Does Sleeping On Your Stomach Cause Stomach Pain
Stomach sleeping is known to cause back and neck pains, and it may even cause an upset belly in some sleepers because it can exacerbate stomach issues like indigestion. Stomach sleeping can also cause stomach pain if youve eaten a large amount before going to sleep. While there isnt any evidence to suggest it will cause new stomach issues, sleeping on your belly could worsen previous problems.
Tip #: Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
It may sound overly simplistic, but practicing basic sleep hygiene can go a long way in helping you remain in a back or side sleeping position all night long. For a better nights sleep, try these tips:
- Create a cozy sleep environment. Invest in comfortable bedding and the best mattress you can afford.
- Find ways to relax before bed. Wind down with a cup of tea and a good book.
- Turn off electronics. Try to put your electronics away at least one hour before you decide to hit the hay.
- Be consistent. Going to bed at the same time every day will optimize your circadian rhythm, making it easier to drift off to sleep in your new sleep position.
Sleeping On Stomach Is Good Or Bad For You
According to Sleep Science, almost 20% of adults have the habit of sleeping on their stomachs. So, if you sleep on your stomach, then you are part of that minimal tribe. However, you are not among the side sleepers who are the majority of US citizens, but stomach sleepers have their way of dozing off.
The position where you sleep on your stomach is known as the prone. It is nothing but lying on your chest and falling asleep. Although sleeping on your stomach is considered suitable for those who snore, its a bad and unhealthy position to sleep in. you can also switch your sleeping position if you dont want to be a stomach sleeper. There are different ways to do that too.
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You Can Damage Your Spine
Since most of our body weight is stored in our stomach, sleeping on our fronts drags our spin downwards and makes it difficult to maintain a healthy spinal position. Your back begins to arch inwards, which stretches your spine out of its natural alignment. When this is done continuously it can become more and more difficult to pull it back into the shape it needs. People who sleep on their stomachs often experience chronic pain in their backs.
Whats more, your spine serves as the highway to a range of other nerves in your body. In addition to pain in your back, sleeping on your stomach and abusing your spine in this way can also trigger pain pretty much anywhere including the head, neck, and shoulders.
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Is Your Gut In Check
When we put our weight on our pelvis, we put pressure on our low back, which could fan the flames of any existing issues we have there, like sciatica.
One suggests persistent low back pain may be associated with chronic constipation and other bowel issues.
But a failed to show any connection. More research needs to be done to clarify if back pain may have an association with bowel issues or bladder incontinence.
What Happens If You Sleep On Your Stomach
This might come off as a contradiction mainly because sleeping on the stomach has positive benefits in helping improve the condition of sleep apnea and reduce snoring.
But, in the long run, it does have bad impacts on the back and spine health.
When you hamper your spine and back health, the same directly impacts your sleep quality as well.
So, to answer, yes, it is better that you avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Let us take a look at some of the negative effects, shall we?
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You Might Experience Back Neck Or Shoulder Pain
Stomach sleeping may also increase your risk of neck pain. When you sleep on your stomach, you must turn your head to one side in order to breathe. Turning your head requires you to twist your neck, which moves it out of alignment with the rest of your spine.
Beyond back and neck pain, poor sleep posture can lead to additional complications such as headaches and shoulder or arm pain.
What Are The Effects Of Sleeping On The Stomach
There is no other way to tell you this but sleeping on your stomach is deficient. It causes more harm than helps. Thus, sleeping on the stomach has more cons than pros. Following is the list of stomach sleeping pros and cons.
Pros of stomach sleeping
- Sleeping on your stomach can help in the reduction of sleep apnea symptoms.
- Sleeping on your stomach can help with a snoring problem.
- Sleeping on your stomach can help against acid reflux.
Cons of stomach sleeping
- Sleeping on your stomach can provoke neck problems.
- Sleeping on your stomach will put extra strain on your neck.
- Sleeping on your stomach can give wrinkles to your body.
- Sleeping on your stomach can make your body stuff.
- Sleeping on your stomach can develop numbness in your body.
The prone sleeping position can strain your neck and spine, and if you turn and toss in your bed, it can cause worse neck and shoulder pain. Sleeping on your stomach also causes extra pressure on joints and muscles. However, you should prefer to sleep on your stomach if you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea.
