Is sleeping on your stomach healthy?
6 mins read

Is sleeping on your stomach healthy?

Sleeping on your stomach is a popular choice for many people, but it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of this practice before diving into it. There are many potential drawbacks to sleeping on your stomach that can result in long-term discomfort and pain. On the other hand, there are some benefits as well. To maximize your health, it is best to consider both the pros and cons before deciding if sleeping on your stomach is right for you.

Benefits of Sleeping on Your Stomach

Due to its natural alignment with your body’s curves, sleeping on your stomach can provide good level of comfort for many. Additionally, your spine may stay in a more neutral position, helping to keep your back muscles relaxed. This position also limits the amount of pressure placed on your chest, allowing you to breathe comfortably.

Sleeping on your stomach can also help to reduce snoring, as it keeps your airways open. It can also help to reduce acid reflux, as it keeps your head and chest elevated. Finally, it can help to reduce neck and back pain, as it keeps your spine in a neutral position.

Potential Drawbacks of Sleeping on Your Stomach

For some, sleeping on the stomach can place significant strain on the lower back, leading to chronic back pain. This is especially true if the surface you sleep on is too soft or too hard. Plus, you may experience a lot of discomfort in your neck and shoulders as your body is forced into an unnatural position. Furthermore, this position may lead to snoring or difficulty breathing due to restricted airflow when your neck is in an unnatural shape.

Additionally, sleeping on your stomach can cause you to wake up with a sore neck or back. This is because your body is not able to relax in this position, and the strain on your muscles can cause them to become tense and sore. Furthermore, sleeping on your stomach can cause you to wake up feeling groggy and unrested, as your body is not able to achieve a deep sleep in this position.

What to Consider Before Choosing to Sleep on Your Stomach

Before deciding if sleeping on your stomach is right for you, consider your existing health problems. Those who suffer from spinal disease or other physical conditions should avoid this position or try alternate positions such as side-sleeping first. Additionally, athletes and those who lift heavy weights should also rethink their choice of sleeping position as it can cause muscle soreness and fatigue due to an increase in pressure on their body.

How to Sleep Comfortably on Your Stomach

If you are able to sleep comfortably on your stomach, adjust your pillows and mattress to be more supportive. Consider investing in a mattress with a firmer core such as memory foam. Make sure the pillow you use is not too flat nor too high as this can impair your breathing and lead to sleep deprivation. Lastly, avoid placing too many items underneath you while sleeping on your stomach as it can cause strain and discomfort.

How to Prevent Pain and Discomfort When Sleeping on Your Stomach

To ensure that you do not get stuck in an uncomfortable position while sleeping on your stomach, have a few sleeping positions alternately throughout the night. Place some pillows or blankets underneath you or around the sides of your body to reduce joint pain. Additionally, avoid placing your arms underneath your pillow, as this can lead to nerve damage in the long run.

Alternatives to Sleeping on Your Stomach

If sleeping on your stomach is not comfortable for you, consider sleeping in another position such as side-sleeping or back-sleeping. Both are advantageous positions that can help relieve stress from your body by distributing body weight evenly. Additionally, sleeping on your back keeps your spine in line better than on your side. Whichever you choose, it is important that you sleep in a position that feels most comfortable for you.

Tips for Improving Your Overall Sleep Quality

In addition to choosing the right sleeping position, there are some other steps you can take to ensure optimal sleep quality. Avoid napping late in the day since it could disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and avoiding stimulants like caffeine late in the day can also help regulate your internal clock and maximize restful sleep.

When to See a Doctor About Sleeping Posture

If you experience any chronic neck or back pain, numbness or swelling in any part of your body due to a poor sleeping posture, it is important that you visit your physician immediately. It is also beneficial to see a doctor if you are having difficulty breathing while sleeping or experience frequent snoring — both of which can indicate an underlying health issue.


Sleeping on your stomach may provide comfort for some people, but it can be detrimental for others. Before deciding if this position is right for you, consider its potential drawbacks and benefits as well as other health issues that may influence your decision. Remember to adjust your mattress and pillows to support comfortable sleep postures and stay away from sources of stimulation late in the day before bedtime as they may impede optimal sleep quality.