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Is It Better To Sleep On Hard Surface

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Sleeping On The Floor For Back Pain

Bed firmness? Sleeping on hard surfaces or soft surfaces? Effect on hips, shoulders, and back?

One of the main benefits of sleeping on the floor is relief from back pain. Many long-term patients say they experience little to no pain after switching from bed to floor. But how does sleeping on the floor help with back pain?

First, lying on a hard surface allows the spine to maintain a straight, neutral posture without undue pressure on one part or another. This gives the entire back region the freedom to function optimally, resulting in beneficial relief of those strained muscles that often cause pain.

No wonder nomads, forest dwellers and others who sleep on the floor have such a straight posture and a healthy back.

Is Sleeping On The Floor Good For You

The answer is that it can be good. Sleeping on a hard surface can force proper spinal alignment. It may take some time to get used to it at first. But over time, youll appreciate how much your sleep has changed. While the cushioning effect of mattresses and other soft surfaces, such as sofas, may look more comfortable at first, they can actually be terrible for your body.

The Cooler Temperature May Be More Comfortable

Heat rises, so it follows that sleeping on the floor would allow for a cooler sleep experience. When the floor itself is cold, it reduces your body heat quickly. For those who sleep hot, this can make sleep more comfortable, especially during the hot summer months. In general, people tend to sleep better in a cooler bedroom environment.

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Why Do We Get Comfortable With An Improper Sleeping Posture

A comfortable sleeping position may not be always an ideal one, but why do we get comfortable with an improper sleeping posture in the first place? The answer lies in the inherent nature of the human body.

The human body, you see, is very adaptive. It automatically adjusts itself to counter any misalignment. If your body is not aligned properly, it will position itself in such a way as to counter any prevailing misalignment.

Comfort, simply put, can be an adaptive response, and may not be necessarily good for your health.

Why Do We Sleep In Beds

Is It Better to Sleep on the Floor or on an Air Mattress ...

Sleeping on the floor is quite different to sleeping in a bed. Beds are designed specifically for comfort, while the floor is definitely not. The floor is designed to make walking an easy experience. But walking and sleeping have vastly different mechanisms!

That doesnt mean that sleeping on a hard, flat surface is a bad thing. Not at all, in fact. Consider this question: Why do you sleep in a bed?

I think most of us have never actually considered the answer to this. After plenty of soul-searching, I could really only come up with one legit response. Because thats how I was taught to sleep.

No parents take home their newborn and create a baby nest on the floor. From the start, were nestled in soft, hug-like blankets and laid down on plush, spongy mattresses. No wonder the thought of sleeping on the floor seems primitive!

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Tips And Tricks For Sleeping On The Floor

Here are a few suggestions for successfully sleeping on the floor if you are ready to give it a try yourself.;

Hitting the cold hard floor for a full night the first time may not be a good idea. You will probably have difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, and eventually get discouraged about the whole thing.

  • Try setting your alarm a few hours before you normally get up and go to the floor for the few hours remaining. You should be sleepy enough to get back to sleep. Try this a few nights and add more floor sleep hours every night until you can ease into a full night of sleeping on the floor.

You dont need to sleep directly on the floor.

  • Japanese Tatami mats, futons, or yoga mats can be used to soften the surface a little and protect you from the cold of the floor.;
  • You can also use layers of blankets or sleeping bags to cushion the floor a little. Pile them on for the first night and remove them one by one gradually as the nights go on until you no longer have any cushioning at all.
  • Many adepts recommend not to use pillows, but you should consider using a small pillow if sleeping on the floor provokes neck soreness or stiffness. Your comfort is primordial and this experiment shouldnt cause you discomfort or pain.

Is Sleeping On A Hard Surface Better

According to the current research, sleeping on a hard surface is better than sleeping on a bed.

This is because hard surfaces do not sink in and cause uneven vertebrae in the spine and also help to promote deep sleep.

Hard surfaces cause the body to move more as well which may lead to improved cell hydration, looser muscle fascia, and better blood flow.

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Choose Where To Sleep

The lack of a fixed bed gives you flexibility not only in terms of space, but also in terms of where you sleep.

Whether you want to sleep in your living room or on the balcony, nothing can stop you. Even in the same bedroom, you can now easily lie on one side or the other due to the huge amount of space.

Feeling hot on a summer night? Just place your futon or sleeping mat in front of the window to enjoy the cool night breeze. You could even sleep closer to the air conditioner to feel cooler.

Sleeping on the floor also trains you to become a less restless sleeper. Once you get used to it, you can lie down wherever you want, whether at work or on a long bus ride, to catch up on valuable sleep.

