Do you wake up on your belly every morning?
Sleep comes in all forms. You can't necessarily help the way you do it, but there are things that you can learn that might help you on your way to more restful sleep.
In this article, we're going to talk about the effects of stomach sleeping and give you a few restful tips that can improve your relationship with sleep and the feeling that it gives you.
It's so important to get a good sleep and recharge when you sleep. Stomach sleeping isn't the most beneficial to your body, so there are things that you need to know in order to feel good every day.
Here are 7 tips for the stomach sleepers out there.
The first thing that you should know is what your sleeping position is doing to you. First, the good. Belly sleepers tend to have fewer issues with snoring and sleep apnea. However, you might be developing lower back, neck, and spinal issues.
The Mayo Clinic states that sleeping on your stomach is actually one of the worst ways to sleep. It doesn't support the natural curve of the spine, instead, fattening it and putting stress on it.
So, why is this?
Your pelvic area is where most of the body's weight rests whether you're laying on your stomach or your back.
If you're laying on your back, your body will naturally sink backward so that your body is curved slightly forward. Conversely, when you're on your stomach, it's as if you're constantly thrusting forward. This is what causes that unneeded stress on the discs in your back and creates or exacerbates back pain.
Let's talk about how we can combat the ill effects of stomach sleep in a few easy ways.
When you wake up in the morning and experience some back pain, you might already have the urge to do some stretching to alleviate the strain. This is good.
Something you can do immediately when you get up is relaxing in the "child's pose". If you participate in yoga, then you already know what this is.
If you don't, however, it's the pose where you sit with your shins on the floor and toes pointed backward. Then, you push your pelvis downward and reach forward, alternating between right and left to stretch out both sides of your back.
Doing yoga is an incredible relief to those with aches and pains and can be hugely beneficial with combatting the effects of your stomach sleep.
Nowadays, manufacturers are privy to the effects of stomach sleeping as much as stomach sleepers themselves are. The awkward bending of the back and neck from stomach sleep are the culprits and now there are mattresses to fight these unnatural movements.
Previously, the average mattress would be laid out in a uniform way, so wherever your body carries weight is where the mattress would dip in. These new mattresses are a little bit different.
Stomach sleeper mattresses will provide support for the neck and pelvis while conceding to the dip of the head into the mattress. This is exactly what stomach sleepers need. A mattress that essentially simulates the effects of back sleep, but allows them to continue sleeping on their stomachs.
Many stomach sleepers, becoming aware of the effects that their pillow is having on them (causing an awkward back-bending of the neck), have ditched the pillow altogether. This is a great move if you have a supportive mattress. The problem of the thrusting pelvis is still present, however, if you haven't purchased one of these.
Putting a pillow under your hips will keep your pelvis slightly elevated and prevent the awkward thrusting motion that your body automatically does. This is another common method used by stomach sleepers to counteract those nasty effects.
Every stomach sleeper should give other sleeping positions a try to see if they can break the stomach sleeping habit. Sleeping on your side or back are both preferable to the stomach since they don't put the same amount of pressure on your lower back and neck.
Try using a body pillow to transition yourself from full-time stomach sleeping to part-time. The comfortable sensation of hugging the pillow will simulate sleeping on your stomach without the painful side-effects.
Napping on the sofa or a loveseat will give you the practice you need to break your stomach sleeping habit. Since you can't physically sleep on your stomach on a loveseat, you'll get in the custom of sleeping on your side, or your back, if sleeping on a couch.
If that doesn't work, you could use a couple of stomach sleep deterrents. If you use a contoured orthopedic pillow, you'll create a feeling of discomfort when you sleep on your belly.
Similarly, if you wear sleep pants to bed, put a tennis ball in your pocket. Every time you try to roll over, the tennis ball will poke into your side, keeping you in the sleeping position you desire.
If you can't kick the habit of stomach sleeping, fear not. It's not easy to just change the way you sleep, so the people at Belly Sleep have created the perfect pillow for stomach sleepers.
The thin memory foam profile of the Belly Sleep pillow provides contoured support for your neck and head, alleviating the stress on the spine that is caused by pressure points from uneven support.
At only $59.99, the Belly Sleep pillow is a much cheaper alternative to purchasing a brand new mattress, though combining this pillow with a good firm mattress may just solve your back problems once and for all while allowing you to continue stomach sleeping.
If you've slept one way your whole life, then you know how hard it is to try to change that about yourself. Stomach sleeping isn't great for your body, but using a few of these methods, you can prevent aches, pains, and bigger problems moving forward.
What's most important is that when you sleep, you're body and mind are both resting to allow you to thrive during the day.