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Tips For Stopping Stomach Sleeping
- Buy a body pillow to keep yourself propped up on your side.
- Use a knee pillow while side sleeping to prevent yourself from rolling onto your belly.
- Use a wedge pillow while back sleeping to keep yourself lying flat.
- Invest in an adjustable bed frame and keep it at a more extreme incline than a wedge pillow, as this makes stomach sleeping even more difficult and uncomfortable to manage.
- Place a pillow under your knees when sleeping on your back, as it reduces stress in the low back and can be more comfortable.
Risks Of Sleeping On Your Stomach While Pregnant
During the first trimester of pregnancy, you might sleep comfortably in your normal sleep position. As your stomach grows, however, sleeping on your stomach might become uncomfortable. This discomfort could interfere with sleep. Over time, lower-quality sleep can lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation during pregnancy can increase your risk of experiencing premature birth, longer and more painful labor, and postpartum depression.
Instead of stomach sleeping, healthcare providers recommend pregnant people sleep on their left side. This position keeps pressure off the liver as well as the vein that carries blood from the legs back to the heart. It also improves blood flow to the fetus, uterus, and kidneys. Using a pregnancy pillow to support the abdomen and cushion the legs can make side sleeping more comfortable.
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How To Sleep On Your Stomach
Having a good posture when you sleep is important. When you are sleeping, there are different processes that occur such as different ligaments, muscles, and tissues that heal themselves during sleep.
If you want to protect your back and other parts of the body, good posture in sleeping is important all the time.
When you sleep on your stomach, it may create stress on your back because the spine is not in its normal position.
You can place a flat pillow on the pelvis and stomach area which can help the spine stay in a better position and alignment. Remember this important tip, when you sleep on your stomach, you must use a flat pillow or you can sleep without a pillow on your head.
If you want to experience a good nights sleep, here are some tips that will help you sleep better and protect your body from possible injury in the long run.
Tips To Avoid Potential Risks Of Stomach Sleeping
The best way to avoid the potential risks of stomach sleeping is to train yourself to sleep on your back or sides. Before going to bed, tell yourself you will sleep only on your side or back. If you with a partner, ask them to nudge you when they see you sleeping on your stomach.
Sometimes hugging a pillow while side or back sleeping helps in avoiding the stomach sleeping position. Despite trying, if you cant sleep on your side or back, follow these steps to minimize potential risks of stomach sleeping:
- Use a firmer mattress to prevent sinkage beneath your abdomen.
- Avoid pillows or use a thin pillow. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your neck and head.
- Put a pillow under your pelvis to reduce the chances of straining it.
- Light stretches in the morning help in the proper motion of the spine. It also strengthens supporting muscles.
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So Is There A Sleep Position That’s Best
“There is no ‘best position,'”Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, says. “We all have different needs and pains while we sleep, so it is best to find whatever position makes you the most comfortable.”
Also, the position you doze off in isn’t the one you’ll stay in all night long. “It’s almost universal that people will turn throughout the night and change their position. In fact, during our light stages of sleep, we become restless and shift positions. Believe it or not, we are actually protecting ourselves, ensuring that circulation is not interrupted to any particular body part for the entire sleep period,” Kansagra explains. The more you knowâ¦
So How Bad Is Sleeping On Your Stomach
There’s no one perfect sleep position out there. But full transparency: Stomach sleeping is definitely the worst one, Breus says. It causes the most discomfort during and after sleep and can cause joint mobility problems down the line.
Although not many people actually sleep on their back through an entire night, it’s the most optimal sleep position, Breus says. It can be a little problematic for people with snoring problems, as this position can make it tougher to breathe . But it’s definitely the best for your joints and alignment.
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Do You Sleep On Your Back
Back-sleeping has its advantages and disadvantages, too. Sleep experts refer to this as the supine position.
Let’s start with the bad news. Some people who sleep on their backs may experience low back pain. It can also make existing back pain worse, so this is not the best sleep position for lower back pain. If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, sleeping on your back may aggravate these conditions as well. Women should avoid this position during late pregnancy.