What Is The Best Sleeping Position To Build Muscle

Sleeping on Floor is Better than Mattress (Back Pain, Sciatica, Pinched Nerve) – Dr Mandell

The best sleeping position to build muscle is on your back or on your left side.

These are the best sleeping positions because in both of these positions your neck is supported, your lungs are open, your heart is not strained, and your spine is kept even.

These sleeping positions will foster good circulation and recovery from workouts while making sure you sleep well and get rest.

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Does Sleeping On The Floor Help With Sciatica

People who suffer from sciatica pain find lying on the floor for back pain an easy solution. This is because the spine bones tend to ease out when you sleep on hard surfaces. This relaxes the sciatic muscles, which reduces your sciatica pain. According to research, sleeping on a medium-firm mattress boosts sleep quality, promotes comfort, improves spinal alignment, and regulates the flow of blood.;

If You Sleep On Your Back

It can make snoring worse, and it’s hard on your back. That position can also contribute to sleep apnea, a serious condition where your snoring interrupts your breathing.

Putting a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees can help keep the natural curve of your spine. For your head, you may need a thinner pillow that√Ęs slightly thicker at the bottom so it supports your neck. Memory foam pillows work well because they mold to your shape.

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Is It Good For You To Sleep On A Hard Surface

This question nags many people, yours truly included. And thats because the evidence that suggests sleeping on a hard surface is beneficial is actually circumstantial. The tricky thing about sleeping on hard surfaces is that people have correlated existing evidence of sleeping on a firm mattress and assumed that the benefits are multiplied when sleeping on the floor. But the situation isnt all that simple.

Can Sleeping On The Floor Help To Build Muscle

You Dont Actually Have To Sleep On The Floor If You Have ...

Sleeping on the floor is argued by many to be the more natural way to sleep and some swear by its positive effects.

While there are notable quality of life improvements that can be gained from sleeping on a flat surface, sleeping on the floor does not directly build muscle.

Obviously, the act of sleeping on the floor does not have significant hypertrophic effects and will not lead to elevated protein synthesis.

It is possible, however, that for some people, recovery after workouts will be improved.

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No Magical Pain Relief

Based on others experiences I read online, I hoped sleeping on the floor would reduce the spasms and tightness in my traps that Id started feeling not long after moving to Spain.

It didnt make much of a difference.

Disappointing. But not surprising. Excessive hunching over my computer to work on this blog was clearly the culprit. Roundabout treatments like sleeping on the floor wouldnt fix it. I had to address the source of the issue. But thats another blog post for another time.

How To Transition To Sleeping On The Floor

As I mentioned before, in my own story of transitioning to sleeping on the floor, it seems to be a gradual process. Granted its usually a short gradual process in my case it only took three days. In your case it might take even less, or perhaps more depending on the state of your back.

My main advice here would be take it slowly. You need to understand that your body has been conditioned to sleep on the soft surface of the bed or mattress for the past 20? 30? 40? 50? 60 years?. Now you are trying to teach it something new the way it was supposed to sleep all along. All systems of your body, particularly your muscles and bones and joints have learnt to compensate to deal with your sleeping position in their own way.

It will take some time for your body to learn the new position. You may feel sore after the first night. You might wake up with stiff hips or shoulders, or sore neck. That is OK. (Obviously as long as you can tolerate it.

Disclaimer: I am in no way giving any medical advice here, and if you are aware of any medical condition you may have that may worsen from sleeping on hard surfaces, please dont do it and consult your doctor first! )

If it doesnt work out, or you cant fall asleep, you can stick it out, or you can always just go to your regular bed and try again next night. No matter how slowly you ease yourself into it, I can pretty much guarantee that, one night, you wont even notice you are sleeping on the floor.

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Benefits Of Ditching Your Bed

Does this mean you should reject outright the possibility of sleeping safely and soundly on the ground?;Clearly, there is a subset of people who perceive that the quality of life benefits associated with floor sleeping outweigh the consequences.

Langmeier admits that everyone’s anatomy is different, and for certain people, it could actually work. The support structure and amount vary for each individual spine and person.; One needs to take into consideration their body’s comfort, conformation, and structure.

Dr. Jeffrey Golden, a spinal surgeon at NYU Langone Medical Center, concurs with Langmeiers point. Sleeps very personal, he stated in an interview with Quartz. Golden confirmes that from the perspective of preserving spine health, evenly distributed support is key. He also reiterates that there is no research to suggest that mattresses are healthier than;Japanese-style tatami mats or other alternative sleep surfaces.

Sleeping On The Floor In Summertime Is More Beneficial Than Sleeping In Bed

What I learned from 4 Months of Sleeping on the floor

For one, you are lower to the ground and this is where cooler layers of air tend to concentrate You will keep your body cooler throughout the night, which is especially important in hot climates. Better climate control will allow you a better rest and a more comfortable night.

