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Is Sleeping On The Floor Good For Lower Back Pain

Sleeping On The Floor

Floor Sleeping: More Supportive than Mattress for Back Pain (Decompression Technique) – Dr Mandell

28th May 2020

Sleeping on the floor might sound like a weird, new-age kind of idea. I mean, we have beds for a reason, right? Were so used to settling in for the night on our comfy mattresses, nestled in amongst the fluffy pillows.

But did you know that sleeping on the floor can help relieve back pain? Yep, there are advantages to it!

Doing it wrong can be an uncomfortable experience. It could be a memory you may want to bury in your memory foam and cushy covers. But if you get it right, it could be the best thing youve ever done. You may find yourself free of pain thats been with you for years.

Ready to try it? Well break down the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.

Try Gentle Yoga Stretches Before Bed

Research has shown that yoga or intensive stretching can help reduce low back pain. It can also help reduce your stress and make you sleep better.

Talk to your doctor about which poses are safe for you to practice and which ones wonât make your pain worse. It might be helpful to start off using yoga props like blocks and bolsters for added support so that you can hold poses comfortably. And taking a few yoga classes with an instructor to be sure youâre doing the poses and breathing correctly — which is key to relaxation — isnât a bad idea either.

My Obsession With Experiments

First, let me give a bit of background on why Id even consider taking my wife up on something crazy like this .

Im a rule-follower to a fault. If the sign at the pool says you must shower before entering, Im one of the few people that actually does it.

But despite my rule-following tendencies, I have a small rebellious streak too. As we look at our life and the world around us, Jaime and I are constantly questioning why?

The spirit behind my mentality is this:

Lots of things that seem like rules arent really rules at all .

So, when Jaime suggested floor-sleeping, it stirred my curiosity. Why do we sleep in beds?

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How Do Sleeping Positions Affect Lower Back Pain

Another link between sleep and lower back pain is tied to how sleeping position affects spinal alignment. Although posture is typically associated with sitting and standing, its also critical when lying down.

A sleeping position that involves twisting, contorting, or otherwise putting pressure on the lumbar spine can cause pain and stiffness. This pain is often worse in the morning but may persist throughout the day.

When Should You See A Doctor About Lower Back Pain

I have a broken pelvis, should I just lay straight?

Back pain is common and often recedes quickly, but its important to talk with a doctor if:

  • The pain began with a specific injury
  • Pain continues or worsens for more than a few days
  • Pain is debilitating
  • Pain radiates to the legs or other parts of the body
  • You experience weakness or numbness in your lower body
  • There are signs of infection like redness, warmth, swelling, or fever
  • You have a personal history of cancer
  • You have other unexplained health changes like weight loss or urinary problems

A doctor can review your symptoms and determine the appropriate next steps for testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

Nighttime back pain that wakes you up from sleep or prevents you from sleeping is a sign that it’s time to discuss the issue with your healthcare provider. Along with lower back pain, you can also experience muscle stiffness and a limited range of motion, especially if the cause is a strain or sprain.

It’s also helpful to know how pain is commonly categorized:

  • Acute pain is short-term pain lasting a few days or a few weeks. Its typically connected to an injury or specific event.
  • Chronic pain is longer-term pain lasting for several months or more. In many cases, it isn’t initiated by an injury.

While each individual’s situation and pain threshold will be different, there are some common guidelines that’ll help you decide when your nighttime lower back pain merits a trip to the healthcare provider.

Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if your pain:

  • Began with a specific injury
  • Continues or gets worse for more than a few days
  • Feels severe or radiates to other parts of the body, like your legs
  • Is accompanied by signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, swelling, or fever
  • Is accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling in your lower body

Checking with your primary care healthcare provider or other first-line healthcare professional is a good start. They will be able to treat or refer you to another specialist if needed.

Dont Sleep On A Mattress Thats Too Soft

Some people prefer mattresses that are softer than the average, but those with lower back pain need to be careful. A too-soft mattress wont be supportive enough and can lead to extra strain on your spine.

If you have a very soft mattress thats causing you pain and you cant get a more sturdy one right now, you might consider trying sleeping on the floor. It sounds odd, but a sturdy floor can actually be better than a soft mattress for those who needs the structure.

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The Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain

The best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side with a partial bend in the knees. Keeping the knees bent helps balance the body and reduces pressure on the lumbar spine. Many people find it helpful to put a small pillow between their knees to make this position more comfortable.

