Advice for Stomach Sleepers
If you’re a stomach-sleeper concerned about the effects mentioned above, it’s not too late to make a change. Here are some tips on how to sleep on your stomach safely:
Train Yourself to Sleep Differently
The idea of training yourself to sleep differently after a lifetime as a stomach-sleeper may seem laughable. But it is possible.
One way is to lie on your back and place pillows on either side of your body and one under your knees. This setup can prevent you from flipping over to one side or onto your stomach.
If that doesn’t work, consider strapping a tennis ball to your midsection with a band. This way, if you flip onto your front in the night, the discomfort will prompt you to switch position again.
Use Pillows in the Right Places
If you just can’t (or don’t want to) break the habit, strategic pillow placement can make stomach sleeping safer.
The Mayo Clinic advises placing a pillow beneath your pelvis to support the hips and promote spinal neutrality. The top of the pillow should hit your lower abdomen with the bottom at your mid-thigh.
Alternatively, you may want to skip pillows altogether or use a relatively flat one. Doing so can reduce the degree to which your neck is angled away from the spine, improving alignment.
Find The Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers can benefit from a firmer-than-average mattress, providing more support for the midsection and shoulders and promoting spinal alignment. In general, this means choosing a hybrid or innerspring product.
Hybrid mattresses with memory foam or latex materials may be best for stomach sleepers as these respond well to movement.
Mattresses with supportive comfort layers or pillow tops can help reduce some of the strain off the shoulders and chest, assuaging neck and shoulder discomfort. You can also add a mattress topper if your bed feels too firm, but you aren’t ready to replace the mattress just yet.
You’ll also want to look for breathable material and cooling features to avoid overheating, as stomach sleeping tends to trap heat.
Healthier Sleep for a Healthier You
Getting a good night’s rest is the foundation for a great day. After all, it’s hard to be your most productive, creative, and energized self when you’re battling fatigue, grogginess, stiffness, pain, and other effects of insufficient shuteye.
That’s not to mention the long-term effects of poor sleep practices. Adopting a healthy sleep hygiene regimen can significantly influence your overall wellbeing in the short and long term. And that may include adapting your sleep position.
Fortunately for all the hard-and-fast stomach-sleepers, there are plenty of ways to make the prone position safer and more comfortable.