Lying on your stomach while sleeping is a common practice. In fact, it is the most popular sleep position in Western society. However, there are some reasons why this isn’t such a good idea. When you sleep on your stomach, you inhibit respiratory function and don’t get enough oxygen into your body.
This can lead to poor sleep quality and increase stress levels. Here are 7 reasons that sleeping on your stomach may be bad for you.
Sleeping on your stomach can stop you from breathing well
When you sleep on your stomach, your body’s natural reflex is to roll onto your side in order to breathe. However, if you sleep on your stomach, your body starts breathing in the wrong way and you stop getting enough oxygen into your body.
As a result, this can leave you feeling tired, short of breath and get into a worse sleep pattern. It can even become a condition known as sleep apnea. A 2013 study found that sleeping on your back with the chin slightly raised may improve this reflex and help to improve breathing.
Getting sufficient sleep is essential for a healthy body and healthy mind A lack of sleep can cause stress and anxiety. If you have a stressful job, it can be really difficult to get a good night’s rest.
You’ll have a hard time sleeping
Let’s start with the obvious. You need good, quality sleep in order to function in the next day. When you sleep on your back, the pillow around your face prevents air from flowing in through your nose and lungs.
This might sound obvious, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sleeping on your stomach usually causes pillows to rise over your face. This can leave your face pressed against the pillow, and this doesn’t allow enough air to get into your lungs. This makes it more difficult for your breathing to deepen.
You’ll suffocate This is perhaps the biggest problem of all. When you sleep on your stomach, you are completely exposing yourself to the oxygen supply of your body. Your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are all under way while your body is exposed.
Sleeping on your stomach may cause neck pain or discomfort
Sleeping on your stomach may cause neck pain or discomfort. This is due to your head being placed under your pelvis. Neck pain can be caused by a range of factors including crooked spine, sleeping on your back for long periods of time, sleeping in a recliner or other head position that prevents proper spine alignment.
To alleviate any pain or discomfort you may be feeling, try sleeping on your back and raise your head to a more comfortable position. Sleeping on your stomach may increase chances of sinus infections or other issues with your nasal passages.
While sleeping on your stomach can help you fall asleep faster, it can also increase the chance of sinus infections. Sleeping on your stomach can put a strain on the nasal passages and can create some discomfort.
You might be more tired in the morning
When you sleep on your stomach, your breathing rhythm changes. The diaphragm, which is located on the back, and the thoracic diaphragm (chest) normally move in and out together. But when you lie on your stomach, you encourage the diaphragm to oscillate too much.
The result? You may be more tired in the morning, as your body is producing less energy to complete the functions of your daily life. Sleeping on your stomach can contribute to acid reflux When you sleep on your stomach, your esophagus gets a particularly forceful bump when you swallow.
In this position, the food from your stomach passes directly into your mouth, instead of taking the route of digestion, causing a build-up of gastric acids.
It can lead to poor sleep quality
If you sleep on your stomach, you won’t be able to breathe properly. When you sleep on your back, you use your diaphragm, which provides you with oxygen and allows you to breathe. On the other hand, when you sleep on your stomach, the diaphragm is not used and you don’t get enough oxygen.
This can lead to poor sleep quality and can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning. Frequency of movement When you sleep on your stomach, your muscles may contract, which can cause you to wake up with a stiff neck or shoulder pain. It is also possible that sleeping on your stomach can disturb your spine.
This can lead to poor posture and back pain in the long run. Back pain is common. Sleeping on your stomach can also put you at risk of developing a herniated disk.
The increased risk of diabetes and heart disease
The reason you sleep on your stomach when you’re pregnant is because the baby needs the fetal heart rate. The pressure of your abdomen on your chest helps the baby’s little heart find the best possible rate. Even if you’re not pregnant, sleep on your stomach during the day is to accommodate your snoring partner.
Some studies have shown that sleeping on your stomach may impair respiration and increase blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Better digestion when sleeping on your back.
Sleeping on your back may allow the muscles of your upper digestive tract to relax and open up to allow more digestive enzymes to get into your mouth. When you sleep on your stomach, the stomach muscles get locked up and won’t relax as much.
Sleep apnea, which can cause serious long-term health problems
Sleeping on your stomach is similar to sleeping in a recliner or bed position. This puts an even greater strain on the carotid arteries that supply oxygen to your brain. An estimated 26 million Americans have sleep apnea.
This chronic condition can cause symptoms like snoring, breathing difficulties, and even stroke. If you are overweight, you are even more at risk. Your entire body suffers from sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you have sleep deprivation, which can cause daytime fatigue.
You may also have issues with mood. Poor circulation Sleeping on your back or stomach can cause a condition called venous insufficiency. This leads to thicker veins in your legs and may even be the cause of varicose veins.
Sleeping on your stomach can lead to various health issues, and it can also affect your quality of life. If you’re willing to learn more about why sleeping on your stomach is bad for you, then keep on reading to find out what you should know.
Staying on your back while sleeping will increase your airflow throughout your body. If you sleep on your stomach, you’re going to have to work hard to clear your throat or clear mucus when you sneeze. This is because you will have less air to breath when lying on your stomach.