As human beings, we roughly spend a third of our lives sleeping. That means that for around 8 hours a day, we lie on comfortably on our soft bed. But sometimes, no matter how soft are beds are, we wake up with some discomfort on our backs? Now, why is it that we get that soreness even when we have the softest and most comfortable bed there is?
Well, it has something to do with the human anatomy, and many experts have been campaigning and advocating sleeping on the floor! Yep, you heard me right! Sleeping on the floor, according to experts, is better than sleeping in a mattress. Why? Let’s find out!
The Sleeping Posture
We know about the proper posture, right? Yes, we know how important posture is when we are standing upright. We know that proper alignment of the spine is maintained with proper posture. This decreases the likelihood of getting your back sore. However, when sleeping, we fail to notice our crooked posture!
The Neutral Spine
When we lie down on our beds, we often forget about our posture and assume whatever comfortable position we wish. The problem here is that, if we sleep roughly 8 hours daily, that translates to 8 hours of misaligned spine!
Studies show that the best sleeping position is lying on our backs. This keeps the spine in a neutral position.
Dangers of Soft Beds
Soft mattresses do not permit us to sleep straight on our backs. When lying on soft beds, the natural tendency for our body is to sink on the plush bed. The bed hugs us back and does not offer any resistance. This may feel comfortable at first, but, it would not allow your spine to stretch in its neutral position.
Soft beds would hug the curves of our backs and would put stress on the opposite curve of the joints. This can lead to disc inflammation, muscle soreness, nerve inflammation, spasm, cramping, stiff neck, back pain, and other discomforts that may extend to some other parts of the lower limbs.
Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor
Beds are globally available and globally used for sleeping. Every night, especially when you had a long day, and you are tired, you look forward to lying on your bed. It would seem like an insane idea to give up the bed and sleep on the floor instead. It sounds counterintuitive to sleep on the floor when a bed is available!
But hey, listen, here are the benefits of sleeping on the floor:
1. Get rid of back pain.
You may not notice back pain until there’s too much of it. We are so accustomed of sleeping on soft mattresses that we fail to recognize, even ignore the back pain. What do we do about that back pain? Well, we get expensive therapies and medications to get rid of it. For a while, the therapy and medication work. But later, the pain goes back.
Sleeping on the floor helps you get rid of that back pain. When you finally make the switch, your spine returns to the neutral position and relieves the pressure from the joints. Can you imagine breaking free from back pain?
Read more: The Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain
2. Get rid of the stiff neck.
Because our bodies sink while sleeping on a mattress, our head is prone to be in an awkward position. Well, the crucial part that connects the head to the body, the neck, may become sore. Sleeping on the floor aligns the cervical spine and helps eliminate stiff neck.
3. Improves posture.
When sleeping on the floor, the entire span of the spine falls on the neutral position. Not only does this neutral position eliminate pain, but it also improves your standing and sitting posture. As your spine returns to its natural curvature, your standing and sitting posture improve as well.
4. Better sleep quality.
Lying on the floor encourages peaceful and more restful sleep. The muscles are more relaxed while lying down. With a more restful sleep, you will be waking up with more energy.
5. Good mood.
When you get to have that peaceful rest, definitely, you could start your day easy! With better sleep comes better mood when you wake up.
6. Frees up space.
Getting rid of the bed means that you would free space inside your bedroom.
If you want to know what is the doctor’s perspective on floor sleeping, please watch this video:
Things You May Want to Consider When Sleeping on the Floor
Consider a Mat
Sleeping directly on the floor, as cavemen did, may result in some other form of back pain. If you sleep directly on the floor without any form of a cushion, your shoulder blades and your hips will hurt badly in the morning!
A towel, yoga mat, or carpet would do great in protecting your back from this kind of pain.
Consider an Egg Crate Mattress
Sleeping on the floor may sound a little intimidating, and the first thought you may come up with is more back pain instead of relieving it. When the spine gets properly aligned, back pain starts to go away. To counter pain that may arise from the bony prominence on the back, an egg crate mattress can be of great help.
An egg crate mattress topper is not thick enough for the body to sink. It gives your back enough cushion to comfortably sleep. The mattress stays firm while it’s on the floor giving you enough cushion without sinking.
Now all you need to do is figure out how to increase your melatonin levels and you can enjoy good night’s sleep!
Giving up your bed may sound like a drastic move. Although sleeping on the floor is backed by research and anatomical evidence, it may not be for everyone. So, before you ditch your bed, you may want to try it out first!
To facilitate your switch from bed to the floor, you may want to use a cervical pillow instead of your conventional pillow. This will help you align your back and your head to avoid getting a stiff neck. A rolled towel will pass as a cervical pillow if you don’t have one at home.
Putting a pillow under your knees would further help align your lower back and relieve pressure on the thoracic region.
You don’t have to put up with the back pain and stiff neck. You can try sleeping on the floor and see how much it reduces the pain and improves the quality of your sleep!