Doctor warns why you should never sleep on your front


Some people sleep on their back, while others prefer their side or front. However, while sleeping on your stomach might feel comfy, it’s not without its problems.

Dr Tony Nalda, who leads the Scoliosis Reduction Center, explains why you shouldn’t be a front sleeper.

Neck and back issues

Sleeping on your front strains your neck as you have to turn your head to one side to breathe. This can cause muscle tightness, inflammation and pain.

Dr Nalda said: ‘Front sleeping flattens the natural curve of your spine, which can cause lower back pain. If you already have neck and back problems, sleeping in this position is almost guaranteed to make them worse.”

Breathing and spinal issues

Front sleeping can make it harder to breathe deeply because the position compresses your diaphragm. If this causes lower oxygen intake overnight, it’ll disrupt the quality of your sleep. Sleeping on your stomach also puts extra pressure on your spine, potentially straining your vertebrae and the surrounding muscles.

Cardio issues

Dr Nalda said: “Front sleeping makes your body work more, including your heart, as by pressing on your chest, you make it harder for blood to circulate. Over time, this increases the risk of cardio issues, especially if you already have problems. If you struggle to breathe deeply, it can lead to higher blood pressure.”

Other concerns

Stomach sleeping forces your neck into a twisted position, which can lead to migraines, tension headaches, and other neurological issues. The unnatural angle can also pinch nerves, leading to discomfort, numbness, or tingling in the arms and hands.

Posture recommendations

Dr Nalda said: “Back sleeping is best as it maintains the natural curve of the spine and minimises pressure on the joints. Alternatively, side sleeping improves heart health and reduces snoring.”

A body pillow can provide extra support for the back or side position, and discourage rolling onto your stomach. Choose a mattress and pillow that provide the right level of support for your chosen position.

Dr Nalda added: “Research shows that between 7% and 17% of people are front sleepers. By changing your habits, you can improve your health and sleep better each night.”




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