at some of the benefits of stomach sleeping.
- It can also ease sleep apnea.
- This sleeping position can ease snoring.
- It can take away pressure on the spaces of your disc. This is for people who are experiencing lower back pain. Sleeping on your stomach occasionally can offer some help in this regard.
Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
If you are a stomach sleeper, what you need to sleep well is a flat pillow. You need the flattest pillow so that your body can have that healthy balance.
Everybody knows that stomach sleeping is one sleeping style that is very common but not recommended by health experts. Health issues such as neck and back pain, chronic and postural pains and indigestion are often related to this sleeping position. In fact, things can get even worse if the pillow is not the right one.
Recommended: Best Pillow For Stomach Sleepers
Can A Stomach Sleeper Sleep Without A Pillow?
If you are a stomach sleeper, it is either you sleep with the right pillow or you don’t sleep with a pillow at all.
However, using a pillow can add to the softness and comfort that will enable you to sleep well at night.
What Are The Pillow Options For Stomach Sleepers?
Stomach sleepers have to choose their pillows carefully. Unlike side or back sleepers, the pillow options for stomach sleepers are limited to the height and thickness of the pillow.
The use of an inappropriate pillow or a pillow that is too high can cause lower back pain for people who sleep on their stomach.
However, if you want to use thicker pillows, place another pillow under your stomach so that your neck, spine, and head will be in a balanced state. Thicker or firmer pillows can lift your neck and head out of proper balance with your spine.
This will result in uncomfortable sleep, back as well as neck pain. If you want to enjoy a comfortable sleep, it is advisable to make use of a thin pillow. Thinner pillows will keep your head on a level with your spine. This will place your spine in a neutral position that is recommended.
What Type Of Pillow Is Best For Stomach Sleepers?
Pillows such as latex, memory foam and buckwheat pillows are considered unfit for people who sleep on their stomach. This is as a result of their high firmness, and thickness. Let us look at pillows that are flat and thin enough for people who sleep on their stomach.
Pillows that are made of feather and down materials are considered as the best option for stomach sleepers. This is because they become reasonably flat when the head weight is placed on it.
These pillows usually look thicker for stomach sleepers because they have good size and height, but the soft feather filling gets thin when you place your head weight on it. This pillow might not be good for back sleepers but it keeps the neck, head and spine of the user in proper balance.
Foam pillows are not just soft but can also get thin when weight is placed on it. This pillow is also moldable and can get into that perfect shape you want easily.
Down pillows are also great options for stomach sleepers. These pillows are very soft and thin. In fact, it is great for people who sleep on their stomach, especially when combined with feathers.
This pillow is also comfortable for all other sleeping positions, as it contains 35 percent of feathers and 75 percent of down.
However, the best pillow for stomach sleepers is the one that is thin and soft at the same time. So, if you are buying a pillow as a stomach sleeper, you already know what to go for.
How Can A Stomach Sleeper Enjoy Better Rest?
One technique that usually works for most people is to sleep without a pillow. This will help to ensure that your spine stays parallel to your mattress. In fact, your sleeping position will be close to neutral when you sleep without a pillow.
However, if you don’t feel okay with this, then you can go for a pillow with a low profile. The idea is to ensure that your head isn’t elevated too high.
Some manufacturers have pillows that they specially designed with “low loft” for people who sleep on their stomach. Many of the pillows are not just thin but also have other features that make them comfortable to sleep on.
Because you also exhale directly into your pillow, it is better to make use of a pillow that does not retain heat.
Stomach Sleeping: Who Need To Sleep In This Position?
Stomach sleeping is comfortable and relaxing. In fact, if you make use of the right pillow, you will completely enjoy sleeping with your stomach.
- Young children usually like sleeping on their stomach. In fact, they find this position very soothing and comfortable. Growing children require proper sleep every day in order for them to develop physically and intellectually too. This sleeping position can also help children to lower gastrointestinal disorders such as gas, abdominal pains, cramping, and much more.
- Can adults benefit too? The answer is yes. Since this sleeping position is relaxing and soothing, then it will also benefit adults. Just like what yoga does, lying on your stomach straightens your spine. It also helps to ease any form of pains that may occur from the hips, shoulders as well as the extremities. Children are not the only ones that need proper sleep. Adults also need enough time to sleep as well as relax. In fact, this will help them to reduce aches and pains and also improve digestion.
- What about pregnant women? Yes. Pregnant women are also advised to have quality sleep. This will help them ease up some complaints like digestive problems, back pains, and other forms of pains. A Pregnant woman will find it easy to sleep on their stomach when she is on her first as well as the second trimester. However, it might not be easy for her to sleep on her stomach when she is in her third trimester.
- Women who are having menopause issues may enjoy lying on their stomach compared to other traditional positions. It can ease symptoms like pains, gastrointestinal symptoms, and anxiety.
