Sleeping on the stomach is not popular, which is why the search for a specifically designed stomach-sleeper pillow is also not common. This is due to the fact that it can have negative health consequences. When sleeping on the stomach, we expose the spine to unfavorable pressure and rotations, which can lead to an increasing neck and back pain. Additionally, it causes continuous strain on the joints and muscles of the neck, leading to spinal problems.
It is worth being aware of the risks associated with this position and trying to alleviate its negative effects. We can reduce the pressure on the spine and neck by sleeping without a pillow or using a flat and low pillow. The best solution for health is to change sleeping habits to a more favorable one, mainly sleeping on the side with an appropriate pillow.
Sleeping on the stomach is one of the sleeping positions that many of us sometimes unconsciously adopt during sleep. However, few are aware that it may have certain negative consequences for health, mainly due to subjecting the spine to unfavorable pressure and rotations. When we sleep in this position, the spine must strive to maintain stability to balance the body. This causes excessive pressure on the neck area of the spine, leading to neck and back pain.
During the night, when we sleep on our stomach, we are forced to turn our head to the side to breathe freely. This position causes continuous strain on the joints and muscles around the neck, which over time can lead to neck spinal issues and pain.
Choosing this position also causes tension in the abdominal muscles. Sleeping on the stomach keeps the abdominal muscles constantly tense to maintain balance. This can affect posture and overall body function and cause considerable discomfort.
If we tend to press our face against the pillow or bed surface during stomach sleeping, it can significantly impede unrestricted breathing. This leads to noticeable airflow restriction, which can be particularly dangerous for people with respiratory issues.
Moreover, it's observed that prolonged stomach sleeping can affect the condition of the skin, especially on the face. Constantly pressing the face against the pillow surface can contribute to the development of wrinkles and lines on the skin.
Sleeping on the stomach raises controversies among many people due to potential health risks, especially for certain groups. While there's no definite answer on who can sleep on their stomach, there's a group of individuals who might feel more comfortable in this sleeping position. Such individuals may also experience less health risk.
An essential criterion is having a slim body build and being young. Thin and young people might experience less discomfort when sleeping on their stomach because their bodies are generally more flexible and have a greater ability to regenerate.
Another important criterion is engaging in sports. As a general rule, physically active individuals with strong muscles may experience less tension in their spine while sleeping on their stomach. Thanks to the flexibility of the spine, the risk of health issues decreases.
Most importantly, individuals sleeping on their stomach should not suffer from back problems. People without existing spinal conditions may tolerate sleeping on their stomach better because they do not have additional strain causing pain and discomfort. Most spinal conditions disqualify stomach sleeping.
However, it must be emphasized that even in individuals who meet the above criteria, there is still a risk associated with sleeping on the stomach. Improper positioning of the head and neck during stomach sleeping can lead to pain and health issues. Therefore, it is essential to consider other sleeping positions that are more beneficial for health, such as sleeping on the left side with appropriate pillow support.
Sleeping on the stomach without a pillow allows us to keep the head and neck in a more natural position, which ultimately minimizes pressure on the spine and puts less strain on the neck muscles. In this position, we can avoid excessive backward bending of the neck, which could lead to potential issues with the cervical spine.
When we sleep on our stomach with a pillow, the head is elevated, causing an unfavorable alignment of the spine, especially the cervical area. This can lead to neck and back pain and overall discomfort. Additionally, elevating the head can, in many cases, affect breathing, especially when the face is pressed too closely against the pillow, which can be particularly unfavorable for individuals with respiratory issues such as asthma.
If we choose stomach sleeping, it is recommended to completely avoid using a sleeping pillow. In cases where we cannot sleep comfortably without a pillow, we should always opt for a soft and low pillow that minimally elevates the head.
Certainly, you can sleep on your stomach with a pillow, but it should be done in a way that is least detrimental to your health. It is essential to choose an appropriate pillow. Ideally, it should be a jasiek pillow for sleeping with a low profile. The key is to select a flat and soft pillow that minimizes head elevation. It is recommended to avoid high and thick pillows as they strain the neck excessively.
