Home / Blog July 05, 2024

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How To Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach

In this blog, we share tips on how to stop sleeping on your stomach. We also discuss whether or not sleeping on your stomach is good for you and when to see a doctor if you notice that stomach sleeping is causing issues like neck pain.

How To Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach

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Instead of abruptly changing your sleep position, aim for gradual adjustment.

Use pillows strategically to maintain spinal alignment and reduce discomfort.

If you experience chronic pain or worsening symptoms related to stomach sleeping, speak to your doctor. 

Did you know?
Surveys suggest that about 7% of people prefer sleeping on their stomachs, while the majority sleep on their sides or backs.

Do you ever wake up with neck pain after sleeping on your stomach? If so, it might be time to ask: Is stomach sleeping causing more harm than good? While sleeping on your belly may feel cozy, it could be wreaking havoc on your spine, neck, and shoulders. In this blog, we explore how to stop stomach sleeping and opt for healthier sleep positions for a happier, more rejuvenating slumber.

Let’s dive in!

How To Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach

Here are some tips to help you transition from stomach sleeping to other positions:

1. Gradual Adjustment: Trying to change your sleep position abruptly might be uncomfortable and difficult to maintain. Instead, aim for a gradual adjustment. Start by sleeping in a different position for part of the night and gradually increase the duration over time.

2. Pillow Placement: Place a bolster pillow under your knees when lying on your back or between your legs when lying on your side. Bolster pillows offer compact support, which eases tension from your lower back muscles.

3. Supportive Mattress: Ensure your mattress is supportive enough to encourage a different sleep position. A mattress that’s too soft or too flat might make it more difficult to stay comfortable in other positions.

4. Body Pillow: If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, hugging a body pillow while sleeping on your side can provide a similar sensation of comfort and support. Consider our Cuddler, which is a satisfyingly squashy, breathable, ergonomic body pillow to keep your spine aligned as you rest.

5. Be Patient: Changing your sleep habits can take time, so be patient with yourself. It may take several weeks or even months to fully adjust to a new sleep position.

By implementing these tips and being consistent with your efforts, you can gradually train yourself to sleep in a different position and reduce the tendency to sleep on your stomach.

In the next section, let’s discuss why some people tend to sleep on their stomachs more than others.

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What Does It Mean If You Sleep On Your Stomach?

There is no scientific data to back up the claim that your sleeping position is connected to your personality. However, there are a few potential reasons someone may prefer sleeping on their stomach:

1. Comfort: Some people simply find sleeping on their stomach to be the most comfortable position. This preference may be related to how they feel most relaxed and at ease while lying down.

2. Pressure Relief: For some, sleeping on their stomach provides relief from discomforts like lower back pain. The pressure from lying on the stomach may alleviate tension in the lower back for some sleepers.

3. Habit: Sleep position preferences can also develop as habits over time. If someone has been sleeping on their stomach for a long time, it may feel natural and familiar to continue sleeping in this position.

4. Sleep Disorders: In some cases, sleeping on the stomach may be associated with certain sleep disorders like sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea may find that sleeping on their stomach helps reduce snoring or alleviate symptoms, although this is not a recommended treatment and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

5. Pregnancy: Some pregnant women find temporary relief from discomfort by sleeping on their stomach during the early stages of pregnancy, before the belly grows. However, as the pregnancy progresses, sleeping on the stomach becomes increasingly uncomfortable and is not recommended.

In the next section, we discuss why stomach sleeping is the least favorable sleeping position.

How To Stop Sleeping On Your Stomach

Is It Good To Sleep On Your Stomach?

Sleeping on your stomach is generally considered the least favorable sleep position for several reasons:

1. Spinal Alignment: Sleeping on your stomach can lead to poor spinal alignment, as your spine is often forced into an unnatural position, potentially causing strain on your back and neck.

2. Pressure on Organs: Sleeping on your stomach can put pressure on your internal organs, potentially causing discomfort and affecting digestion.

3. Breathing Difficulties: Stomach sleeping can make it more difficult to breathe comfortably, especially if your face is turned to one side or buried in the pillow.

4. Neck Pain: Sleeping with your head turned to the side for extended periods can lead to neck pain and stiffness.

5. Increased Risk of Wrinkles: Pressing your face into a pillow for hours at a time can contribute to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines over time.

