Sleeping on your stomach: Pros and cons

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Aina Martin
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Sleeping on your stomach: Pros and cons

 Sleeping position is one of the main factors that determine good rest. Although there is no perfect posture, is there a best sleeping posture? In today's article, we will discuss the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach. 


Risks of sleeping on your stomach

In a study done in the United States to find out the pros and cons of each sleeping posture, it was found that 74% of people sleep on their side, 16% do so on their stomach, and 10% prefer to sleep on their back. .

Sleeping on your stomach is a position that many regularly adopt for sleeping, but experts estimate that maintaining this position for 7 to 8 hours can be harmful to the back.

The reason is purely anatomical. When you sleep on your stomach, the body is forced to turn its head to breathe and this position can be traumatic for the neck, by altering the cervical curvature in unnatural ways, while the spine arches, increasing lumbar curvature and putting tension on the ligaments and lumbar musculature, which can promote the onset of low back pain.

This habit can also make us more susceptible to muscle ailments and neck and back pain, cervical pain, tendonitis, or other muscle, ligament, and bone problems.

Another risk of sleeping on your stomach is generated by the pressure exerted by the weight of the body on the rib cage, which can make it difficult to breathe and you may need to practice breathing properly.

Other negative consequences of sleeping on your stomach are that it  increases the appearance of wrinkles, unless you protect your eyes with a sleep mask.



Benefits of sleeping on your stomach

Among the main advantages that can be found by sleeping on your stomach, we find:

  • Avoid snoring: this position is very good to avoid snoring.
  • Relieves pain in the arms : Many people feel relief in their arms and shoulders when they sleep on their stomach.


What is the best sleeping posture?

While there are some advantages to sleeping on your stomach, the best position for sleeping is to rest in the fetal position. By lying on the side, the spine is straighter and suffers less by not subjecting the body to stress.

In case of pregnancy, it is also advisable to sleep on the side so as not to put pressure on the stomach with a pillow adapted to the situation.

With all of the above, there are still people who find it difficult to change the habit of sleeping on their stomach, and knowing that it is not the most recommended posture for spinal health, they choose to continue to take this position.

To change this habit, you can start by trying to sleep on the side, hugging a large pillow or placing pillows on both sides of the body, as this will make it more difficult to roll over.

As for the mattresses, in this case, it is recommended to sleep on a medium to firm mattress.

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