How to Stop Sleeping on Your Stomach

12 February, 2019 02:40 pm

Sleeping on your stomach is hard on your body and a common cause of low back pain, neck pain, shoulder issues and headaches. The reasons for habitual stomach sleeping are not well understood, but may be related to staying warm, feeling more protected or possibly even connected to your personality traits Stopping stomach sleeping and transitioning to your side or back while in bed may not be easy to do, but the benefits to your spine and rest of your body are significant.


Transitioning Away from Stomach Sleeping.

1.Understand how stomach sleeping affects you. The main problem with stomach sleeping is that is creates an unnatural position for your spine. It causes too much extension in the low back, potentially irritating the small facet joints of the spine, and too much twisting in the neck because you need to rotate your head to one side in order to breath. Neck rotation for long periods of time leads to muscle strains and mild joint sprains, which can trigger headaches and dizziness. Laying face-down also puts more pressure on your jaw and tends to promote facial wrinkles. Furthermore, because most people raise their arms above their heads while stomach sleeping, shoulder joints are put under more stress. If any of these issues apply to you, then it's time to stop stomach sleeping.

  • A study of women between the ages of 20-44 found that 48% sleep primarily on their back (supine), 41% on their sides (fetal position) and 11% on their stomach (prone).
  • Stomach sleeping for babies is discouraged because it's linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Sleeping on your back or side is better for your posture.


2.Use positive affirmations before bedtime. Changing a habitual sleeping position is difficult because you're not conscious (awake) during the night to constantly monitor it. However, once you start to associate some negativity (such as back pain) to stomach sleeping, then your desire to change positions may start to sink into the subconscious part of your mind, which is active during sleep. To help this process along, use positive affirmations just before bedtime. Positive affirmations are positive directions or self-statements (spoken aloud or thought) repeated many times over. The idea is to drive your conscious desires into your unconscious mind.
  • Start by saying or thinking, "I will sleep on my side (or back) tonight because it's best for my body" at least 10 times.
  • With positive affirmations meant to affect the subconscious mind, it's best not to use negative language, as in "I won't sleep on my stomach tonight." Keep all language directive and in the positive form.
  • Affirmations have helped many people make significant changes, but they don't always work for everyone or all conditions.
  • Each time you wake up on your stomach, correct your sleeping position instead of falling back asleep.



3.Use an orthopedic pillow. An orthopedic pillow is meant to maintain the natural curves of your neck and is typically made of contoured foam. Orthopedic pillows make your neck and head feel good when you sleep on them while on your back or side, but may feel awkward or uncomfortable during stomach sleeping. As such, an orthopedic pillow might act as a deterrent to stomach sleeping, while encouraging a different, more physiologically beneficial position at the same time.

  • Orthopedic pillows can be purchased at medical supply and rehabilitation stores, as well at the offices of some chiropractors and physiotherapists.
  • Buy a pillow with obvious supportive contours and not the flat ones merely made from memory form. Remember, you're trying to make it uncomfortable to use while on your stomach.


4.Ask your partner for assistance. If you're married or sleep with a significant other, ask them for assistance during the night if they happen to be awake and notice you're sleeping on your stomach. Ask them to give you a gentle nudge, so you roll onto your side or back. Ironically, your partner may sleep better while you're on your stomach because the position helps to ease or prevent snoring, which is about its only benefit.
  • People (especially infants) who sleep on their stomachs tend to be less reactive to noise, experience less movement and have higher arousal thresholds.
  • Stomach sleeping helps prevent heat dissipation from your internal organs, so the position retains more heat during the night. In contrast, sleeping on your back allows you to cool down easier.


5.Try hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy uses suggestive commands to impact a person's behaviors while they are in an altered state of consciousness, also known as a trance. People in deeply relaxed and focused states are unusually responsive to suggestion and imagery. As such, if you're having great difficulty changing your sleeping habits, then find a reputable and well-established hypnotherapist in your area and schedule a few sessions. Hypnotherapy has a good track record for stopping other negative behaviors, such as smoking and alcoholism, so using it for stomach sleeping isn't so far fetched.
  • If you're feeling a little nervous or vulnerable about being hypnotized, then get the hypnotist to video record your sessions. They may also make you subliminal audio MP3s / CDs to take home and listen to.
  • Alternatively, ask a friend to join you and keep an eye on things while you're hypnotized.


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