That said, for some people, sleeping on their stomach may provide temporary relief for certain conditions like sleep apnea or acid reflux. However, the long-term negative effects on spinal alignment and overall sleep quality typically outweigh any short-term benefits.

Next, let’s look at what some of these advantages are!

Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Stomach

Here are the few potential advantages of stomach sleeping:

1. Reduced Snoring: For some, sleeping on their stomach helps reduce snoring. This position may keep the airway more open compared to sleeping on the back, which can help alleviate snoring in some cases.

2. Relief for Sleep Apnea: In some cases of mild obstructive sleep apnea, sleeping on the stomach might temporarily alleviate symptoms by keeping the airway more open. However, this is not a recommended treatment and should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

3. Alleviation of Acid Reflux Symptoms: Sleeping on the stomach may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux for some people. By sleeping with the head slightly elevated and on the stomach, gravity may help prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.

Despite these benefits, one of the most common complaints associated with stomach sleeping is neck pain. In the next section, we discuss why stomach sleeping causes this discomfort and how to alleviate it.

When Sleeping On Your Stomach Causes Neck Pain

When Sleeping On Your Stomach Causes Neck Pain

Sleeping on your stomach can lead to neck discomfort for several reasons:

1. Head Position: When you sleep on your stomach, you typically have to turn your head to one side or the other to breathe comfortably. This prolonged rotation of the neck strains the muscles and joints, leading to stiffness and pain.

2. Misalignment: Sleeping on your stomach often results in your head being turned to the side and your neck being extended or rotated, which misaligns the spine and puts stress on the neck muscles and vertebrae.

3. Pressure Points: Depending on your pillow and mattress, sleeping on your stomach may create pressure points on your neck, shoulders, and spine, exacerbating pain and discomfort.

To alleviate neck pain associated with sleeping on your stomach, try the following tips:

1. Improve Sleep Position: Transition to sleeping on your back or side, which generally allows for better spinal alignment and reduces strain on the neck. Use pillows to support your head and neck in a neutral position.

2. Neck Stretches and Exercises: Incorporate gentle neck stretches and strengthening exercises into your daily routine to help alleviate muscle tension and improve neck mobility.

3. Supportive Mattress: Ensure your mattress provides adequate support to prevent your body from sinking too deeply, which can contribute to poor spinal alignment and neck pain.

4. Regular Breaks: If you must sleep on your stomach, try to alternate between different sleep positions throughout the night to reduce prolonged stress on your neck

If neck pain persists despite trying these measures, consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment.

Next, let’s discuss what other signs to stay on the lookout for to know when it’s time to seek medical advice.

When To See A Doctor

Here are some situations in which you should consider consulting a doctor:

1. Chronic Pain or Discomfort: If you regularly experience pain, stiffness, or discomfort in your neck, back, or other areas of your body as a result of sleeping on your stomach, discuss these symptoms with a healthcare professional.

2. Sleep Disorders: If you suspect you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea or insomnia, and you believe your sleeping position (including sleeping on your stomach) may be contributing to or exacerbating the problem, consult a doctor.

3. Difficulty Breathing: If you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath while sleeping on your stomach, seek medical attention promptly. This could be a sign of an underlying respiratory issue or sleep disorder that requires immediate evaluation and treatment.

4. Other Health Concerns: If you have other health conditions or concerns that may be affected by your sleeping position, such as acid reflux, pregnancy, or musculoskeletal issues, consult with a healthcare professional.

Ultimately, if you have any concerns or questions about the effects of stomach sleeping on your health or well-being, discuss them with a qualified healthcare provider. They can offer guidance, address your concerns, and help you find solutions to improve your sleep quality and overall health.

Conclusion

While stomach sleeping may offer temporary relief for some conditions, its long-term effects on spinal alignment, neck pain, and overall comfort outweigh any short-term benefits. By gradually transitioning to sleeping on your back or side and implementing supportive sleep strategies, you can improve your sleep posture and reduce the tendency to sleep on your stomach. Remember to listen to your body and seek medical advice if you experience chronic pain, difficulty breathing, or worsening symptoms related to stomach sleeping.