Many of us associate comfort with a big comfy bed with fluffy pillows and warm blankets. But, is sleeping in a soft bed the healthiest option? Many cultures around the world prefer to sleep on a hard floor. Floor-sleeping has become more popular in the United States too. Some people swear that sleeping on the floor helps their back pain, while others feel they get better quality rest.
Others sleep on the floor because they are inspired by minimalist living. Today, we rely on anecdotal evidence about the benefits of sleeping on the floor. More research is needed.
Is sleeping on the floor healthy?
So far, there is no scientific evidence supporting that sleeping on the floor is healthier than sleeping in a bed, nor is there proof that it is bad for your health. What we do know is that sleeping on the floor provides good support for your spine. People often choose to sleep on the floor when their backs go out. It’s also true that most of these people return to sleeping in bed after they are better.
Is it healthier to sleep on the floor?
The people who believe that it is healthier to sleep on the floor believe that:
- It can be as comfortable as sleeping on a mattress.
- It increases circulation
- It helps correct posture
- It provides a deeper sleep
- It reduces aches and pains
Why lying on the floor is a good idea?
Sleep is personal. If you feel more comfortable sleeping on the floor, it may be the right choice for you. Technically, all you need is a flat surface to sleep. As long as you feel that you get a good night of sleep, why not?
Is sleeping on the floor good for your back?
Currently, there is no scientific proof showing sleeping on the floor is good for you back. Regardless, many people with back problems choose to sleep on a hard floor. For some people with back pain, sleeping on the floor provides relief.
There may be some merit to the benefit of sleeping on a hard floor. A soft mattress may not provide the necessary support for your spine. The lack of support allows your body to sink down, resulting in a curved spine. This may result in back pain.
Some people place plywood under a soft mattress to give it more support. Harvard Medical School agrees with this method to give greater support if you have a soft mattress. You could also put your mattress on the floor for more back support.
There is some evidence; however, that medium-firm surfaces may improve pain during sleep.
Will sleeping on the floor correct posture?
Sleeping on a hard surface may correct posture, but there is no scientific evidence to support that. Sleeping on a soft surface may indeed let your spine curve more than sleeping on a hard surface. Some people claim that sleeping on the floor helps their spine stay straight.
Unfortunately, without sufficient scientific evidence, the smart thing is to be careful if you have spine issues. If you have poor posture or a spinal condition such as kyphosis or scoliosis, see a medical professional to determine if sleeping on the floor is a good idea for you.
Does sleeping on the floor help sciatica?
Sciatica refers to the pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. It shoots off from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down your leg. Sleeping on a firmer mattress may improve sciatica. Sleeping on a soft surface may worsen sciatica because it curves your back and places additional stress on your joints.
Currently, there is no scientific evidence that sleeping on the floor is a valid treatment for sciatica. The health benefits of sleeping on the floor are anecdotal. With sciatica, just like any other illness, you should consult a healthcare professional.
Is sleeping on the floor better than sleeping on a mattress?
Whether sleeping on the floor is better for you than sleeping on a mattress is a personal choice. Many people prefer to sleep on the floor. They chose to sleep on the floor because they are either more comfortable or feel they get a night of higher quality sleep on the floor.
Why is sleeping on the floor so comfortable?
Many people choose to sleep on the floor because they find it comfortable. They have developed a comfortable sleep environment on the floor free of clutter. To get comfortable sleeping on the floor, you might have to experiment with different positions. Adding a thin pillow under your head and between your knees when you sleep on your side can make the experience even more comfortable.
Is it good to sleep on the floor without a pillow?
If you sleep without a pillow, it may reduce some stress on your neck and improve alignment. But for most people, sleeping without a pillow may be a bad idea. If you sleep on your back or side, it is best to use a pillow to keep your spine natural.
For stomach sleepers, sleeping without a pillow may lessen neck pain. When you sleep on your stomach, your head is turned to the side. At the same time, your neck is also extended backward. Such an awkward angle can cause pain and discomfort.
Using a pillow when you are sleeping on your stomach may increase the awkward angle of your neck. If you sleep without a pillow, you can minimize the unnatural position while reducing strain on your spine.
More research is needed to provide sufficient evidence that it is good to sleep on the floor without a pillow. If you have neck pain after sleeping, speak with a medical professional before ditching the pillow.
Can you get sick from sleeping on the floor?
It’s hard to see how a healthy person could get sick from sleeping on the floor. If you already sleep on a special mattress, like a hospital bed, you should avoid sleeping on the floor.
