How To Avoid Stomach Sleeper Neck Pain And Lower Back Pain
- Sleep on your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen. Dont throw away that old pillow thats flattened from use, it will work perfectly under your hips to aid spine alignment, and to relieve some of the pressure off your back.
- Depending on how the position feels, you may or may not choose to use a pillow, if you experience pain, use a slim pillow under your head to avoid sleeping on stomach neck pain.
- Invest in a pressure relieving mattress for stomach sleepers.
- People who have degenerative disc disease may benefit from this position using additional pillows, it could relieve stress on the spaces between the discs.
It Causes The Pain In Your Neck
Just like with the spine, sleeping on your stomach may also cause neck problems. Unless you manage to find a way to breathe through the pillow, you have to turn your head to one side when you’re sleeping on your stomach. This causes your neck to be twisted, putting your spine and head out of alignment, leading to some severe damage. You probably won’t notice this damage after only one night, but the problems will unquestionably become evident over time.
One of the biggest neck problems that you certainly don’t want to experience is the so-called herniated disk. This issue appears when the spinal vertebrae shift enough to cause a rupture of the gelatinous disk inside, causing the gel to leak out and irritate the nerves. This is very painful and requires professional treatment to heal.
What About Pregnant People
Sleeping on a belly is one thing when youre not pregnant. Its quite another when youre expecting. Sooner than later the position will become impossible. If youre sleeping with a bun in the oven, most doctors recommend you sleep on your side.
Sleeping on your left side has particular advantages. It improves blood flow to vital organs, including heart, uterus, and kidneys. You may also switch to your right side from time to time, so you dont put too much stress on one shoulder.
Read Also: How To Lose Inches Off Your Stomach Fast
Research Shows Smartphones Can Mess With Your Sleep
Before climbing under the covers and finding a comfy position, dont forgetto do one other important thing: Turn off your phone. Research shows thatlate-night use of phones and tablets can interfere with sleep. One studyfound that people who used mobile devices late at night were more depletedthe next morning and less engaged at work. Another study found that peoplewho responded to text messages or other alerts after they had turned in forthe night had poorer sleep quality, which in turn predicted symptoms ofanxiety and depression.
To avoid the temptations of technology, silence your phone at night orleave it in the other room.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach will keep your head turned in one direction or the other for a period of time, which causes pain.
Imagine standing and looking one way for two or three hours at a time. Stretching your neck muscle for that long creates soreness, says Dr. Bang.
Sleeping on your stomach also extends your neck backward, compressing your spine. Then you get tingling in your arm, or your arm may fall asleep, as blood flow is constricted and nerves are compressed.
Avoid bringing one leg up, he cautions. It can lead to soreness by torquing your hips and low back.
If its hard to break your stomach-sleeping habit, try sleeping on your side with a body or side pillow. This may provide the same reassuring pressure on your chest.
But is sleeping on your stomach is bad?
Major medical journals agree that side and back sleeping is associated with less spinal pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants sleep on their backs to avoid their vulnerability to sudden infant death syndrome and that it causes a higher heart rate than if they sleep on their backs.
You May Like: What Causes Bad Gas In Stomach
Causes Wrinkles And Breakouts
Its not just lack of sleep that affects your skin your sleeping position matters, too. Though it might be unexpected, stomach sleepers are more prone to developing premature wrinkles because their faces are pressed into the pillow. This puts excessive pressure on your face, exacerbating wrinkles and fine lines.
Sleeping facedown on the pillow can also clog your pores and cause breakouts, especially if you dont wash your sheets often enough.
What Sleeping Position Is Best For You
Side sleeping is the most commonly reported sleep position and has many health benefits
Stomach sleeping strains the neck
When you get in bed and cozy into your covers at night, you probably dont put much thought into whether youre on your side, back or stomach. But if you snore like a bear every time your head hits the pillow or you wake up feeling stiff as a board, it might be time to switch things up at bedtime. Heres the scoop on the benefits and drawbacks of the most common sleeping positions.
Also Check: What Causes Bloating And Upset Stomach
Useful Tips For Stomach Sleepers
If you are determined to remain a stomach sleeper despite all the warnings, you can at least try to minimize the risks to your health.
I have made a list of useful tips that will help you sleep sound even when you lie on your stomach. Here we go, these are the things you need to remember if you want to avoid complications:
How To Sleep On Your Stomach Safely
If youve been a stomach sleeper all your life, you might find it challenging to switch to a different sleeping position and get a good nights sleep. To minimize the risks associated with sleeping on your stomach, try following these tips:
- Use a thin stomach sleeper pillow. If your pillow is flat, your neck will be in a less angled position. Instead of a thin pillow, you could also try sleeping without one to prevent straining your neck.