Unfortunately, many back and stomach sleepers have a hard time changing their sleeping position. Even so, they can take steps to reduce strain on their lower back:

  • Back sleepers can put a pillow under their knees, legs, and/or lower back to support the natural curve of the spine and minimize lumbar pressure.
  • Stomach sleepers should opt for only a thin pillow under their head and place a more supportive pillow under their hips and abdomen. This works to prevent the lower back from sinking into a U-shape that pulls the spine out of alignment.

Some people with back pain use an adjustable bed that makes it easy to raise the upper or lower part of the mattress in a way that decreases tension in the lower back.

Dont Stay In One Position All Night

Dr Stu Mcgill: Does Sleeping on the Floor Improve Back Pain?

You might be afraid of moving from one position to the other during the night, but its actually okay and desired to move some while sleeping. Any sleeping position, even if its a good one, can add up to too much pressure on your back if you stay there all night. Plus, theres a risk of additional pain or muscle imbalance from this.

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How Can I Make Sleeping On The Floor More Comfortable

Make your floor set-up more comfortable by sleeping in a clean, clutter-free room. Use a mat, sleeping blanket, or thick blanket as your sleep surface and pair it with a high-quality pillow and comforter. Place small pillows or cushions under sensitive spots like your tailbone, your shoulders, and your hips so theyre protected from the ground.

If youre a back sleeper, use a second pillow under your knees to reduce any pressure on your lumbar spine and keep your spine aligned. Stomach sleepers should place a second pillow under their hips so their spine doesnt overextend and result in lower back pain.

Might Help To Cure Sciatica

Sciatica involves pain in your sciatic nerve which runs through the lower back, through your buttocks into the legs. It may occur due to a slipped disc.

Sleeping on firm surfaces helps reduce the pain by providing support. If you sleep on soft surfaces, your joints might get stressed out and worsen the pain. However, there is no concrete evidence that floor sleeping can cure sciatica. The claims are only based on the personal experiences of people.

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Floor Sleeping With A Mattress

Floor sleeping with a mattress is more expensive than floor sleeping with just a mat and blankets, but its also more supportive and plush. Youre higher above the ground and further away from the dust on the floor when using a mattress. Also, side and combination sleepers wont be comfortable sleeping directly on the ground as they typically need more cushioning, so using a mattress is a better option.

However, placing a mattress on the floor voids lots of mattress warranties and many companies require your mattress to be used on specific foundations. Your mattress is more vulnerable to sagging, excessive wear, and bed bugs on the floor, so we dont recommend putting your mattress there.

Is It Good To Sleep On The Floor Without A Pillow

Is Sleeping On The Floor Good For Your Spine

The only time we recommend skipping a pillow is if you sleep on your stomach, because in this position your head stays flat and aligned with your spine, placing less stress on your neck. Back and side sleepers need a pillow to fill the space between their head and the floor. Without a pillow, their heads curve to the side or backward, potentially straining the neck and causing stiffness.

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How To Make Sleeping On The More Comfortable

If you have never slept on the floor before, making a shift can be a little uncomfortable. But its worth it. Heres what you can do to make your transition all the more smooth.

  • Be prepared.Mentally. Expect the fact that the first few nights will be uncomfortable. Your body might ache a bit as it will be adjusting to the new surface.
  • Choose the right surface. Sleeping on the floor doesnt have to mean sleeping directly on the ground. You can use multiple materials to soften the surface a bit without eliminating the benefits. You can use a tatami, a mat the Japanese have been using for more than a thousand years. Or you may just use a simple yoga mat.
  • Reconsider your pillow.Dont sleep on the floor with a whole bunch of pillows. You can use a thin one that elevates your head a bit. Or you can even use your arm to elevate your head. Using too many pillows to prop your head just for the comfort is not the way to go you may not reap the benefits, and may wake up in the morning with a neck ache instead.
  • You can even place a pillow under your knees if required.
  • Choose the right sleeping position.Sleeping on your side, your stomach, or even your back all are good. It only depends on what works for you. Experiment with different positions. Ensure you are not sleeping in too much pain. The spine should be properly aligned.

Is Sleeping On The Floor Good For Back Pain

Although there is little research to suggest that sleeping on the floor helps with back pain, many people claim otherwise.

Advocates for floor sleeping say that it can reduce back pain, improve posture, and result in a better nights sleep.

There is plenty of research to suggest that using a medium firm mattress promotes sleep comfort, boosts sleep quality, and improves spinal alignment. All of this can help reduce back pain, as one 2015 systematic review suggests.