How To Sleep On Your Stomach
It seems like people can’t stop sleeping on their stomach. In fact, approximately 7% of adults pick this sleeping position, even though it has some negative consequences.
Apart from using the right pillow, another way you can sleep comfortably on your stomach is lying with your face downward. In fact, this will keep your upper airways open and allow you to breathe properly. You can sleep like this, instead of turning your head to just one side.
Best Sleeping Position
The three most common sleeping positions are back, side and stomach. In most cases, people don’t choose their sleeping positions they just find themselves naturally gravitating to that position they find soothing all the time.
There is no such thing as the “best sleeping position” because people tend to sleep in any position they find comfortable and soothing. Even if you are a stomach sleeper, you can still enjoy all the benefits associated with sleeping in this position without waking up in the morning with pains, or numbness.
But I am tired of sleeping on my stomach, what should I do to stop it?
Many people don’t know whether they should continue sleeping on their stomach or not. If you feel like you are not getting enough benefits or sleep when you sleep on your stomach, then it is time to put a stop to it.
Here are steps to follow if you want to stop sleeping on your stomach
Dr. Mandell has a great message to all stomach sleepers. Watch Now
Choose A Pillow That Is Therapeutica
This is considered as one of the easiest ways to stop sleeping on your stomach. It is designed to assist you in maintaining your side/back sleeping. It has that intelligent shape that makes it almost impossible for you to sleep on your stomach.
Ask For Assistance
If you are married or sleep with someone on the same bed, you can tell the person to wake you up whenever you sleep on your stomach.
Positive Affirmations Can Help
Positive affirmations are self-statements which you can say aloud to yourself or repeatedly. You will continue to repeat it until it sinks into your subconscious mind completely.
First of all, start by associating all health issues like neck pain, back pain, and numbness to stomach sleeping. Once you have done this, there will be this burning desire to change sleeping position to avert all these health issues about this sleeping position.
You can say words like “I will sleep on my back throughout this night because it is better than stomach sleeping". However, also know that stomach sleeping is beneficial to people who are snoring. So, if you fall into this category of people, then you don’t need to change your sleeping position.
Full Body Pillow
This pillow is specially designed for stomach sleepers. It is designed to help them transit from stomach to side sleeping. This pillow also provides enough support, and warmth that will make you sleep comfortably.
Baby Sleeping On Stomach
The question people always ask is “can babies sleep on their stomach”? Yes, they can but there are things you must know before you allow your baby to sleep on her stomach.
By now, a lot of parents know that stomach sleeping is not safe for their babies. In fact, the recommended sleeping position for babies is on their back. Why? The reason is because it lowers the risks of SIDS.
What If My Baby Prefers To Sleep On Stomach?
Unless your doctor gives you a contrary advice, it is better to allow your baby to sleep in that position she prefers. If your baby does not settle properly or stay on her side or back, then front sleeping might be the right option.
You may sometimes notice that your baby likes different positions even at different ages. You have to be very watchful. If your baby does not settle in a particular position repeatedly, then it means that that position is not the safest for the baby.
Research on how babies should sleep shows that it is better for babies to sleep on their back. So, it is better to make sure your baby gets used to sleeping on her back.
However, newborn babies always like to sleep the way they were first put down. Babies tend to do well and enjoy sleeping on their stomach and sides because both positions make her assume that natural fetal position, which is even more soothing for them than when they are lying on their back.
If you have been allowing your baby to sleep on her stomach and now want to make her start sleeping on her back, then you have to be patient.
However, if you have done your best and your baby still likes to sleep on her stomach, then allow her to do so. You don’t have to get scared that your baby will die of SIDS.
How Your Baby Can Sleep On Stomach Safely
If your baby is sleeping on her stomach, the following guidelines will help your baby to sleep well.
- Allow your baby to sleep on a surface that is firm and covered by a sheet that is tight-fitting.
- Avoid loose beddings, or pillows that are soft. Your baby’s sleeping area should be free from stuffed toys.
- Your baby should sleep near your bed.
- Make sure you install a fan in your baby’s room.
- Make sure the fan does not overheat. In this case, you have to keep the room as cool as possible.
Stomach sleeping is one sleeping position that is popularly discussed today. This sleeping position has been associated with some health related conditions both in adults and babies. In adults, neck or back pain can be averted by sleeping on the right pillow, which should be flat and soft at the same time.
By sleeping on the right pillow, stomach sleepers can enjoy their sleep. Babies also like to sleep on their stomach but the fear of SIDS has also made parents try by all means to prevent their babies from sleeping on their stomach.
Well, stomach sleeping is not completely bad after all. For adults, this sleeping position is perfect for people who normally snore.
However, stomach sleepers can avoid all the negative consequences associated with stomach sleeping by following the tips provided in this article.