One of the leading causes for back pain is because of the way that you sleep. On average, you spend about one out of three hours of your life asleep. If you are on an uncomfortable mattress or are not in the right position, you will most likely develop aches and pains. While many people believe that a soft mattress is the best way to get a comfortable night’s rest, this is not always the case.
In Taiwan and Japan, hard mattresses are the most popular sleeping option. The Japanese actually prefer to sleep on the floor because they believe that it is better for their body. The Count of Monte Cristo also slept on his floor despite his wealth because he had grown accustomed to it when he was imprisoned. In Taiwan, hard mattresses are used because they believe that it is more important to focus on your health than your immediate comfort. They believe that a hard mattress causes you to shift while you sleep more, which helps to prevent pain.
Sleeping on the Floor
In Western nations, most people believe that sleeping on a soft mattress will help to ease their back pain. In reality, a really soft mattress will not provide enough support for the spine. This causes your spine to become misaligned and can contribute to having poor posture while you sleep. Sleeping on the floor can be extremely beneficial for your back pain. It ensures that your back remains straight when you are lying down, and it also helps to provide additional support to your spine.
While soft mattresses may be popular, there have been some people who have tried sleeping on the ground to help their back. Often, these individuals will wake up feeling better than before. You can try to sleep with something like a mat underneath you as long as the cushioning is not any softer than an average pillow. This will ensure that your spine remains within a comfortable, neutral position while you sleep.
What Does Science Say About Sleeping on the Floor?
Interestingly, there is not a lot of scientific literature on sleeping on the floor. The main thing that researchers know is that a soft mattress will not give you the right posture or spinal support that you need. As a result, sleeping on a harder surface can help keep your back straight for the many hours that you sleep every day. Many of the people who have tried sleeping on the floor have said that it is extremely good for their spine, and they have woken up with less pain than they had before.
One of the main problems with getting scientific research on the topic is that it has to be funded. The main people who would fund a project like this would be the mattress makers, and they have no desire to discover that their expensive mattresses are not actually the best for healthy backs. It is in their interest to continue to have people spend thousands of dollars on mattresses that do not work than discover that the floor is both healthier and free.
Sleeping on the Ground Is Often a Cultural Preference
There are many countries around the world where it is normal to sleep on the floor. While the Japanese have high incomes like Western nations, they choose to sleep on a futon or tatami mat on the floor instead. This is done to boost circulation and help with spinal alignment. As a result, they are able to be healthier and more productive when they wake up. In addition, Japanese houses tend to be small, so having a bed that can be rolled up means that sleeping space can easily transform into living space as well.
Tips for Sleeping Better on the Floor
Most people need some time to get adjusted to sleeping on the floor. In the beginning, you may want to start by using a yoga mat or a tatami mat to provide a little cushion. While this makes the floor more comfortable to sleep on, it does not take away from the spinal support offered by the floor. In winter months, you may want to add a sleeping bag or a layer of blankets beneath you to help you stay warm.
When you do sleep on the floor, you should be sleeping on your back for most or all of the time. This allows your spine to get the support it needs. You will not get the same back benefits if you try to sleep in another position. If you sleep in the fetal position, it can cause your hip flexors and hamstrings to become overly tightened. This can lead to back pain, and the tightening of your pectoral muscles can be a cause of upper back pain. If you want to help your back, try to always sleep on your back so that it is fully supported by the ground.
Who Should Never Sleep on the Floor?
Sleeping on the ground is perfectly safe for anyone who is in good health. If you have been prescribed a special bed or have health problems, you should talk to your doctor first. Likewise, a cold concrete floor may make it uncomfortable, chilly and impractical to sleep on the floor.
Make Sure to Try It for Multiple Nights
After sleeping on a soft mattress for years, it may take a few nights for you to get used to sleeping on your back. When you first start, you may need to use extra pillows as you try to get more comfortable on the floor, but you should gradually reduce the number of pillows until you have just one below your head. If you make sure to give this sleeping technique at least a few days to work, you may be surprised by how little back pain you end up having.
While some people believe that it is harmful to sleep on the floor, they are entirely wrong. Obviously, people who are used to soft mattresses or who are overweight may need a few more days to get used to sleeping this way without being sore. In general, the soreness you experience at first will only feel as bad as a workout session.