Is sleeping on your stomach bad for you? When it comes to sleep, we are less than willing to compromise. After all, the best sleeping position is the one that you’re in right now, at least when getting out of bed. But for some of us, sleeping can be a tedious task, and we want to know more about what our sleeping habits say about us.
We are a bit more worried than others about our sleeping positions, their adverse effects, and their influences in the long run.
So we may ask ourselves: is it bad to sleep on your stomach?
While we have no solid answer for that, the following article may help you decide on your own.
Is sleeping on your stomach bad?
While most people think that sleeping positions having any effect on a person’s lifestyle is a myth, we beg to differ. You see, sleeping in a certain position means retaining your body like that for hours. This could cause tons of inconveniences, such as neck pain, muscle strain, joint pain, sleep apnea, GERD, and many more. So it comes as no shock that some people are very concerned about their sleeping position. After reading this article, you will be too.
Sleep positions can directly or indirectly enhance or inhibit the following qualities:
Disorders Linked To Sleep Positions
While this may come off as a shock, research shows that sleeping positions can both negatively and positively impact a person’s lifestyle and have a drastic and everlasting effect on his/her/their work and education.
- Also read: What’s the best sleeping positions for you
Research has shown that while certain disorders are not directly caused by a negatively impacting sleep position, some underlying disorders can be worsened or cured by a slight shift in the position.
Most notably, the following disorders can be affected by sleep habits:
This is defined as the nocturnal disorder in which oxygen supply to the brain gets temporarily disrupted or blocked, leading to high blood pressure, heart problems, strokes, diabetes, depression, headaches, and many more. Sometimes, sleep apnea can be caused by a fault in a person’s skeletal structure. Other times it can be linked to nervous impulses (or the lack thereof). Nevertheless, studies have proven that taking nap on your stomach can lower the side-effects of sleep apnea and that sleeping on your stomach minimizes the chances of respiratory obstructions.
Back and neck pain and other pains in the joints can be linked to a bad napping position. You see, sometimes humans sleep for as long as 12 hours a day, and if the biddy is stuck in an unhealthy position for too long, its adversities will begin to show. Avoid using a stiff pillow, and make sure that your head elevation is just about perfect for your comfort. Studies and personal experiences have linked neck and joint pain to sleeping on the stomach. It may take away sleep apnea, but it will leave you with another problem. So sleeping on the stomach may not be that premium after all, especially if you have to work physically all day long.
We all know what snoring is. It is defined by experts as a vibration in the throat and respiratory system in general which produces a sound. It is caused by any form of obstructions in the trachea and can be quite irritating for others. Tons of sleep disorders are linked to snoring, such as sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, and alcohol or drug abuse. Snoring can be lessened to a great extent by napping on your stomach, as sleeping on the back allows the jaw to slip backward and obstruct breathing. Another position that can reduce snoring is the fetal position.
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.
Sleep Paralysis is perhaps one of the most devastating and exhausting experience. It is defined as retaining consciousness while the rest of the body is “sleeping”. Most sleepers may wake up to find themselves in a trance-like state and completely paralyzed, unable to move a muscle. Some people even report seeing visions and hearing voices. These can be as sane as people they’ve met and pets they’ve seen on the streets, to as wild as aliens, witches, ghosts, incubuses, and of course, dragons. Sleep paralysis can be terrifying and can cause sleep deprivation and unproductivity in waking life.
It has been linked to sleeping on the back. Back sleeping, or the “supine position” correlates to sleep paralysis. So if you want to reduce that remember to switch to stomach sleeping.
How Sleeping on Your Stomach Affects You Physically
While the symptoms may not be clear at first, sleeping on your stomach can have both positive and negative effects on your physical health. For one thing, sleeping on the stomach causes pain and discomfort in a number of joints, and it doesn’t end there.
Sleeping on the stomach has been linked to vertebral discomfort and weakness. According to a report by Mayo Clinic, sleeping on the stomach exerts stress and strain on the lower back, as the body’s weight gets centered on that area. This adds weight and pressure and unwanted stress to the spine and can cause pain in the long run.
This specific sleep position also inhibits your body from staying in a neutral position, and can cause a shooting or passive pain in the back and neck. Furthermore, it has a tendency to change your posture and worsen it by a great percent. Weakness, fatigue, and physical apathy are all symptoms of a good night’s sleep on the stomach.
But apart from that, sleeping on the stomach can actually help alleviate some of the physical symptoms of sleep disorders. As stated earlier, belly sleeping can inhibit the symptoms of sleep apnea and can allow for unobstructed breathing and respiration. Moreover, sleeping on the stomach can reduce snoring tenfold, and can be more comfortable and sleep enhancing,
How Sleeping on Your Stomach Affects You Mentally
It may come as a surprise, but sleep positions can affect your psychological well-being just as much as your physical state. For one thing, the stomach sleep can incite more vivid and more intense dreams, and can lead to a higher amount of nightmares and thus sleep deprivation.
Moreover, the prone position can affect previously acquired mental disorders such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, stress, and many more. These can then cause secondary disorders, and can have a devastating effect on your daily life. This can cause moodiness as well, leading to severed bonds between family and friends.
On the other hand, sleeping with the abdomen side down can greatly enhance mood and reduce depression and mental stress caused by sleep apnea. It’s all a matter of perspective. A different napping position is also linked to more vivid dreams, which also means more vivid positive dreams, which can lead to a healthier day and more productivity at work. Furthermore, insomnia and snoring can severe ties between the ones we love. However, this sleeping position can reduce the effects of these disorders and can actually bind the ties together, depending on where you look.
What To Do If You’re Pregnant?
When it comes to getting the best out of sleeping positions, perhaps no one is as picky as a pregnant woman. People carrying children within their bellies might want to want to find the sleeping position which best effects (or rather doesn’t) their baby and will be healthier for both them and their expectations. Parents are always so concerned with their children, and that is what leads to a healthier bond between the mort and the child.
Stomach sleeping is obviously a no-no for people late into pregnancy. But moms who are in their early stages might want to avoid it too. The baby, whether visible or not, can cause added weight and stress to the spine, and the baby’s room in the womb also gets cut short. According to experts, sleeping in the fetal position on your left side is best for the baby, and will be more comfortable for you too.
While sleeping on the stomach has its own adversities and shortcomings, if it’s comfortable, it’s best. It can cause a large number of joint and muscle problems, as well as lead to more vivid and ecstatic dreams. However, this position has been known to reduce the effects of sleep apnea, insomnia, sleep paralysis, and snoring. Moreover, sleeping on the stomach early or late in pregnancies is harmful, so consider laying on your left side.
All in all, we can never really conclude finally whether a position is good or bad. It really depends on your requirements and priorities. But at the end, we will say one thing: the best position is one in which you are most comfortable.
Have sweet dreams!