Once you are lying on your stomach, place the pillow under your head to make it as flat as possible and avoid raising your neck upwards. Ensure that the chosen sleeping pillow doesn't elevate your head too high to keep your head and neck in the most natural position possible.
To breathe freely while sleeping on your stomach, gently turn your head to the side. However, avoid turning it in an excessive manner, which may cause excessive tension in neck muscles. Try to maintain the rest of your body, especially the spine, in the most neutral position possible. Also, avoid twisting the spine into extreme positions to prevent damage.
Choosing the right mattress for stomach sleepers is crucial to ensure maximum comfort and support for the spine. A functional mattress should adapt to the body's shape and contours and also minimize pressure on the gravity points. This helps maintain the safest possible spinal position during sleep.
An optimal choice for stomach sleepers is a medium-firm mattress. Properly selected mattress with this level of firmness provides good support. Keep in mind that a too soft mattress can cause intensive sinking of the body, leading to an unnatural spinal alignment. On the other hand, sleeping on a too firm mattress can overly pressurize the joints and spine, causing discomfort.
The key to a mattress lies in its functionality, allowing it to adapt to different parts of the body and provide support for the spine, hips, and shoulders. Therefore, avoid mattresses that yield under body weight or feel like a hardboard, as they can cause unnatural spinal alignment.
A mattress with a well-thought-out layered construction, containing various layers of functional open-cell foams, can provide stomach sleepers with dynamic support and body contouring. This helps the mattress distribute body weight evenly. Additionally, the mattress is breathable, being well-ventilated to ensure proper air circulation. This helps maintain hygiene by eliminating moisture and preventing mold growth within the mattress. The most functional mattress on the market, the Osaka Air mattress, fulfills these criteria, making it the best choice for individuals who prefer sleeping on their stomach.
When it comes to pillows, it's essential to note that there are no orthopedic pillows for every sleeping position. The most functional among the available pillows are primarily designed for sleeping on the back and side, not on the stomach. Considering your health and comfort, it's worth considering a change in your sleeping position. You can also opt for one of the functional memory foam pillows:
All ONSEN® pillows are designed for daily sleeping on the side and back. We also offer the standard pillow with a Skin+ cover, which is also suitable for sleeping on the stomach. All pillows come with an extended warranty and can be returned within 100 days from delivery.
We also encourage you to explore other articles on the best sleep and health blog, as well as the Encyclopedia of Healthy Sleep prepared by the ONSEN® team of specialists. For those who care about spine health, we recommend a set of spine exercises prepared by our physiotherapist.
Stomach sleepers should ideally avoid using a pillow. However, if you cannot do without one, it should be as flat and soft as possible. Look for pillows with a low profile to provide minimal elevation of the head and neck, reducing pressure on the spine and muscle tension.
During stomach sleeping, it's important to keep the head and neck in a neutral position as much as possible. Avoid twisting your neck to one side, as it can lead to tension and pain. Try to position your face directly downwards or choose a slight turn to the side, but avoid extreme rotations.
Sleeping on the stomach with a pillow can increase tension in the neck and spine, leading to discomfort and pain. Prolonged sleeping in this position with an elevated head can also contribute to cervical spine problems. Therefore, sleeping on the stomach with a pillow is not considered the healthiest sleep position.
A stomach sleeping pillow should be as flat as possible to minimize head elevation. It is recommended to choose pillows with a lower profile, typically made from soft materials, to ensure comfort during stomach sleep. However, it's best to sleep without a pillow if possible.
Sleeping on the stomach without a pillow may be more beneficial for health as it eliminates the pressure on the spine and neck that occurs when using a pillow. This allows the head and neck to maintain a more natural position, which can help avoid back pain and potential health issues associated with long-term stomach sleeping with a pillow.
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