Not all sleep positions are created equal. Sleeping on your stomach puts more strain on your neck, spine, circulation and muscular system. For recovery in particular, stomach sleeping can be harmful in a number of ways:
It screws up your neck
Sleeping on your stomach requires you to turn your head to the end of its mobility range on one side, which puts significant strain on the inner components—the joints and soft tissues—at the top of your spine. Using a pillow creates additional strain and creates further misalignment.
Puts your lower back in a bind
When your neck is overextended to one side, it means your spine has to compensate. Sleeping on your stomach causes your lower back to sink into the mattress and create a strained position for the duration of your night.
Messes with your blood flow
With all this strain on your neck and spine, fresh blood cells have a harder time getting where they need to go. When extreme, this limited circulation can manifest as “pins and needles” or your limbs feeling like they’re falling asleep. Your muscles, joints and mind rely on blood flow to recover, so any decrease in blood flow means a slower recovery.
As stomach sleeping asks one side of your muscular system to work more than the other (see above), it inherently creates imbalances of flexibility and tightness throughout your muscular system.
And clamps your gut
Prone sleeping puts added pressure on your internal organs, limiting their ability to properly digest food and power your recovery period with the nutrients you've consumed.
If you've been sleeping on your stomach, we know how hard it can be to create new sleeping habits. We're here to help—learn more about our recommended sleeping practices on The Night Farm, and sign up for the latest news about Rooster products designed to keep your body in healthy sleeping positions throughout the night.