Our sleeping position plays a big role in how well we sleep and how much or little we strain our spine. It can even contribute to sleep apnea. Around 16 percent of Americans sleep on their stomachs compared to 10 percent of back-sleepers and 74 percent of side-sleepers. We’ve often heard that sleeping on the stomach isn’t the best position and it’s partly true as it can throw the spine out of position, However, it does have advantages of which a few of them may surprise you. If you love sleeping in this position but don’t like waking up with that familiar crick in the neck or an achy spine, there are steps you can take to turn things around.
A Few Tips To Help Stomach-Sleepers Sleep Better
Keep Your Spine Aligned
The key to healthy stomach-sleeping is to keep your spine in its natural position. The spine has an S-shaped curve and you want to maintain this when sleeping otherwise you may develop back and neck problems later on. Place a slim pillow beneath your stomach and hips to elevate your mid-section and prevent your pelvis from sinking into the mattress.
Keep Your Neck In Check
About 17 percent of Americans who sleep on their stomachs do so with their heads turned to the side. While this may be comfortable when you’re just settling down into bed, it can strain your neck and cause pain after a time. A better option is to sleep face down by placing a firm pillow beneath your forehead. You can use a rolled up towel too. This way, your neck is not twisted and your upper airway is kept open.
Stretch Your Body
Give your body a gentle stretch when you wake up in the morning. The ‘child’s pose’ is a good way to stretch the muscles and the spine. It involves sitting on your knees and slowly spreading them with your buttocks on your heels. Lengthen your spine and bend forward so that your chest rests on the tops of your thighs. Extend your arms over your head and keep your palms face down. Do this for a couple of minutes or until your body feels relaxed.
Use A Good Mattress
If the mattress you’re using is too soft or is old, you may want to consider getting a new one. Ideally, the mattress stomach-sleepers use should be medium to medium-firm. This prevents the mid-section from sinking and will also prevent back problems.
Nuvanna is a mattress that’s designed for different sleeping positions including sleeping on the stomach. It comprises three layers of support and comfort so that you can enjoy undisturbed rest. The top layer features phase-changing gel particles that keep your body cool by dispersing heat. The middle layer isolates motion so that you and your partner can move without disturbing each other. The bottom layer supports various body parts including your spine to prevent back and neck pain. Created by an expert with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Nuvanna aims to give you a better quality of life through better sleep.
Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Stomach
- It reduces snoring and sleep apnea: When you sleep on your stomach face-down, your upper airway is kept open as your tongue and soft palate don’t collapse to the back of your throat. This can reduce snoring and help you and your bed partner sleep better. If you have sleep apnea, you may find that this sleeping position also minimizes symptoms, the most noticeable being snoring.
- It can help with certain back problems: Sleeping on the stomach is not often advised if you have back pain. However, it can reduce pain in those who have degenerative disc disease. It does this by increasing the space between discs and reducing stress on the lower back. The position can also provide comfort to people who have a paracentral disc herniation where the inner disc fluid leaks in a central direction instead of to the right or left.
We all have our favorite sleeping positions and that’s okay. However, it’s important to make sure that they do more good than harm. After all, sleep should relax and rejuvenate us, not leave us feeling achy and tired. The good news is, you don’t need to force yourself to adopt different sleeping positions. You can still enjoy sleeping on your stomach by incorporating these tips when you tuck yourself in for the night.
When I had neck and back problems I slept on our guest bedroom mattress and loved it so much we replaced our sleepnumber bed with a Nuvanna mattress. They are amazing! I recommend them to everyone!
Published on Friday, May 4, 2018
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