What are the benefits of sleeping on the floor?
It’s an unusual sleeping position, but many cultures around the world champion the benefits of sleeping on the floor.
In the Western world, sleeping on a mattress isn’t typically up for debate. But in countries like Japan, sleeping on a tatami mat (a sleeping mat made of rice straw, wood chips or polystyrene foam) is the norm.
If you’re curious, let’s take a look at why nodding off on the floor could actually become enjoyable (and beneficial) to you.
Why do people sleep on the floor?
While it might seem like an odd place to lay your weary head, devoted floor-sleepers will tell you that they feel more rested after a night spent on the ground. For most people, however, they choose to sleep on the floor to relieve back pain.
Studies have shown that among cultures who prefer sleeping on the floor, people have experienced less musculoskeletal problems. This is because the hard surface of the floor supports the alignment of the spine, whereas a soft mattress causes your back to curve.
Benefits of sleeping on the floor
Let’s get down to ground level. If you’re willing to experiment with your sleeping position, there are several good reasons to try sleeping on the floor. These include:
- Provide a neutral back position and body alignment.
- Relief of back and neck pain. The hard surface supports the spine and has been shown to help ease the pain.
- Reduces muscle tension.
- More energy as you tend to wake up earlier after a night spent on the floor.
A purely practical benefit… you’re not limited to a bed and can sleep anywhere you like.
When to avoid sleeping on the floor?
As much as there are advantages to sleeping on the floor, it’s not for everyone. If you’re above 60, your bones are weaker and prone to fractures. If you are a cold sleeper and have type 2 diabetes, anemia and hypothyroidism, you should avoid sleeping on the floor as these conditions can make you feel even colder.
Tips to sleep on the floor
To fully enjoy the benefits of sleeping on the floor, pick a spot in your room that’s clutter-free. Use a blanket or a mat as your “mattress” and, if you’re using a pillow, make sure it’s thin so that you don’t strain your neck.
Trial your floor-sleeping by napping in short intervals until you feel comfortable spending the whole night on the ground. Though science is yet to provide research to support floor sleeping, it’s a fascinating way of experimenting with how different cultures have preferred to sleep.
Who knows? It might be the answer to your best sleep yet.