For older adults with weaker bones and a frail body, sleeping on the floor may raise the risk of fractures. If you have conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, or anemia may make you feel chilly. Floor sleeping might make you feel colder than sleeping on a bed, so it might be smart for you to avoid it.
Is it cold to sleep on the floor?
If you walked around your home when it is cold outside, you know how cold the floor can get. Some flooring types feel colder than others. If you have tile or wood flooring in your home, you know that it can feel much colder in winter than carpet flooring. If you plan to sleep on the floor, you have to understand the tile, concrete, or wood flooring can feel especially cold.
If you have limited mobility, sleeping on the floor might make it difficult for you to get up. People with limited mobility would benefit from sleeping on a regular mattress. Also, if you are suffering from joint ailments such as arthritis, it’s best to avoid floor-sleeping.
Can sleeping on the floor cause breathing problems?
If you are a healthy adult, sleeping on the floor should not cause any breathing problems. Breathing difficulty lying down is a cause for concern regardless of where you sleep. A healthy person should not experience a breathing problem when lying flat.
It is recommended to have your head raised to help you breathe comfortably and deeply.
Why do I sleep better on the floor?
If you are a healthy person, you might sleep better on the floor—many people who sleep on the floor report a more well-rested feeling. Once you adjust to floor-sleeping, you might find that it is your preferred way to slumber.
How should I start sleeping on the floor?
Transitioning from bed sleeping to sleeping on the floor is a process. If you want to give it a try, you should consider the following:
- Get ready mentally for sleeping on the floor. Think of it as an adventure. Go into the experience feeling positive about it. Expect to feel somewhat uncomfortable the first few times you try floor-sleeping. You may ache a bit as your body adjusts to the harder sleep surface. It may take longer for overweight people to adjust to floor-sleeping.
- Find the best spot to sleep on the floor. You could sleep on your bedroom floor or find another cozy nook or corner to designate for floor-sleeping.
- Sleeping on the floor doesn’t mean that you have to sleep directly on the ground. Create the right surface for floor-sleeping. Many people get cold sleeping on the floor because they fail to create the ideal sleep surface. You will be a lot more preparation if your bedroom has tile or hard flooring. The easiest surface to prepare for sleep is carpet flooring. You can soften the experience of floor sleeping without removing the benefits.
- Tatami – For example, the Japanese have been sleeping on the tatami for over 1,200 years.
- Massage mat – Massage mats make for an excellent sleeping surface. They come in many shapes and sizes. You can even buy heated massage mats.
- Yoga mat – Chances are you already have a few yoga mats around the house. They serve a similar function to a tatami. They are soft and offer some insulation from the cold floor.
- Futon – Futons offer an excellent alternative to mattress sleeping. A futon will provide more elevation than the above alternatives. This might be the most comfortable sleep surface to help you transition from mattress sleeping to floor-sleeping.
- Just because you choose to sleep on the floor, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your pillow. Even floor sleeping is more enjoyable with a pillow. You might have to get a different size pillow for sleeping on the floor than sleeping on a regular mattress. Your pillow provides the necessary head and neck support while you sleep. The pillow will keep you aligned.
- Ease into sleeping on the floor. Initially, you shouldn’t try to sleep an entire night on the floor. You can start with a short nap on the floor. If you find it a comfortable experience, increase the amount of time you sleep on the floor. The key is to give your body time to adjust. Just like any new habit, sleeping on the floor requires some getting-used-to.
- Experiment with various sleeping positions.
Is it better to sleep lower to the ground?
Sleeping lower to the ground can actually increase your slumber. It is more natural for us to sleep lower to the ground. It is a more tranquil feeling for many of us when we sleep in closer proximity to the ground. Sleeping lower to the floor might also help if you experience anxiety.
A higher rise bed can feel cold, and the lower bed can project the opposite feeling. Placing a mattress lower to the ground promotes feelings of warmth, tranquility, and coziness. Don’t forget the fluffy blankets and extra pillows.
Don’t forget that your kids will love it too. Kids enjoy sleeping lower to the ground. If you are worried they might roll out of bed during the night, it might be a great way to reduce anxiety in your life.
Sleeping lower to the ground or sleeping on the floor can help you experience the minimalist lifestyle. In essence, you are eliminating extra and unnecessary elements such as a bed frame or a huge headboard. It is an easy step toward simple living. Who knows, it might even inspire you to downsize other parts of your life.
Does sleeping on the floor make you taller?
Sleeping on the floor might have definite benefits, but it will not make you taller. But sleeping in a poor position can make your posture worse. Floor-sleeping might give you a chance to correct your posture and prevent the curvature of the spine.
According to research, poor posture could result in one-inch height loss.