- Stretch often. Try to stretch first thing in the mornings and before you go to bed. The childs pose is a great yoga move for stomach sleepers because it can help realign your body and strengthen your muscles.
- Maintain a neutral position before you fall asleep. Try to focus on aligning your body and maintaining a neutral position before bed. Ensure that your back is straight and your spine is not twisted.
- Keep a pillow under your pelvis. Placing a pillow under your pelvis can reduce the strain on your back and help you sleep more comfortably.
Also Check: What Could Cause Your Stomach To Hurt
If You Switch Between Multiple Sleeping Positions:
Youve probably got something on your mindand your body can tell. It can be a sign of inner turmoil, Winters says. With people who have a lot on their minds, they’ll often say, I slept poorly last night. I was just thrashing all around. But when you sleep well, the covers haven’t moved.
If your mind is calm, but your body hasnt gotten the memo, the problem could be purely physical. As a sleep specialist, I would look at more as some sort of intrinsic problem with this person’s sleep that’s making them restless, Winters says. Is there a diagnostic meaning to somebody who just can’t lay still at night? Maybe they have restless legs or periodic leg movements, so they’re constantly waking up to catch their breath.
While switching sleep positions simply “may have a lot to do with comfort level,” adds Glass, it can also reflect what’s going on in your dream cycle. “Sometimes, the dream you have will dictate your position,” she says. If you wake up and remember having a particularly active dream, that might also explain why your sheets are tangled.
They Can Sense Your Moods And Pick Up On Body Language
Do not be fooled by the fact that cats are master nappers. Theyâre always on the lookout and aware of whatâs going on around them. Theyâre renowned for their ability to sense your emotions and body language. Your cat is fascinated by your mood swings and continual sleeping throughout the early stages of pregnancy, as well as your body position.
Don’t Miss: What Would Make Your Stomach Hurt After Eating
Side Sleepers Need Taller Pillows
Pillow choice can also make a big difference for side sleepers with low back pain. “Side sleepers will typically need a taller pillow to help maintain a neutral spine position in the neck and upper back,” says Dr. Griffin.
If you’re a side sleeper having trouble with low back pain, you might also feel more comfortable positioning a small pillow between your knees to help even out your pelvis.
What Sleeping On Your Stomach Says About Your Health
In addition to indicating parts of your personality, sleeping on your stomach might have some health indicators as well.
One of the health benefits of being a stomach sleeper is that it can aid digestion. Sleeping on your stomach presses down on your digestive system, forcing gases out and keeping the process active.
However, there are a few common complaints from those that sleep in this position as well.
First off, you may be dealing with chronic pain. Although it seems counterintuitive, sleeping on your stomach may be leading to back strain. This is because your back isn’t against the mattress and is actually receiving less support this way.
Of course, most of the issues with sleeping on your back come from the type of pillow you’re using. If you are trying to sleep with a pillow that’s meant for side or back sleepers, you could greatly benefit from more support during your night’s sleep.
To get the most out of your rest, try a stomach sleeper pillow. They’re specially designed to give you the support you need when sleeping on your stomach. If you are experiencing pain, you might be amazed by how much upgrading your pillow helps.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Your Stomach Hurt After You Eat
Tips For Optimizing Your Sleeping Position
In short, there is no single best position for quality sleep, since so many factors come into play. If you often have trouble sleeping or wake up with pain and discomfort, its certainly worth considering the potential impact of your current sleeping position.
That said, if you have no trouble getting the right amount of sleep and wake up without pain, you probably dont need to worry about rolling over and changing things up.
Interested in the different types of sleeping positions and how to maximize their benefits? While there are plenty of ways to sleep, youll find the
Sleeping on your back can help relieve different types of pain while also taking pressure off your spine and promoting good spinal alignment.
Back sleeping distributes body weight evenly, so no one part of your body is under more pressure than another. For many people, this can lead to more restful sleep.
Whats more, since back sleeping means you dont press your face into your pillow every night, this position could help you avoid premature facial wrinkles.
A smaller pillow under your knees can work wonders for better back sleeping. This helps your spine maintain its slight curve.
Try a cervical pillow or small, rounded pillow at the curve of your neck to help relieve neck pain. If you snore, have allergies, or experience heartburn, try a wedge pillow to elevate your head.
/10sleep Position : Just Like A Soldier
How do you imagine a soldier standing? Quite possibly, it is standing in attention with his/her arms to the sides. If you sleep like a soldier, you are probably a strict, reserved and meticulous person. This military stance sleep type also means that you take your life very seriously and demand a lot from yourself.