Although sleeping on the floor has not undergone the same level of research and scrutiny, it is possible that the firm support it offers the spine may have a similar effect.

However, it is also possible that without sufficient cushioning around pressure points on the body such as the hips, tailbone, shoulder blades, or back of the head sleeping on the floor could increase pressure and discomfort. This could result in poor sleep as well as further pain.

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Benefits Of Sleeping On The Floor

How to sleep during Back Pain, Can we sleep on Floor? Sleeping on Ground vs Mattress, Sleep on Bed?
  • Post author Scientific review: Dr Heben’s Team

Most of you people are constantly wondering and even battling It out about whether the correct way of sleeping is on your typical old fashioned spring-bed or is it better using only a thin mattress? Or should I buy a very special bed with a very special material for the duvet so it can support my back nicely? Hmm, let me tell you this there is a much simpler and healthier solution for your bedding choices. Just sleep on the floor! Yes, you heard me. Sleeping on the floor offer a lot of wonderful health benefits for your body.

So, be ready this time we will tell you all the glorious benefits you can gain by simply sleeping on the floor! These are the list of the advantages that you can get from sleeping on the floor.

1. Maintaining a good posture.

If you already have a good posture, especially if you are able to sleep on your back with no problem, then good, It will give your body a natural position of sleeping. Leaving no ill-aligned bone and joints. Your muscle will not tense and strain over the unnatural angle of the body.

2. Improving your body or bone alignment.

As the first benefit points out this method of sleeping can give natural body position for sleeping leaving the body space to repair the ill-aligned bones and joints that you already suffer before. It is a slow process of healing and improving so you sure need to be patient but it is proven to have improved the alignment of your body.

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Sleeping On The Floor While Pregnant

Pregnant women often find it comfortable to sleep on the floor and there are no such risks. However, getting down on the floor and then climbing up might be a task. If you find it hard to get down and rise from the ground, it is better to avoid floor sleeping.

During pregnancy, you should do whatever feels comfortable for you. But, remember to consult your doctor to know what is the best for your health.

Sleeping On The Floor: 5 Life

Wait! Dont we need to sleep on a good mattress?

No. Mattress manufacturers need you to sleep on ever thicker, ever fancier, ever pricier mattresses.

Early humans and lots of tribal cultures have slept on the good old ground for millennia. And they made out more than okay. Here are 5 advantages you may not have known about which mayindeed shouldget you racked out on the floor tonight.

1. No more lower back pain!

An entire medical-pharmaceutical industry has built up around back pain alone. Flat back-sleeping on a firm surface may take your lower back pain away.

2. Your body gets a stretch while you sleep.

Your whole body will benefit. Mattresses actually play havoc with the body’s natural alignment, causing the hips to sink in and the lower back to collapse, much like sitting in a chair, where the body becomes tight and hunched. This is sometimes referred to as ‘front loading’. This, in turn, also interferes with the capacity of the lungs and you cannot breath deeply.

When the body is deprived of proper deep breathing during sleep, this stresses the body at a time when it should be most relaxed. A soft mattress only feels comfortable because it allows the body to stay in the tight, hunched or ‘front loaded’ position whereas it should actually be straightening and lengthening the skeletal system during sleep.

3. Your hips and shoulders will get aligned.

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Who Should Not Be Floor Sleeping

While some people rave about the benefits of sleeping on the floor, there are certain groups that it may not be recommended for.

  • Pregnant women or new mothers: While there is some debate about sleeping on the floor while pregnant, it can be harder to get down and stand back up.
  • Seniors: As we age, our bones and immune systems grow weaker. Older adults are more likely to find floor sleeping uncomfortable and are at greater risk of getting sick from sleeping on the ground.
  • People with limited mobility: Those with limited mobility may find it challenging to get down to the floor and back up, especially right after waking.
  • People with blood circulation issues: The chillier temperatures from sleeping on the floor can be harmful to people with blood circulation issues like anemia and diabetes.

Do Be Mindful Of How You Get In And Out Of Bed

best sleeping position for back pain

Jerking yourself out of bed quickly or getting in too fast can exacerbate lower back pain, so make sure youre careful about doing each:

When getting into bed, first sit down near the place where you want to sleep. Then, using your hands as support, bend your knees and slowly lie down on your side. Take care to keep your torso straight.

When getting out of bed, you basically want to do the opposite. Roll onto your side first towards the edge of the bed, bend your knees, then use your arms to help push yourself up and swing your legs over the side. This will help you keep from bending at your waist, which can engage your back.

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