Let’s face it. Some of us are entering the second phase of our lives. The kids are off to college and things are changing. Since this is the case, we thought of a great idea; if you snooze on your back it might be time to change your sleep position. It’s no secret that sleeping on your back is probably the worst position you can put your body in, if you want to wake up pain free.
If you insist on sleeping on your stomach then read the following tips we found that can benefit folks who are used to sleeping on their bellies.
Turn It Around
Turning habits around isn’t that easy to do. Some studies suggest that it takes 21 days to change a behavior, which may not seem like a long time. It’s less than a month actually. Still, when you are laying on your side or back in your bed wanting to fall asleep but you can’t because you always sleep on your stomach 21 days might seem like an eternity.
The only thing you can do at this point is try your best to turn it around. One suggestion is to let yourself lay in bed on your stomach because that’s what your body, and mind, are used to. Yet, once you start feeling drowsy and your eyes are struggling to stay open, gently change your position to your side. Do this for 21 days and you may be just as comfortable sleeping on your side when the time is up.
Get The Right Mattress
Did you know there are mattresses on the market that are made specifically for folks who sleep on their stomach? If you have the means and know that your mattress is old anyway, you should check out this review on mattresses for stomach sleepers.
We realize this option is not the best for everyone or fits into all types of budgets, but if a new mattress was something you were considering anyway, make sure to know all of your options and how they fit with your habits.
Sleep Without A Pillow
Even if you have a favorite pillow, it is suggested that sleeping without a pillow when you are an avid stomach sleeper is the best for your neck. Your neck is an area of the body strongly affected by sleeping on your stomach. When you do this with a pillow, the vertebrae pinches the nerves and muscles are forced to remain in an unnatural position for an entire night, which should be about 8 hours.
If you remove the pillow your neck will remain in a position that feels more natural and safe. You’ll find, if you can make this a regular thing, that your neck will not have as much pain with this method.
Use That Pillow Elsewhere
When we are sleeping we distribute our body weight primarily to our hips and gravity pulls that weight, which can cause pain in your hips when you wake up in the morning. If you have been sleeping on your stomach for a long time then this pain may be chronic.
It is possible to relieve the pressure that is put on your hips from sleeping on your stomach. Try putting that pillow you won’t be using for your head under your hips. This will stop your pelvic region from bending downward. If this makes sleeping hard then you may want to revisit the mattress section of this article and look for an option that is firm so you can stop the unnatural curve in your hips.
Consider A New Pillow
We realize this may seem contradictory to what we were saying earlier but in this case we are talking about a body pillow. Some work like a massage table, which requires a person to lay on their stomach. These types of pillows might offer more options for distributing your body weight while you sleep.
Other benefits of a full-body pillow is to help with alignment in the spine, hips, and shoulders. They also help reduce snoring for side sleepers and have been known to relieve the pain from headaches, fibromyalgia, and insomnia.
It May Not Be All Bad
Even though we just spent the last 700 words explaining why it is not a great idea to sleep on your stomach, like everything else, there are exceptions to the rule. If you suffer from sleep apnea sleeping on your stomach may be the way to go. Also, this position has also been known to benefit those who have heartburn or other digestive issues. Snoring might be helped by sleeping on your stomach as well.
If you sleep on your stomach though, maybe you should take up yoga to stretch the spine. Child’s pose, where you get on your knees and put your body forward to pull the vertebrae into position is a great stretch for the back. This and a few sun salutations can benefit these areas giving you leeway to sleep on your stomach.