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Every one of us has a favourite sleeping position. A position which makes us feel comfortable and fall asleep faster and easier. And it’s good to know about that position you sleep in every night, right? So, of all the positions, today we’re discussing stomach sleeping position. If that’s your favourite position, you should definitely read this.
16% of our general population are stomach sleepers. But is stomach sleeping bad? Well, yes. It can reduce sleep apnea, heartburns, acid reflux and snore, but it’s not the optimal sleeping position because it will discomfort you throughout the day and lead you to experience poor sleep. Comparing with other sleep positions, stomach sleepers face more issues. We are not trying to change your sleeping position, you just have to know how to find the best mattress for you to sleep in your favourite position.
Strain on spine – Sleeping on your stomach is bad for you because it places pressure on your spine and flattens the natural curve of the spine. Stress on your spine leads to increased stress on the rest of your body parts and structure. Since the spine is the pipeline for the nerves, it may cause numbness and tingling as well.
Neck pain – when you sleep on your stomach, you either have to turn your head to left or right. If you know a way to breathe through the pillow, feel free to comment below. So, since your neck is turned, it’s twisted. It puts your head and body out of alignment.
If you are pregnant – even if you are a couple of weeks pregnant, you should rethink if you are sleeping on your stomach. When you are in this position, the extra weight you have around your belly increases the pull on the spine and there is no need for us to tell you how bad it is for your baby. Since you are sleeping for two, it’s important you have a quality and safe sleep. So, trying another sleeping position will be better for you.
Apart from these few reasons, sleeping on your stomach can lead you into severe cases like herniated disk disorder as well.
No matter what we say, if you are used to sleeping on your stomach, it will take a long period of time for you to let the habit go. And if you are reluctant to change it now, the following tips might help you mitigate the risks of stomach sleeping.
Thin pillow – use a thin pillow or don’t use a pillow at all. It lessens the angle your head and neck will take and result in a better alignment.
Mattress – you can choose a mattress which is firmer than the average.
Supporters – keep a pillow under your pelvis which will help you to keep your back in a neutral position by lifting your spine. It will also take the pressure off your spine.
Exercise – you can also try some stretching exercises in the morning. Doing stretching exercises for a few minutes will strengthen supporting muscles and help your body alignment. Make sure you are warmed up before you carry out any routine.
Choosing a mattress that supports you is very important in this context. So, let’s go into it in detail.
For you to have a relaxed, good night’s sleep, you may have to pick a mattress which is a combination of all the following.
Firmness – as we already discussed, choosing a mattress that is firm should be the key concern of a stomach sleeper. It would help if you had a mattress with a precise firmness level where it won’t sink in too deep. Since mattress thickness does not correlate to mattress firmness, it isn’t very easy to find the value of mattress firmness. But there’s a 1-10 scale you can use in this scenario. 1 is the softest, 10 is the firmest, most mattresses fall in 4-8 and stomach sleepers should go with 6-7. Keep in mind that it all depends on your weight.
Spinal support – a firm mattress keeps your spine straight and helps your body to lie in a tension-free manner. Stomach sleepers have to choose a mattress which its density and firmness won’t change over time and last much longer. Hybrid mattresses as in Hamuq Hybrid containing wrapped pocket coils give firmness, durability and comfort a stomach sleeper needs. Pillow top mattresses and mattresses with a solid foam layer are better options too.
Cooling – since stomach sleepers technically hug the mattress, there’s more heat trapped. So you have to look for a mattress with good airflow and disperse heat effectively. A gel form mattress can help you with this.
Responsiveness – your mattress should change its positions whenever you do. Mattresses which are highly bouncy are known to be very responsive. Stomach sleepers need a mattress with high responsiveness because they tend to change the position of the head and shift legs often. A high responsive mattress will ease the movement.
So, if you are a stomach sleeper, make sure you look for these features next time you invest in a mattress and get quality sleep as it can change a lot in your daily activities and life. After all, you are how you sleep as much as you are what you eat!