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Is There a Benefit to Sleeping on the Floor?

Is There a Benefit to Sleeping on the Floor?

Backaches are a pain, literally and figuratively. Finding relief for that awful lower back pain isn’t always easy. We get so desperate for the paint to go away that we will try just about anything, even sleeping on the hard floor. But is sleeping on the floor actually worth trying?

That’s what we want to talk about today. We will give you the low down on sleeping on the floor and all the pros that go with it. In the interest of giving you all the info, we’ll also go over some of the negative aspects of sleeping on the floor.

Finally, if you choose this is the right situation for you, we will give you some basic guidelines to follow that will make sleeping on the floor safe, sanitary, and as helpful as possible. 

Health Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor

Sleeping on the floor can be a good thing, especially for someone with a long history of pain and discomfort associated with their spine. 

These are all the ways that you can benefit from using the floor as your sleeping surface.

Cooler Temps

Being comfy and cozy in our beds is one of the best parts about bedtime. But if the room is too warm, it can make it harder to go to sleep, stay asleep, or get the deep sleep that we need. In short, your sleep quality can be seriously compromised by your room being too hot. 

One of the benefits of sleeping on a low, firm surface is that heat rises; the floor will be naturally cooler than the rest of the room. If you also naturally run hot, then a colder floor can be the most comforting. 

Soothe Back Pain and Joint Pain

Sometimes a firm or hard surface on the floor is perfect for relieving back pain. Depending on the sleeping position that you prefer, a Japanese tatami mat or a mattress thinner like a sleeping bag on the floor can be precisely what our backs need to finally start seeing some relief. 

Many people love a softer foam mattress, but many of us that suffer from chronic back pain need a firmer mattress to get the support we need. 

Improve Poor Posture

When our mattresses don’t offer us enough support, our posture can suffer. If this has occurred, soft surfaces can cause even more issues, like sciatica or neck pain. Sleeping on the floor can help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with these health conditions.

The floor helps to realign areas of the back that have been affected by a poor bedroom setup. 

Downside To Sleeping on the Floor

Now we know it sounds like this is the perfect situation, but there are downsides to consider when sleeping on the floor.

Read on for what could occur if you decide sleeping on the floor is something you want to try. 

It Might Be Too Cold

While it may be a blessing to have a comfortable, cool spot on the floor, there is a chance that it might get too cold down there throughout the night. Temperatures drop the later in the night it gets; you may find that it gets too cold after midnight. 

This could lead to issues with your immune system and potentially make it even more uncomfortable for you the longer you try to make sleeping on the floor work. 

It Could Worsen Back Pain

While many may find that sleeping on the floor relieves back pain, many others may find that it actually worsens them. Without enough cushioning or support around joints, you could find that your back pain increases the longer you sleep on the floor. 

If you find that a soft mattress and a firm mattress don’t work out for you, try a medium firm mattress that can give you more structured support but with a little give. 

It Might Increase Exposure to Allergens

We love our pets, but we don’t necessarily want to sleep with their dirt and dander. Sleeping on the floor can expose us to a lot of pollen and dust mites. For those of us who have allergies, this could cause side effects like a runny nose and the other hallmarks of an allergic reaction.

Even if you enjoy sleeping on the floor, you could find that the amount of pollen you are exposed to throughout the night can be too intense to continue. Your breathing and long-term health will suffer with the number of allergens you inhale night after night, which can sabotage your pursuit of better sleep.

Is It Safe To Sleep on the Floor?

To a degree, sleeping on the floor is entirely safe. If you are a healthy, active adult in decent shape and don’t have any limited mobility issues, then go for it. You may find that the comfort you can’t find from a mattress has been waiting for you on the floor this entire time. 

For those older age groups or those that suffer from issues with movement or health or heart conditions, it is not safe for you to sleep on the floor. There is a possible chance that someone could have an episode in the middle of the night and might not be able to get up fast enough to get help or get medication. 

A good rule of thumb is if you have trouble sitting down and standing up immediately after, then you will have a tough time sleeping on the floor safely. 

How To Sleep on the Floor - In Comfort

If you have chosen to try sleeping on the floor, there are a few things you should keep in mind. You will want to follow a few guidelines and checklist items to ensure that you sleep on the floor safely and get the sleep you’ve been looking for. 

Clean and Clear Floors

Make sure that you clear a proper amount of space so you can get comfortable. Then, clear the space around that bed so you can get up and move around without any trouble. 

Then you will need to clean the floors and clean them again. Ensuring that the dust and debris are clear of the area around your bed minimizes the side effects of allergies

Clutter or dust and pollen around the floor bed you make for yourself could leave you uncomfortable and congested. So do yourself a favor and make it nice.

Make a Bed

No, sadly, a sleeping bag doesn’t count as an actual bed. While it is a good option for a week or two while you decide if sleeping on the floor is right for you, eventually, you’ll need to create a real bed on the floor to be comfortable and sleep on the floor long-term. 

You can go minimalist and just use a map or thin mattress, but you could also get a full mattress and put up a headboard and go the traditional route without the bed frame. Either way works, and you will need to decide which makes the most sense for your lifestyle. 

Find a Supportive Sleeping Position

Even with a bed on the floor, you will need to support your spine and joints to ensure that you don’t cause yourself unnecessary pain and discomfort. You will want to find your most comfortable sleeping position and do your best to support it. 

For back sleepers, maybe place a small, thin pillow at the small of your back to support that natural curve on the flat floor. For those who prefer to sleep on their sides, a small pillow between your knees should offer an ample amount of support so you can rest easy all night. 

For those who like to sleep on their stomach, floor sleeping isn’t something most healthcare advisors would recommend. It isn’t the safest position on the floor, nor will it be easy to find a comfortable “soft spot” where you can sleep without feeling pain in the morning.

The main concern for stomach sleepers would be that they injure their necks. Sleeping with a pillow can help with this, but you’ll likely do better if you ask for advice first. 

Take It for a Test Nap

The best way to decide if this is something you can commit to is to take it for a test run. Try out a few different positions, a few too many or too few pillows and cushions, and see what sticks. 

You may find that you enjoy sleeping on the floor but only a few days out of the week or that you need ample support and cushion but can sleep on the floor every night. Whatever the case, you need to make sure that you try as many of the options for floor sleeping as possible before you commit to anything for the foreseeable future.

Extra Help To Get to Sleep

While you adjust to a new sleeping arrangement, you may need some help falling asleep at night. Try our SleepyPatch for the perfect blend of all-natural essential oils that will get you the Zzzs you need each night to feel your best the next day. 

These stickers go on clothes and have enough sleepy power to keep your brain in rest mode for up to eight hours. You can get a full night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for anything. 

Sweet Dreams

We are sure that you know exactly what you need at this point to decide how to sleep and where to do it. While floor sleeping will work for many, it may not work for all or even be safe for everyone. 

Take your time and decide what works for you before making any lifestyle changes that are permanent. Once you find the perfect combination, hopefully, you’ll be sleeping better and sitting up straighter in no time. 

Sources:

Low Back Pain Fact Sheet | NINDS

Guide to Good Posture | MedlinePlus

Allergies and Sleep: Disturbances and Coping Strategies | Sleep Foundation

Japan's tatami mats, a home-grown tradition | CBS News

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | Healthline

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