Surveys have found out that only about 7% of Americans are stomach sleepers. Most of them insist on sleeping on their belly because they say they’re more comfortable lying flat on their stomach.
Numerous sleep experts have said that stomach-sleeping causes a lot of stress, strain, and pressure on a person’s head, neck, and spine. If you’re one of those who are more comfortable sleeping with your face on your pillow, here are some reasons why you should get that ultra-slim stomach sleeper pillow designed specifically for stomach sleepers.
- Stomach Sleeping Causes Neck Strain
People who sleep on their stomach need a stomach sleeper pillow because their preferred sleeping position causes a strain on their necks. This strain is caused by the elevated angle of the head with their body lying flat on their stomach. Due to the thickness of regular pillows, the head is elevated at a sharper angle, and this angle causes a strain on the neck of which the lower end is pulled down, in turn, by the weight of the body.
The height or thickness of the pillow is called the loft of the pillow. Pillow loft can be classified into three categories: low, medium, and high. The pillow loft should be kept at an optimal level, which should just be enough to support the head and the neck. Both the neck and the head should be kept at a comfortable angle to the rest of the spine. A very high or thick loft can cause strain to the neck and shoulders.
A stomach sleeper pillow’s loft shouldn’t be more than 3 in. Anything more than that causes neck strains whenever you sleep. Here’s a very informative video on examples of ultra slim stomach sleeper pillows:
A low loft pillow gives stomach sleepers a comfortable position because the thinness puts less pressure on their heads and necks.
- Stomach Sleeping Causes Strain On Spine Alignment
When you sleep on your stomach, your sleeping position tends to cause a strain on your spine alignment because your spine isn’t on a relatively flat surface. It’s your stomach that’s pressed against the bed mattress while your spine is high up.
The force of gravity pulls your spine down, and only your body is supporting your spine. This downward pull causes a lot of strain to your spine, especially when your neck is tilted at a sharp angle. This is why studies on sleeping positions don’t advise stomach-sleeping for babies. When you sleep on your back, your spine is resting on the natural support of the bed mattress.
You need stomach sleeper pillows because they’re designed to give support to the spine and to keep it in alignment. The stomach sleeper pillow’s support eases the tension in the neck and shoulders. This lessens the pains and aches that you feel when you sleep on your stomach using regular pillows.
- Stomach Sleeping Causes Stress And Discomfort On Head And Neck Angle
Pillow firmness also affects the angle of the head and the neck. Firmness is different from the loft. Loft refers to the thickness of the pillow. Firmness refers to the softness or firmness of the materials the pillow is made of. Stomach sleeper pillows keep the head and neck at a comfortable angle.
Pillow firmness can be classified as soft or firm. The appropriate firmness for stomach sleepers is soft to medium firmness. This is suitable to maintain a comfortable angle between the head and the neck. This isn’t the only consideration though. Other factors such as body weight, personal preferences, and sleeping position can also have an impact.
- Stomach Sleeper Pillows Relieve Pressure On Neck And Spine
Sleeping on your stomach causes a lot of pressure on your neck and spine. You need a stomach sleeper pillow to relieve the pressure on these parts.
People who sleep on their stomach say that the primary cause of their discomfort is that their sleeping position exerts a lot of pressure on their spine and neck. But a stomach sleeper pillow is designed to provide ergonomic support. It acts as a cushion that puts your head, neck, and spine cradled while resting. This keeps all three properly aligned.
Some of the other materials used in stomach sleeper pillows are exceptionally good in relieving pressure because they provide a cradle which follows the contours of the head and the neck. The materials used for this can be latex or memory foam. They’re very good in relieving pressure.
- Stomach Sleepers Need Highly Moldable Pillows
People who sleep on their belly need stomach sleeper pillows because they’re highly moldable. These pillows can give the proper support to the head and neck the whole night while you sleep because of their relatively high moldability.
Pillow moldability refers to the ease or difficulty with which you can ‘mold’ or shape the pillow based on the curves of your head. With highly moldable pillows, you won’t have to feel something strong pressing against your face when you sleep. Your face and head will create a mold in your pillow, which will just follow the contours of your head. This feels very comfortable.
Sleeping On Your Stomach, Weight On Your Spine
Sleeping on your stomach causes a lot of different stresses and strains on your head, neck, shoulders, and spine the whole time you’re sleeping in this position. These stresses and strains are caused by the sharp angle of your head and neck, the misalignment to your neck when you have to turn your head to the side to breathe, and the strain of gravity on your spine.
If it makes you comfortable while in this position, though, just remember that there are pillows customized to your sleeping preference.