After a stressful day, you just want to get under the blanket and have a sound sleep. Some find sleeping on their side is comfortable. Others prefer to sleep on their back. Some people again like to switch from one position to another. But this article is for those who like to sleep on their stomach.
Sleeping on the stomach helps people to reduce snoring and deals with sleep apnea. With the use of right type of pillow and mattress, you also find this position comfortable.
So if it healthy to sleep on your stomach? The obvious answer is a No! It’s because it’ll make you suffer in the long run. So how does stomach sleeping affect your body and how to give up the habit? Let’s learn.
Why Stomach Sleeping Is Bad?
When we lie down on a bed, it’s important that the spine remains in its natural curved position. Also, your neck, shoulders, and hip should be in alignment with the spine. It depends on the pillow and mattress and more importantly on your sleeping position.
With pillows and mattress, sleeping on both the back and side will maintain the alignment. But when you sleep on your stomach, it distorts the spine from its neutral position. It creates pressure on your lower abdomen and a strain on your back and spine.
And over time, it’ll affect your neck too. That’s why most of the stomach sleepers at some stage of life experience a pain whether in his, neck or back or joint. And consequently, it also affects your sleep.
You can also feel numbness and tingling as one part of you has fallen asleep while the other part of you is still awake. It’s even more dangerous and kind of forbidden for pregnant women.
Impact On The Spine
The impact of sleeping on your stomach starts with your spine. A strain is produced in the spine as your weight acts through the middle of your body. So when you’re sleeping on your stomach, the spine is out of its natural curved position.
The spine works as a pipeline for your nervous system. And thus the stress in the spine gradually results in stresses in the other body parts too.
On The Stomach
Sleeping on the stomach does a little effect it. Some think that sleeping on your belly may give you a bigger belly but it’s not true. It simply squeezes your belly which isn’t a problem until you’re pregnant.
Impact On Neck
When you sleep on your stomach you can either place your face directly on the pillow or turn your head on a side. You may find it difficult to breathe with your face down. In that case, you have to turn your face to either of the sides. Twisting your neck such that, you put your spine and head out of alignment.
But neck pain may not be started after only a few episodes but after a certain period of time. And if you don’t care that much, it may turn into something worse like the herniated disk. A rupture forms in the gelatinous disk that’s between the vertebrae.
As a result, the gel can swell from the disk which can cause irritation in the nerves.
How Would-Be-Mothers Are Affected?
From the starting of pregnancy, sleeping becomes a challenge. Your immune system weakens. So you feel tired all the time and that’s why you need proper rest during this time. But sleeping with your regular style can be difficult.
Sleeping on any position you’re used to during pregnancy is fine as long as you’re comfortable with it. So sleeping on your stomach won’t be harmful at the beginning of the pregnancy. But as your belly grows bigger, you certainly won’t feel comfortable sleeping like this. Besides, it’ll create pressure on your belly, breasts and other organs.
Especially after the beginning of your mid-pregnancy, stomach sleeping becomes more challenging. As soon as you reach the second trimester, sleeping on your back will be difficult too. At that stage, you will face problem breathing.
Besides, the uterus forces the large veins to compress. These veins are responsible for returning the blood from your leg to the heart. Thus by decreasing the blood flow, it may cause a faster heartbeat and dizziness.
In the third trimester, sleeping on the stomach will be even more difficult. Use a special type of body pillow to support your growing belly if you can’t help.
Therefore, it’s advisable not to sleep on your stomach from the very beginning of your pregnancy. Rather, try sleeping on your left as it’s the ideal sleeping position for pregnant women. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to change the habit later and you’ll face trouble sleeping.
3 Ways To Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach
Place a few fluffy pillows on either side of you. It’ll prevent you from rolling over and sleep on your stomach. Again, an orthopedic pillow will discourage you to sleep on your stomach. The contoured foam is meant to allow your spine to be in its natural curved position and so is the neck.
But this is possible only when you sleep either on your back or on your side. Whenever you’re going to roll over to sleep on your belly, you’ll feel awkward. It kind of works as a stomach sleeping deterrent. But don’t choose a pillow that’s made of memory foam as you’re trying to make it uncomfortable.
Sleeping On A Sofa
If stomach sleeping is already causing you back pain, but still you can’t give up, it’s time to switch on a sofa. As it has a reduced surface area, it'll force you to sleep on your side. But you must provide sufficient support and cushion.
Though a laughable one, this method works. What you have to do is to tape uncooked pea-like objects with your belly. So whenever you’ll about to roll over, it’ll obstruct you and remind you the restriction. You may also wake up. Obviously, it’s the last thing to try.
Without sleep for a single night, you feel crazy. But during pregnancy, it’s going to be quite often. So try to make it comfortable as much as possible. At the same time, whatever the way you choose must be healthy. Remember, you’re sleeping for two people now.