You May Like: What To Do When Child Stomach Hurts
Pros And Cons Of Sleeping On Your Stomach
Lets get the good news out of the way first. The advantages of being a stomach sleeper may not be extensive, but your favorite sleeping position has some merit.
The main benefits of sleeping on your stomach are that it might prevent snoring and reduce the milder effects of sleep apnea because it can help keep the airways open.
But beyond that, sleeping on your stomach is mostly bad for you. Here are some of the risks associated with being a stomach sleeper.
Sleep Disorders And Sleep Positions
The National Sleep Foundation has carried out polls since 1991 to identify peoples sleeping habits in the United States. In 2020, they highlighted that significant numbers of people in the U.S. feel sleepy about 3 days per week, which often impacts their daily lives.
With such high numbers, it is no surprise that people are interested in which sleeping positions work best. A 2017 cross-sectional study investigating sleep positions and movement has shown that the predominant sleeping position is on the side.
You May Like: How To Take Fat Off Your Stomach
How Is Sleep Posture Related To Personality
If you think about, our personality is defined by a variety of things that we do: our mannerisms, our sense of humor, how we put on our shoes, how we cook, and so much more.
Although we may not consciously realize it, many of our daily activities bear a reflection of who we are. The list goes on to some you’ve probably never heard of, including your specific sleep position.
Just as many of the things we do define our personalities, sleep positions might say a lot about who we are during our waking lives. Every person is different, but there are a few commonalities that are worth discussing.
Tips For The Stomach Sleepers
Despite all these warnings, some people have been sleeping in this position for their whole lives and don’t want to make a change. If you’re one of them, check out these tipsthey will help you avoid potential complications:
- Always use a thin pillow, or don’t use a pillow at all. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your neck and the head will be. View Our Guide:Top Pillow for Stomach Sleepers
- Choose a mattress for stomach sleepers. Typically, that means a slightly firmer than average bed that will allow you to get a good night’s rest on your stomach.
- Putting a pillow under your pelvis is guaranteed to help. It will keep your back in a more neutral position, taking the pressure off your spine.
- Two to three minutes of stretching in the morning will help you to put your body back into alignment and strengthen the supporting muscles. Always start the stretching session with a little bit of warm up, and be gentle!
Read Also: When Should Babies Sleep On Stomach
Your Pet Cat Seeks Warmth
In contrast to humans and other animals, a catâs body temperature is approximately 102 degrees Fahrenheit, and it must compensate for heat loss. Because pregnant people have a higher basal body temperature, especially during the first trimester, a pregnant pet parent is an easy target for cats to snuggle with.
Special Cautions For Moms
When youre sleeping for two, you need as much quality rest as you can get. The very notion of sleeping on your stomach is laughable late into your pregnancy, but youll want to avoid it early on, too. That extra weight around the middle will increase the pull on your spine.
Also, your baby will have more room if he or she isnt forced to squeeze in between your spine and the mattress. A
You May Like: How To Settle Stomach Acid
/10sleep Position : The Fetal Position
Also known as the curling up like a baby position, it is one of the most popular sleeping positions. If you are someone who is seeking comfort and safety in your life, you may find yourself sleeping sideways, with your legs curled up like a baby.
This position simply signifies the sleepers need to be guarded against the world and feel secure. If you are someone who sleeps in a fetal position, you may be a gullible person who is really sensitive but tries to portray a tougher exterior.
Medical Professionals Can Help
If you have back pain that’s preventing you from sleeping, doing your job or carrying out other daily activities, Dr. Griffin recommends seeking help from a medical professional. You may wish to consult both a spine specialist as well as a primary care doctor to rule out other medical conditions.
Don’t worry too much if you have back pain for a day or two that you can deal with by taking an-over-the-counter pain reliever. But most drugstore medications are not particularly reliable at eliminating back pain. Plus they have negative side effects that add up more quickly than you might think, so don’t rely on them for too long.
Don’t Miss: Does Ovarian Cancer Cause Stomach Pain
Layla Sleep For Belly Sleeping Bliss
If youre not happy with your current bed, we welcome you to try the Layla Sleep system. Our 2-in-1 memory foam mattress can be a firm or soft mattress, depending on which side you flip to the top.
Our copper-infused foam keeps you clean and cool while you sleep and the low-density layer rebounds quickly if you move around a lot at night. Our pillow is even customizable. You can just remove some of the filler until its low enough to make sleeping on your stomach comfortable.
What are you waiting for? Give our mattress and copper pillow a try for up to 120 days and then send it back for free if its not a love match.
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.
Also Check: What Helps Severe Stomach Pain