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Pros and Cons of Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeper? We have the scoop. Here are the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach.

Read up on the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping is a personal decision, and only you can determine which position you are most comfortable getting your zzz's in. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, then you may know that there are some pros and cons to sleeping in that position.

Like any sleep position, you may be curious if you are doing your body right by sleeping on your stomach or not. The best way to determine that is by going through the list of pros and cons that are associated with sleeping on your belly.

Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of sleeping on your stomach.

What are the benefits of sleeping on your stomach?

If you are more comfortable sleeping on your stomach but don’t because you have heard negative things, then the benefits of sleeping on your stomach may persuade you to not give up your favorite sleeping position.

Prevents snoring. Do you have a tendency to snore? Sleeping on your stomach helps to alleviate that. The reason it helps with snoring is that you are not cramping your air passage but giving it a straight path in and out of your lungs.

Diminishes Sleep Apnea. If you tend to stop breathing when you are sleeping and hate wearing a CPAP machine, sleeping on your stomach can help. Stomach sleeping has been known to help reduce mild sleep apnea. However, it is in no way a replacement for a doctor-prescribed therapy.

Diminishes Heartburn. When you suffer from acid reflux or constant heartburn, sleeping on your stomach can help to alleviate that. Especially when you find that acid in your stomach disturbs your sleep and often, sleeping on your stomach can lead to a more relaxing sleep that won’t be bothered by acid.

What are the disadvantages of sleeping on your stomach?

There are many more cons to stomach sleeping than there are pros. Stomach sleeping has a large number of physiological issues.

Spine Alignment. Your spine is forced to straighten when you’re on your stomach, and it results in lower back pain. Your spine has a natural curvature that is forced out of alignment when you sleep on your stomach.

Neck Issues. Unless you have learned how to breathe through a pillow, you need to turn your head on the side. This constant strain on your neck causes many neck and postural issues. That feeling that you get in your neck when you sleep wrong and find it hard to move your head in any direction is a result of this type of sleep.

Pregnancy. This probably goes without say, but if you are pregnant, sleeping on your stomach is terrible. If you sleep on your stomach while pregnant, you are crowding organs and skeletal structures. Not to mention, making it super cramped and uncomfortable for your baby. Instead, choose a pregnancy pillow to sleep in proper alignment.

Anxiety. There is little research on this, but it has been noted that those who sleep on their stomach tend to wake up anxious. Why people wake up anxious is not noted, but apparently, it does happen.

Numbness and Stiffness. Stomach sleepers have an increased risk of waking up stiff and numb. Your blood can’t circulate as well as in other sleeping positions, and this causes pooling, which leads to the numb feeling that you get when you stay in one place too long.

Can’t Sleep?

If you find that the only way you can sleep comfortably is on your stomach and trying to change to another sleeping position is impossible, then you can take steps to be more comfortable safely.

Getting one of the best pillows for stomach sleeping can help alleviate some of the issues that can develop in your back and neck. These pillows help to position your body in a way that reduces the stress on your body from your favorite sleeping position.

Conclusion

Sleeping in any position for too long can cause strain on your body. No matter if you love sleeping on your side, back or stomach, there are going to be pros and cons with any sleeping position. If you choose to continue sleeping on your stomach or can’t sleep any other way, then consider getting the best pillow for stomach sleepers to help you sleep best.

Resources — Purple, Healthline, SleepAdvisor, EightSleep