Why Do People Sleep on Their Stomach?

by Jason Berke יוני 24, 2024

stomach sleeper pillows

When it comes to sleeping positions, everyone has their unique way of getting comfortable. One of the most debated and less common positions is stomach sleeping. While many swear by it for comfort, it’s a position that comes with its own set of pros and cons. Some people find that sleeping on their stomach reduces snoring or alleviates symptoms of sleep apnea.

The pressure of the mattress against the front of their body can also provide a sense of security and coziness, making it easier to drift off. Despite these potential benefits, stomach sleeping poses several risks and challenges, especially concerning spinal alignment and overall health. Read on to get all the information in detail, be it about the sleeping position or the pillows for stomach sleepers. Keep reading!

Reason Why People Sleep on Their Stomach

Sleeping positions are highly personal, and for some, stomach sleeping is the go-to choice. There are several reasons why people might prefer this position. Let's explore these reasons in detail.

Comfort and Habit

For many stomach sleepers, this position is simply the most comfortable. It's often a habit formed early in life and can be hard to break. The sensation of lying face down can provide a comforting pressure, creating a sense of security that helps some individuals fall asleep more easily.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Reduction

Another significant reason people choose to sleep on their stomach is to reduce snoring and alleviate symptoms of sleep apnea. When you lie on your back, gravity can cause the tongue and soft tissues to collapse to the back of the throat, blocking the airway. Sleeping on your stomach helps keep the airway open, reducing snoring and making it easier to breathe.

Temporary Pain Relief

Some people find that sleeping on their stomach provides temporary relief from certain types of pain, particularly lower back pain. By flattening the natural curve of the spine, this position can sometimes reduce pressure on the back muscles and discs.

Psychological Comfort

The pressure of the mattress against the front of the body can provide a sense of being grounded and secure, which can be psychologically comforting. This grounding sensation can be especially beneficial for people who experience anxiety or stress, helping them to relax and fall asleep more easily.

However, despite these benefits, it's important to consider the potential drawbacks and make adjustments, such as using specialized stomach sleeper pillows, to ensure that you’re not compromising your long-term health and comfort.

What Happens When You Sleep on Your Stomach?

Sleeping on your stomach might seem like the most comfortable option for some, but it can have several significant effects on your body. Understanding these impacts is crucial, especially if you’re a dedicated stomach sleeper. Here’s what you need to know about how this position affects you.

You Might Misalign Your Spine

One of the primary concerns with sleeping on your stomach is spinal misalignment. In this position, it’s challenging to maintain a neutral spine. Your back naturally arches, and your neck twists to one side, causing strain. Over time, this misalignment can lead to chronic pain and discomfort, impacting your overall health. A misaligned spine can also disrupt your sleep quality, leading to frequent awakenings and restless nights.

You Might Experience Back, Neck, or Shoulder Pain

The unnatural alignment from stomach sleeping can lead to significant pain in your back, neck, and shoulders. When your neck is turned to one side for extended periods, it can cause stiffness and soreness. Similarly, the arch in your lower back can lead to chronic lower back pain. This discomfort can carry over into your daily life, affecting your mobility and overall well-being. Using stomach sleeper pillows can help mitigate some of these issues by providing better support.

You Might Notice More Facial Wrinkles

Another downside to stomach sleeping is the increased risk of developing facial wrinkles. When your face is pressed against the pillow, it creates friction and pressure on your skin. Over time, this can lead to sleep lines and contribute to the aging process. The repeated pressure can also affect the elasticity of your skin, making you more prone to wrinkles. If you’re concerned about maintaining youthful skin, this is a significant drawback to consider.

In summary, while stomach sleeping might feel comfortable, it can have several adverse effects on your body. Misaligned spines, pain in key areas, and increased facial wrinkles are notable concerns. Using stomach sleeper pillows specifically designed for this position can help alleviate some of these issues, but it's also worth considering alternative sleep positions for better long-term health.

Risks of Sleeping on Your Stomach While Pregnant

Sleeping on your stomach while pregnant poses several risks, especially as your pregnancy progresses. During the second and third trimesters, the growing belly makes stomach sleeping increasingly uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. This position can compress the abdomen, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the fetus, which is crucial for healthy development. Additionally, sleeping on your stomach can strain your back and neck, exacerbating discomfort and pain commonly experienced during pregnancy.

Obstetricians often recommend side sleeping, particularly on the left side, as it promotes better circulation and supports the uterus. This position helps enhance blood flow to the placenta, ensuring that the baby receives sufficient nutrients and oxygen. For those who find it challenging to adjust, using specialized pillows for stomach sleepers can provide some comfort while encouraging safer stomach sleeping positions.