Lower layers of air also tend to contain more oxygen and are more humid than higher levels, which is also beneficial for your circulatory system and ultimately all other systems of your body.

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Advantage Of A Soft Mattress

A new study has pointed out that a soft mattress may be beneficial to people with back problems, refuting the age-old belief that people with back issues should sleep only on hard surfaces. Here are the details of the scientific study: In the study, Spanish researchers analyzed the effect of mattresses on 313 participants who had back pain. The participants were randomly divided into two groups.

One group was asked to sleep on a firm mattress that had a softness rating of 2.3 out of 10. The other group was asked to sleep on a medium-firm mattress that had a softness rating of 5.6. The duration of the study was 90 days. The researchers assessed the patients at the start of the study and upon the completion of the trial.

Patients were also asked to assess their condition on a daily basis and to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 the intensity of pain they felt on rising from the bed, the intensity of pain while sleeping, and the degree of discomfort, disability, or pain they experienced during the day on a scale of 1 to 10.

At the end of the study, all participants experienced improvement in their condition. However, the participants who slept on a medium-firm mattress for 90 days experienced better results. The condition of participants who experienced back pain while lying down improved by as much as 80% on a medium-firm mattress, and 70% on a firm mattress.

Again, its important to have the right firmness.

So what is the right firmness?;

To Pillow Or Not To Pillow

Some people who switch to sleeping on the floor think no pillow should be used. This, they say, is more natural. There is some research which shows it may not be as necessary as one thinks. The natural way to sleep could be to use an arm to elevate your head, if needed. However, most sleep with a thin pillow, one which elevates just enough to provide support for your head and neck.

Sleeping with a whole bunch of pillows isnt the way to go. The idea is to achieve proper alignment, and if youre using many pillows to prop your head up because it feels nice, you are either not going to be reaping the benefits of sleeping on the floor or youre going to find yourself with some neck aches come morning.

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Why The Best Mattress Is No Mattress

A mattress or any soft, uneven surface, will cause your hips and shoulders to sink in, creating unnatural curves and preventing the bodys natural alignment. This causes stiff muscles as your body cannot relax and so needs to put effort into keeping you in that unnatural position for hours during the night. Bad alignment causes pinched nerves and pain. Unnatural position leads to back compression .

Back compression leads to contraction of the chest and collapsing of the lungs which makes them work less effectively. Your breath gets more shallow and short. You get less oxygen in your blood, plus your circulation is affected by your unnatural position and pinched blood vessels, so its a double whammy.

You get worse blood flow and less oxygen to your brain and other systems which negatively affects not only your sleep but your health in general. You cannot fully relax as your body is trying to adapt to an unnatural position, and you wake up tired, groggy, and with back, neck and hip pain.

Sounds familiar?

If sleeping on the floor is so good and matresses are so bad, why do people still promote them as best for sleeping?

Plus, a big fluffy bed looks soft and cozy, which tricks our brains into thinking that it must be very comfortable.;

Why cant it be narrower? Why does it need all those springs in it, if the brand boasts the hardness for better health? Why, if hardness is desirable, it cant just be a pad or a mat? Well, maybe because you wont pay $2000 for a pad? .

Is It Good To Sleep On The Floor

Sleeping On Floor Back Pain

The reasons people sleep on the floor may vary. While some people do it for therapeutic reasons, others do so because of their culture. Still others claim they simply get a better night sleep and feel more refreshed in the mornings. Whether or not sleeping on the floor is good for you depends a lot on the reasons behind your choice, and the preparations that you make.

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Sleeping On The Floor Benefits For Your Skeletal System Or Good

Our bodies experience constant; stress due to our unnatural lifestyle. We sit too much, hunched over our computers. We dont exercise enough. We dont do natural movements that our body has evolved to do, such as crawling, climbing, running and many others.

All of these factors cause various effects on the health of your skeletal system and particularly your back. Your muscles weaken and get stiff. Increased pressure on back and spine leads to herniated disks. Compressed spine leads to pinched back nerves which leads to discomfort and pain.

What does sleeping on the hard surface do for your back? For one, our bodies were wired to re-align and de-stress when all the negative factors are taken out of the picture. When you lie on a hard, flat surface, your body takes the natural position it is supposed to be in. All muscles relax, your hips and shoulders straighten and go back to their natural alignment.

When muscles are relaxed and your spine straightened, your pinched nerves become released and your back pain goes away. So does back stiffness or hip pain when you wake up. You will absolutely forget what hip pain is after sleeping on the floor. Another benefit that I have found is that, when your muscles fully relax on the hard surface, they let your bones actually be in contact with the hard surface, instead of protecting the bones when you are in an unnatural position on a mattress.

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