If you took a poll at Orange County mattress stores, you would find that about 16 percent of people sleep on their stomachs. While this number might appear low, it’s actually quite a significant portion of a 7.8 billion world population.
For years, sleep experts have been telling people that sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst positions for your body. Why? To start, it forces the spine out of its natural curve. It also adds pressure to your abdomen, hips, and neck. When turning your head to the side, you can block off your breathing pathway. People who sleep on their stomachs also routinely wake up with numbness and discomfort. If you’re a stomach sleeper that consistently wakes up at night, you could start to suffer from sleep deprivation, which could lead to cognitive issues.
While these facts are out there, many people continue to sleep on their stomachs. Some even struggle with getting a good night’s sleep in any other position. It can be difficult to retrain your body to relax on your back or side when you’ve developed a natural habit of rolling over to your stomach. So, what’s the solution?
Fortunately, there are techniques that stomach sleepers can utilize in order to lower the risk of muscle strain, breathing problems, and misalignment. Sleep experts at Orange County mattress stores share their best tips for stomach sleepers:
Rotate Your Position
If you can, it is a good idea to turn yourself over every once in a while, so that you’re not always lying flat on your stomach. This will help you slowly adjust to other sleeping positions and, hopefully, not rely on the one that puts so much pressure on your body.
Make Sure to Stretch
Before you go to sleep and after you wake up, it is a good idea to do a short stretching routine. This will not only alleviate any current muscle tension but it will also increase your flexibility and rejuvenate your body. One of the best stretches for stomach sleepers is child’s pose, which helps push the pelvis back and counteract the position of stomach sleeping.
Put a Pillow Underneath Your Pelvis
If you want a more even weight distribution when you’re sleeping on your stomach, you can prop your pelvis up with a flat pillow. This will ease the pressure on your lower body and promote a more restful sleep.
Lie Face Down Using a Pillow
In order to open up your airways, you can lie face down by resting your forehead on a pillow. This is a great alternative to turning your head one way or the other and it will help you breathe easier.
Get a Special Pillow
There are great stomach sleeping pillows on the market that accommodate the contours of your body and relieve the spine. Memory foam is one of the best materials for adequate support and proper alignment. The thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want something too soft, that your body will sink into. Stomach sleepers need a pillow that’s firmer and not too elevated.