There are health benefits to sleeping on your back, too. Your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position so you’re less likely to experience neck pain. Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated with a small pillow is considered the best sleeping position for heartburn.
Is Sleeping On Your Stomach Bad
Dr. Douglas R. Krebs, DC, FACO, CCSP, Cert MDT
Douglas R. Krebs, DC, FACO, Cert. MDT is a Board Certified Chiropractic Orthopedist. Dr. Krebs holds certifications in Selective Functional Movement Assessments, Titleist Performance Institute Medical 2 Certified, as well as McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy Certified. He also is a Primary Spine Practitioner through the University of Pittsburgh.
By Sanchita SenCertified Sleep Coach
In our busy, stressful lives, most of us feel accomplished just by being able to sleep for 7 to 9 hours at a stretch. We care less about our sleeping
In our busy, stressful lives, most of us feel accomplished just by being able to sleep for 7 to 9 hours at a stretch. We care less about our sleeping position as long as we get enough sleep, but your sleeping position may be affecting your sleep quality more than you realize.
Stomach sleeping can trigger chronic back pain and neck pain, preventing us from sleeping well. In this article, we discuss the problems caused by stomach sleeping and share tips to avoid potential risks associated with it.
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Best Sleeping Positions For Back Shoulder And Neck Pain
If you have back pain, sleeping on your stomach or back may aggravate your pain. Switch to side sleeping to minimize your risk of back pain.
For further relief, put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in alignment. If you must sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your knees will take some strain off of your back.
Shoulder, Neck, and Upper Back Pain
Arthritis and other painful conditions along your upper spine can worsen or improve while you sleep. Studies seem to disagree, though, on what positions are ideal.
One large study found that people had less shoulder pain who slept in the starfish positionon their backs, with hands up near their chest or head. But it couldn’t explain if those people had less shoulder pain because of the way they slept, or if they slept that way because they had less pain.
A later study found that people who slept on their backs with their arms at their sidesthe soldier positionactivated their shoulder muscles less, and thus may experience less shoulder pain.
Excessive Or Vivid Nightmares
We all hate nightmares. Excessive and vivid nightmares can be caused by a number of sleep disorders and unhealthy positions. Nightmares may actually be quite entertaining and dramatic when it comes to adding some flavor to the otherwise bland act of sleeping, but when in surplus, can cause depression, ADHD, sleep deprivation, and lack of productivity in your waking life. Nightmares can be caused by sleeping on your left side, as on your right side can produce more optimistic thoughts. Sleeping on the stomach can cause you to experience more vivid, intense, and sometimes erotic dreams. So you might want to consider that before taking nap on your stomach.
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Affected Blood Flow To The Brain
When you are sleeping on your stomach, it is likely that you will have your head twisted on the side, causing a misalignment.
In one of the conducted studies back in 1977 with 60 children, the researchers found that sleeping on the stomach with the neck twisted hampers the blood flow to the brain.
This was a very small study and nothing new has been proposed to date. But, it is always better to be safe than sorry, right?
If you have high cholesterol levels, this is a factor that you need to pay even more close attention to. Sleeping on the stomach can often impact the level of oxygenation because of the reduced blood flow, enhancing the risks of strokes.
It’s Really Bad For Pregnant Women
When you’re pregnant, having enough quality sleep is very important for yourself and your baby too. Sleeping on your stomach is out of question when you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, but you need to avoid it during your initial months too. The additional weight around the middle can increase the pressure on your spine. Also, sleeping on your stomach will force your baby to squeeze in between your spine and the mattress.
Researchers recommend pregnant women to sleep on their left side, because it can increase healthy blood flow and provide the optimum oxygen levels for both mom and the baby.
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What Happens When We Sleep
It may look like nothings happening while were sleeping, but the reality is that our internal systems are going into overdrive. Our brains deal with the influx of information its collected over the course of the day, and regulate a series of hormones including cortisol, melatonin, and growth hormones that promote the development of muscles and bones. Our immune system also kicks in, releasing proteins that fight infections and inflammations.
In order for all these systems to function properly, we need to be getting the most restful, consistent sleep possible. When we sleep poorly, these systems dont function at their absolute best and we can suffer a lot of health repercussions as a result.