Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor
Many people believe that a high-quality mattress provides the ultimate sleeping experience. While this may be true for some, a comfy mattress may not be the solution to restless nights. For those who suffer from chronic back pain, the appeal of a soft, comfortable mattress is understandable. Unfortunately, that very mattress may be exacerbating the issue.
What Wrong With Mattresses?
Nearly one-third of the human life is spent sleeping, and awkward spinal position during this time may result in persistent aches and pains. While plush cushioning may seem to provide the body with the support it needs, it actually impedes the body’s natural movement throughout the night. This keeps the spine in an unnatural position for hours at a time, causing many people to wake with back, hip, and neck pain.
Sleeping on the floor, however, allows tiny stabilizer muscles to adapt and strengthen. It also puts slight pressure on the muscles in the back, acting as a sort of massage throughout the night. Perhaps most importantly, sleeping on the floor allows the spine to remain in a neutral position, without excessive cushioning. Many people who have attempted this sleeping style awake with fewer aches and less stiffness.
How to Make the Floor Less Awkward
For those who decide to give it a try, there may be some discomfort in the early stages of floor sleeping. Sleeping on a hard surface that does not easily conform to the body’s contours may feel awkward and uncomfortable. Until the body adjusts, here are a few tips to make sleeping on the floor as comfortable as possible.
- Try spreading a sleeping mat or yoga mat on the floor. This will provide the body with a small buffer until it has adapted to the new, less cushioned sensation.
- Try to sleep only in a neutral position, on the back. This allows the spine to stay in its most natural alignment and puts less pressure on the bone structures of the hips and shoulders.
- Do not be alarmed if soreness occurs in the morning. This is natural and is due to the body’s musculature adjusting to the new positioning. Since the floor’s hard surface forces the body to maintain proper alignment throughout the night, the body will require some time to adapt.
While the thought of sleeping anywhere other than a cushioned mattress may not seem appealing, many who’ve tried it have found a significant reduction in back and joint pain. Gradually transitioning toward floor sleeping may just result in a stronger, more functional body, more energy, and less overall pain. As with any unfamiliar endeavor, after the initial adjustment period, sleeping on the floor may feel like second nature.
Most instances of back pain are due to some type of muscle strain. Trying different sleeping techniques such as sleeping on the floor, in some cases, can help alleviate back pain. For anyone experiencing lingering back pain or worsening symptoms, seek medical attention sooner rather than later. The spine experts at Marc Cohen Spine Institute can make you aware of treatment options and offer pain relief suggestions. Schedule an appointment at one of our New Jersey locations today.