How do you avoid discomfort in the chest when sleeping on your stomach?
6 mins read

How do you avoid discomfort in the chest when sleeping on your stomach?

It’s no secret that sleeping on your stomach can be uncomfortable. While it may be a comfortable sleeping position for some, stomach sleepers often experience chest discomfort that can occur when sleeping in this position. Fortunately, there are some measures you can take to make sleeping on your stomach more comfortable and avoid chest discomfort. In this article, we explore the best sleeping position for people who sleep on their stomach, the benefits and drawbacks of this position, how to select the right pillow, tips for reducing stress and anxiety, common causes of chest discomfort, potential health risks of long-term stomach sleeping, how to adjust your bed and mattress to improve comfort, and alternatives to sleeping on your stomach.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for People who Sleep on Their Stomach?

Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended. Unless the body is perfectly aligned, it can lead to neck and back pain, as well as cause discomfort in the chest. That said, if you’re a stomach sleeper, you can make your sleep more comfortable by positioning yourself correctly. A good way to do this is to sleep at an angle with your head slightly turned to the side. This will help align your neck and upper body in a comfortable position and reduce tension in your neck muscles.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Sleeping on Your Stomach

The main advantage of sleeping on your stomach is that, if done correctly and with proper support, it can be a comfortable position that relieves physical tension in your back and neck. On the other hand, it can be bad for the body’s natural curves if not done correctly, or with poor bed or pillow support. This can put strain on the hips, shoulders and neck muscles, causing discomfort.

Tips for Making Sleeping on Your Stomach More Comfortable

If you’re a stomach sleeper, there are some key steps you can take to make sleeping on your stomach more comfortable:

  • Choose a thin pillow – opt for a thin pillow no higher than the shoulders.
  • Put a pillow under the pelvis – this will help minimize discomfort in the lower back.
  • Prop up the upper part of your body – use a wedge pillow or some other prop to angle your body and relieve strain on your neck.
  • Adjust your mattress – make sure it’s properly supportive by choosing a medium to firm model.
  • Don’t cross your legs or arms – these positions can put strain on your joints over time.

How to Select the Right Pillow for Stomach Sleepers

Choosing the right pillow for stomach sleepers is essential to achieving a comfortable and supported sleep. Generally, a thinner pillow is better than a thicker one, as it allows you to keep your neck and spine in neutral alignment while you sleep. Additionally, stomach sleepers should look for a firmer pillow with plenty of loft to maintain proper neck and head support.

Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety While Sleeping on Your Stomach

It’s no secret that stress and anxiety can make sleeping on your stomach more uncomfortable. To minimize this feeling of discomfort, try some of these stress-reducing techniques:

  • Practice mindfulness exercises before bed – these include deep breathing and meditation.
  • Maintain regular sleep cycle – aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid technology before bed – turn off screens and avoid stimulating activities before bed to help you relax.

Common Causes of Chest Discomfort While Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you’re experiencing chest discomfort while sleeping on your stomach, it’s important to identify the cause. Common causes include:

  • Poor alignment – lying flat on your stomach without proper support can put strain on your spine, leading to chest discomfort.
  • Inadequate bed support – if you’re using an old mattress or one that’s not supportive enough, it can cause chest discomfort.
  • Wrong pillow – if your pillow is too large or too soft it can cause strain on your neck muscles and contribute to chest discomfort.
  • Stress – anxiety and stress can cause chest pain even when you are lying in a comfortable position.

Potential Health Risks of Long-term Stomach Sleeping

While short-term stomach sleeping is generally not a problem, long-term stomach sleeping can lead to chronic health issues if not done correctly. Not only can it lead to neck stiffness and headaches, but it may also be harmful to internal organs due to the compression of the diaphragm. Additionally, some studies suggest that long-term stomach sleeping may also be associated with an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.

How to Adjust Your Bed and Mattress To Improve Comfort While Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you’d like to make sleeping on your stomach more comfortable for long-term use, the most effective step is to adjust the bed itself. You’ll want to ensure that your mattress is supportive enough for your body type and that it’s well centered on bed frame, so that it’s not causing pressure on any one side. Additionally, make sure you have the proper pillows and bolster cushioning for head and neck support.

Alternatives to Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you find that sleeping on your stomach still causes you discomfort, despite following these tips, it may be beneficial to explore other sleep positions. People who naturally sleep on their stomach may want to try sleeping on their side or back. Not only are these positions more supportive of the body’s natural curves, but they may also be better for spinal alignment and reduce chest and neck pain.