sleeping on your stomach?

People say you should not sleep on your
stomach? Why not?

it makes it easier for people to steal your kidneys.

To deal with men by force is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.

I sleep on my stomach and it screws up my shoulders and my neck. I wish I could sleep on my back, but I can’t.

If you sleep face down in my house, you’ll probably drool all over my pillow cases & wake up with a mouth full of cat hair.

You ask a woman if she sleeps on her stomach.
When she replies “No,” you say “Can I?”

When I was having bad back and neck problems, the doctor told me to avoid the sleeping on the stomach thing. He explained that it puts a strain on the neck, as it has to be turned at an almost right angle when you sleep this way.

I was advised that it’s also bad on the small of your back, as it arches in this position so that it could add strain. Typically, you’re also told not to sleep flat on your back, either, for the same reason. It’s basically, sleep on the back with the knees bent (so the small of the back flattens out), or on the side in the fetal position.

I’m not sure everyone is advised against sleeping this way, but those with back problems typically are. Still, when I’m really tired, I fall asleep fastest on my stomach…go figure.

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”

“English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.”

Sleeping on my stomach is my favorite position… I think it’s genetic, since when I mentioned it to my mother she went on a tirade about how the absolute worst part of being pregant was not being able to sleep on her stomach. Anyways, I agree, and have always slept that way.

But, about 2 years ago (when I was 27) I started waking up with backaches. I noticed it happens a lot on the day after I exercise. Never used to happen, and never happens if I’m not exercising. Now, a bike ride + sleeping on my stomach = backache in the morning.

Weird, eh? Anyone out there with any ideas why this happens? Proper warm up/warm down doesn’t seem to help at all, and I never get backaches when I don’t sleep on my stomach.

mikNY, I’m wondering if you didn’t misunderstand something.

It is bad to put a baby to sleep on his/her stomach – because that makes it more likely the baby will die of SIDS. Obviously, this doesn’t apply to adults.

(Although I like Nickrz’s answer the best.)

I normally sleep on my back or side. However, when the weather is hot and I’m sleeping without a sheet or blanket over me, I find it easier to go to sleep on my stomache.

(Just in case anyone’s interested…)

Carpe hoc!

Nickrz, you just gave me a new pickup line.

I can’t fall asleep unless I’m on my stomach. I have a long pillow under my head and the shoulder I’m facing (usually right). Don’t have too many back or neck problems.

I usually sleep on my stomach with one knee bent up. I think it puts less strain on the back when you do it that way because if I sleep with both legs straight, my lower back begins to ache.
Also, I find that sometimes my stomach hurts when I lie on it for too long.

“Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true” -Albert Einstein

What’s this about sleeping on your stomach and SIDS?

My mom’s a nurse, and she put all four of us on our stomachs in case we spit up in our sleep. No Jimi deaths for us.

It’s true. AFAIK, the exact cause of SIDS is not yet clear, and there may actually be a set of unrelated causes. But the death rate is definitely increased in infants who sleep on their stomachs. Presumably, lack of oxygen plays a role.

It’s now generally recommended to lay your babies on their sides, which should be safe it the case of spitting up. While we’re at family cases, my two children both sleep on their sides, and none of them died either (anecdotes not proving anything either way, of course).

As an added benefit, getting used to sleeping on your side seems to be a good idea in general. Lying on your stomach, as discussed here, strains your lower back. Lying flat on your back does the same to a lesser degree, and also promotes snoring with all its side effects (apnoea etc.). I wish I could sleep on my side all night long, but I keep waking up on my back in the middle of the night, with a fresh bruise in the rib section from a kick by my wife…


Dave Swaney said:

Yup, that’s what they used to do when we were kids – but then they realized it wasn’t such a hot idea. Once doctors started the “Back to sleep” campaign of telling parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs, SIDS deaths dropped drastically (don’t have the exact number handy, but I think it was around 60% or so).

Incredible added:

Actually, that’s not what’s recommended. :slight_smile: The back is recommended. In the U.S., some people were worried about the spit up thing, and so doctors started saying, “Ok, back or side.” But too many babies put on their sides sometimes roll over on their stomachs, so now they are pretty much just recommending on the back. From recent experience, I can tell you that even a baby on its back will spit up to the side, because their heads tend to turn to the side anyway (their necks aren’t strong enough to hold them facing upwards at that age).

Well, in these parts, side is recommended. Maybe German kids aren’t so dumb as to roll onto their faces. :wink:

Seriously, if you lay them down in the right way, they won’t roll onto their faces. E.g., we always lean(ed) our kids’ against a rolled towel (with their backs), so that gravity will hold them in position. If they struggle, they will just slip onto their backs. Older ones may roll onto their stomachs, but they’re not concerned with SIDS anymore.


Holger said:

Now that’s interesting – 'cus I was under the impression that in Europe they thought American docs were being silly with the whole “side” thing instead of just plopping 'em on their backs.

And I agree that it’s simple enough to do what you said – but not all parents can even do simple things, alas.

Anyway, what I said about spit-up still holds, so it doesn’t really matter. :slight_smile:

I’m capable of sleeping either on my back, side or stomach, although if I sleep on my back, it’s not “good” sleep, I’m groggy the whole day. If I’m on my side, I fold the pillow in half to keep my neck straight. I might try one of those contour pillows.