Negatives to Sleeping on Your Stomach
Why you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach
The position in which an individual regularly sleeps can have an effect on their overall health. An individual’s sleeping position can affect how certain organs function during the night and it can have an impact on muscle and joint pain. Since the way in which an individual sleeps can have an impact on their quality of life, it is important to try to manage the sleep position in a way that will best mitigate some of these effects.
If you have chronic neck and back pain, sleeping on your stomach can be one of the worst positions. This sleeping position will not only aggravate existing pain in the back and neck, but it can also cause new back problems for those who didn’t have them before. Approximately 11% of Americans sleep on their stomachs and if this is your natural sleeping position, it can be a hard habit to correct.
How it affects the back
Even though many individuals will find sleeping on their stomach to be the most natural position for them, it is important to understand the problems that they might be causing. When a person sleeps on their stomach, the lower back is kept in a position where the natural curve is flat for an extended period of time. This applies an unnatural amount of mechanical stress on the lower spine which can result in chronic pain and soreness.
How it affects the neck and shoulders
The neck and shoulders are another area that may experience pain as the result of this sleeping position. When a person sleeps on their stomach, the neck is usually turned to one side throughout the night. This position can have an impact on the alignment of the spine and result in neck pain. Another way in which this position can cause problems for the neck and shoulder region is due to the fact that the pillows may cause an unnatural extension of the neck while the individual sleeps. This can put unnecessary pressure on the nerves which might result in a feeling of tightness in the neck and shoulders.
People who are suffering from back and neck pain that may be the result of sleeping in the wrong position should consider trying to make an adjustment. This may be difficult, but there are a few things that can be done to aid the sleeper in the process of making the change. Of course, you can simply try to force yourself to sleep in a more appropriate position, but there are also pillows that are made to make it difficult for the individual to sleep on their stomach. Using a specialized pillow can help the individual to retrain their sleeping habits.