Is Sleeping on Your Stomach Bad for Your Health? - Home & Texture
Bedroom Stomach Sleep Position

Is Sleeping on Your Stomach Bad for Your Health? This Chiropractor Thinks So

Plus, what you can do to change course.

April 2, 2024 at 10:29 PM PST
Bedroom Stomach Sleep Position

Is Sleeping on Your Stomach Bad for Your Health? This Chiropractor Thinks So

Plus, what you can do to change course.

April 2, 2024 at 10:29 PM PST

Do you like sleeping on your stomach? While this position is very comfortable, it could actually be causing you health problems that you shouldn’t ignore.

Luckily, expert chiropractor and head of Scoliosis Reduction Center Dr. Tony Nalda is here to uncover the hidden dangers of front sleeping, plus provide expert advice on how to transition to healthier sleep habits for better rest and overall well-being.

To learn more about this popular sleep position, take a look at why Dr. Nalda says sleeping on your stomach is a bad idea.

A woman massaging her neck.
Photo credit: Polina Tankilevitch 

It causes neck and back problems.

Sleeping on your stomach is comfortable for many people, but doing so can unknowingly cause harm to your neck and back. Because you have to turn your head throughout the night to breathe, sleeping on your stomach can put quite a bit of strain on your neck. Putting too much strain on this area can quickly lead to muscle tightness, inflammation, and pain, which is not only challenging but costly to treat.

“Front sleeping flattens the natural curve of your spine, which can cause lower back pain,” Dr. Nalda says. “If you already have neck and back problems, sleeping in this position is almost guaranteed to make them worse.”

It can create breathing and spinal issues.

Many people have trouble sleeping due to breathing challenges, and stomach sleeping can certainly add to that. When you sleep on your stomach, you’re pushing onto your diaphragm. This makes it harder to breathe, which can take a serious toll on your sleep quality and overall health.

Beyond your diaphragm, your back is also affected when you sleep on your stomach. Sleeping this way puts extra stress on your spine, which in turn, adds stress to your vertebrae and the nearby muscles.

It can lead to cardiovascular problems.

No one ever thinks the way they sleep can cause heart problems, but unfortunately, stomach sleeping can do just that.

According to Dr. Nalda, “Front sleeping makes your body work more, including your heart, as by pressing on your chest, you make it harder for blood to circulate. Over time, this increases the risk of cardio issues, especially if you already have problems. If you struggle to breathe deeply, it can lead to higher blood pressure.”

What To Do Instead

If you love sleeping on your stomach, you might be wondering where to go from here. Dr. Nalda recommends three ways you can change your counterproductive sleeping habits so that you can enjoy better quality rest. Here’s how.

A woman wearing an eye mask sleeping on her side in bedPhoto credit: Pavel Danilyuk 

Try a different position.

While it’s easier said than done, there are other positions you can try that don’t cause as many problems as stomach sleeping.

For example, back sleeping is a fantastic option for people looking to experience deeper, more restful sleep, and is one of the best options because “it maintains the natural curve of the spine and minimizes pressure on the joints,” Dr. Nalda says.

If sleeping on your back is just too uncomfortable, however, side sleeping is another option that can improve heart health and reduce snoring.

Use supportive tools.

If trying a new position doesn’t quite do the trick, there are plenty of supportive sleeping products that can. For example, when laying on your back or side, you can use a body pillow to help support your body and keep you from rolling back onto your stomach.

Additionally, when shopping for bedding, be sure to make support a priority. A comfy yet supportive mattress or pillow is of utmost importance to help avoid neck and back problems down the line.



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