Sleeping on your stomach: if for some this position evokes childhood memories, for others, they simply find comfort there! However, has it ever occurred to you that this could have adverse consequences for your body and well-being? We have investigated the subject to provide you with concrete answers. Dr. Jan Lefkowitz, a chiropractor at Body in Balance Chiropractic in New York, revealed to Business Insider the side effects as well as the downsides of this position. Explanations!
Every night, nothing changes… It’s the same old story! You can only fall into the arms of Morpheus by being lying comfortably on your stomach. But is this a position that the experts recommend? Is there an ideal position for a good night’s sleep? Let’s review together!
What are the advantages of sleeping on your mattress flat on your stomach?
Sleeping on your stomach has a great advantage: reducing snoring! In fact, unlike lying on your side or on your back, lying flat on your stomach prevents you from snoring. In addition, it also helps us to reduce sleep apnea, provided that our rib cage is not compressed… Not really practical, since not everyone knows how to do it, right? Now, let’s take a quick look at the submerged part of the iceberg!
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Why sleeping lying on your stomach is bad? The disadvantages and dangers for our health
Sleep is crucial for our well-being, but did you know that the position we sleep in can have a huge impact on our health? Dr. Jan Lefkowitz, renowned chiropractor at Body in Balance Chiropractic in New York, explains that sleeping on your stomach is a real disaster for our backs! This is because it causes our spine to rotate and puts considerable pressure on our neck, leading to pain and misalignment of our vertebrae.
Use a cushion or pillow and sleep on your side
If you’re used to sleeping on your stomach, don’t do it anymore! The best solution is to switch to side position. To help with this transition, Dr. Lefkowitz recommends using a long banana-shaped pillow. According to him, by placing it between our knees and holding it in front of our body, it prevents us from tipping over and sleeping on our stomachs while we sleep. This position is also beneficial for those who suffer from lower back pain; it helps align the hips and keep the pelvis in place!
Dear readers, investing in a pillow can have a big impact on your health. Remember that we spend about a third of our lives sleeping, so why not make our sleep a priority?
Why is it bad to sleep on your stomach? When should you stop?
If you sleep on your stomach, you now know that this habit is unhealthy. Changing it all at once is difficult, especially for those who are happy with it! But when should we say stop and adopt a new behavior that prevents us from health problems in the future? Here are the signs to observe more closely that prove that it is time to review the way you sleep!
Pressure on the cervical vertebrae
Naturally, so that we can breathe during our sleep while lying on our stomach, we turn our head to the right or to the left. However, this position exerts significant pressure on our cervical vertebrae. In the long term, this is likely to lead to body aches upon waking and even premature osteoarthritis.
Breathing problems in sleep apnea
Although we pay no attention to our breathing during our sleep, sleeping on your stomach can cause many problems! In fact, this position is strictly not recommended for people with sleep apnea or other breathing disorders. According to osteopath Célestin Sertelet, sleeping on your stomach puts increased tension on the muscles of swallowing and the trachea. In other words, our rib cage has less space to open, because it is blocked by the ventral support! In the long term, this causes stiffness in the rib cage and even premature osteoarthritis, as osteopath and physiotherapist Samuel Homo also points out.
But that’s not all… We are not at the end of our surprises! Sleeping on your stomach is also the cause of long-term lower back pain. According to Samuel Homo, this position accentuates the physiological lordosis by increasing the hollow between the pelvis and the lower ribs, which exerts strong pressure on the vertebral discs, the lumbar and the sacrum.
Slip his arm under the pillow to find a comfortable position before falling asleep, do you do that too? If the answer is yes, know that this habit causes damage to the trapezius. According to the osteopath, this position keeps our shoulders in tension, and therefore increases the pressure on our trapezius muscles. What’s more, the elevated head aggravates the flexion of the cervical spine, thus leading to long-term headaches…
What is the best position for sleeping?
To be in top form early in the morning, nothing beats spending a very restful and comfortable night. This is why it is essential to take care of your sleep. But what is the best position for sleeping? If you are looking to avoid pain and all kinds of health problems, it is advisable to sleep on your backarms along the body and head propped up on a thin pillow, as relayed by the scientific magazine Futura-Sciences. This way, you will adopt a neutral body position that provides good body alignment. That said, if you’re prone to snoring or sleep apnea, we don’t recommend adopting this sleeping position, as it may cause your throat muscles to relax!
On the other hand, chiropractor Robert Hayden, reveals for the magazine SLATE, that sleeping on your side also seems like a good position, as long as you cross your arms against your chest instead of curling up like a fetus. And this, in order to keep the spine straight and aligned. To corroborate the chiropractor’s words, Dr. Nathalie Dautovich, professor of psychology and specialist at the National Sleep Foundation, says that sleeping on your side also helps keep your airways open.
Read also: How to choose the right mattress to have an excellent sleep?
What sleeping positions relieve pain?
As you will have understood, dear readers, avoid sleeping on your stomach at all costs and adopt a healthier position to improve your quality of sleep and prevent health problems.
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