Better Sleep Positions During Pregnancy

  • Left Side Sleeping: Promotes optimal circulation and reduces pressure on the liver.
  • Use of Support Pillows: Helps maintain a comfortable side sleeping position.

Should You Change Your Sleep Position?

Given the potential downsides of stomach sleeping, you might wonder if you should change your sleep position. Transitioning to back or side sleeping can alleviate many of the issues associated with stomach sleeping. Side sleeping, in particular, is often recommended as it supports better spinal alignment and reduces the likelihood of developing wrinkles.

pillows for stomach sleepers

However, changing your sleep position is easier said than done. It requires time and patience, as your body is accustomed to finding comfort in a specific way. If you're determined to make the switch, try using pillows to prop yourself in a new position or invest in a mattress designed to support different sleeping styles.

Tips for Improving Stomach Sleep

If you're a committed stomach sleeper and find it impossible to sleep any other way, there are several strategies you can adopt to minimize the potential harm.

Use Thin Pillows

Using thin pillows or no pillow at all can help reduce the strain on your neck. Stomach sleeper pillows are specifically designed to provide adequate support without elevating your head too much, promoting better spinal alignment.

Invest in a Firmer Mattress

A firmer mattress can prevent your body from sinking too deeply, which helps maintain a more neutral spine position. It offers better support and reduces the likelihood of developing pain due to poor posture.

Do Morning Stretches

Incorporating morning stretches into your routine can alleviate stiffness and discomfort caused by sleeping on your stomach. Focus on stretches that target the back, neck, and shoulders to improve flexibility and reduce tension.

How Does Pillow For Stomach Sleeper Help?

For stomach sleepers, finding the right pillow is crucial for a good night's sleep. Unlike other sleep positions, stomach sleeping requires a specific type of support to prevent strain on the neck and spine. Fortunately, specialized pillows for stomach sleepers offer unique benefits that cater to this sleeping preference.

Enhances Spinal Alignment

Specialized pillows for stomach sleepers are designed to address the unique needs of those who prefer this position. These pillows are typically thinner and firmer, providing just enough cushioning to keep your head and neck aligned without causing strain. By maintaining a more neutral spine position, a well-chosen pillow can prevent the arching of your back and twisting of your neck, which are common issues for stomach sleepers.

Reduces Neck and Shoulder Pain

Using a pillow specifically made for stomach sleepers can significantly reduce neck and shoulder pain. Traditional pillows are often too thick, elevating the head too much and creating a sharp angle in the neck. In contrast, stomach sleeper pillows are crafted to provide the right level of support without lifting your head excessively, thereby reducing the strain on your neck and shoulders.

Promotes Better Sleep Quality

By using a pillow for stomach sleepers, you can mitigate some of the negative effects associated with this sleep position. Stomach sleeper pillows for adults come in various shapes and materials, ensuring that there is an option that caters to your specific comfort preferences. Whether you prefer memory foam, latex, or down, choosing the right pillow can make a significant difference in your sleep quality and overall health.

Stomach sleeper pillows not only help in maintaining proper alignment but also enhance your comfort, leading to a more restful and uninterrupted sleep. Investing in a high-quality pillow designed for stomach sleepers is a simple yet effective way to improve your sleep hygiene and overall well-being.


Is it common to sleep on your stomach?

It's not super common to sleep on your stomach—only about 7% of people do. It can strain your neck and back because it's harder to keep your spine aligned. That's why many people choose different positions for better sleep.

What does sleeping on your stomach mean?

Sleeping on your stomach, according to Psychology Today, might suggest defensiveness or fearfulness. Stomach sleepers are theorized to lean towards perfectionism, struggle with criticism, and feel a lack of control in their lives. It's important to note this remains a theoretical perspective rather than a proven fact.

Is it OK to sleep on your stomach?

Sleeping on your stomach can be uncomfortable for your neck and back because it can strain the spine's natural alignment. It's generally recommended to try sleeping on your back or side for better spinal health and improved sleep quality.

Get the Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers!

While sleeping on your stomach might be comfortable for some, it comes with potential risks to your spine, skin, and overall well-being. If you can't change your sleeping position, adopting the right strategies and using the appropriate pillows for stomach sleepers can help mitigate these risks.

Introducing the ultimate sleep companion that's as versatile as your sleep style! Our fully adjustable Wife Pillow is engineered to cater to every type of sleeper, including those who prefer snoozing on their stomachs. Our pillow lets you tweak the height and firmness with ease. Add or remove stuffing to achieve that perfect balance of support and contouring, ensuring your neck and spine stay aligned all night long. It's the perfect blend of support and comfort for stomach sleepers seeking a better night's rest.

Ready to upgrade your sleep game? Get your Wife Pillow today!

Jason Berke
Jason Berke