Sleep Health

Sleeping on Stomach is Good or Bad for You?

Sleeping on Stomach: Is it Good or Bad for You?

According to Sleep Science, almost 20% of adults have the habit of sleeping on their stomachs. So, if you sleep on your stomach, then you are part of that tribe. 

Sleeping on your stomach is widely considered a bad sleeping position due to its effect on your breathing and spinal alignment throughout the night. It is important to note that it is never too late to switch your sleeping position if you don’t want to be a stomach sleeper. There are different ways to do that too. Let’s dive in. 

Different Position of Stomach Sleeping

People who sleep on their stomachs do not lie flat but keep changing their sleep position gradually. This change of position can disrupt your sleep and wake you up, causing sleep deprivation. Below are some most common stomach sleeping positions.

The Freefall

This position shows those lying on their stomach with head on the side and wrapping hands around the pillow. Researchers say this stomach sleeping position is not too bad. However, it is advised to keep a thin pillow or no pillow when sleeping in this position. The use of a thin pillow will keep your neck curvature in place and not harm you or give you neck pain. You can optimize your sleeping experience by removing that hard pillow.

The Running Man

This position may have different meanings for various kinds of sleepers. It means passing out on the stomach with one arm and leg in the running position and the other arm resting on the side for stomach sleepers. If you’re habituated to sleep in this position, try to keep your legs and hips straight. Also, keep a pillow on your forehead so your face is facing downwards. This modification will make the sleeping experience for your back and neck better. You may feel uncomfortable sleeping like this at first, but it will keep you asleep and relaxed in the long term.

The Skydiver

The skydiver position is for people who sleep on their stomachs with one leg pulled up and arms around their head. To make it a better sleeping experience in this position, keep a pillow under your pelvis and legs straight as much as possible. This sleeping position is not good, but the modifications mentioned above will, at least, put your spinal cord in a more neutral position. Also, the improvements will help you not to twist muscles during sleep.

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What are the Effects of Sleeping on the Stomach?

There is no other way to tell you this but sleeping on your stomach is not the best sleeping position. It causes more harm than helps. Thus, sleeping on the stomach has more cons than pros. Following is the list of stomach sleeping pros and cons.

Pros of stomach sleeping

  • Sleeping on your stomach can help in the reduction of sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can help with a snoring problem.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can help against acid reflux.

Cons of stomach sleeping

  • Sleeping on your stomach can provoke neck problems.
  • Sleeping on your stomach will put extra strain on your neck.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can give wrinkles to your body.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can make your body stuff.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can develop numbness in your body.

The prone sleeping position can strain your neck and spine, and if you turn and toss in your bed, it can cause worse neck and shoulder pain. Sleeping on your stomach also causes extra pressure on joints and muscles. However, you should prefer to sleep on your stomach if you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea. If you’re wanting to know how to sleep with acid reflux, this also might be the position for you.

How to Stop Sleeping on Your Stomach?

It may seem obstinate to get rid of old habits, and sleeping positions can be one of the hardest to get over. However, below are some tried and tested methods that can help to change your sleeping position.

Change position when possible

Start trying to sleep on your back or side. However, you may shift on your stomach in sleep, which is understandable. Thus, every time you wake up and realize that you are sleeping on your stomach, change it again to the side or back. This habit of flipping can help you a lot and put the new sleeping position in your conscience. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but soon you will get used to it.

Body pillow

Most stomach sleepers like to keep their whole body on the mattress and think it comforts them. However, that’s not the case and can cause spine and neck pain. With the help of a body pillow, you can transition from stomach to side sleeping position.

Memory foam pillow

To practice sleeping on your back, use a pillow made of memory foam. This pillow will maintain the natural curves of your neck and not cause you discomfort. A memory foam pillow also provides support to the posture of your whole body while sleeping. Make sure you know how often to replace pillows so that they retain their comfort and support as well.

Changing your sleeping position is not easy and will take some time. However, your body will fall into it naturally with regular practice and learn to sleep in the new sleeping position.

Mattress for Stomach Sleepers at Mancini’s Sleepworld 

Wondering how to choose the best mattress for a stomach sleeper? Should you buy a twin mattress and box spring set or queen bed mattress? First of all, it is not a recommended sleeping position, so try to avoid it as much as possible. When you sleep on your stomach on a soft mattress, it will bend your neck downwards, and using a pillow will cause even more harm. Thus, please choose a firm or extra firm mattress. At least go for a medium-firm mattress if you sleep regularly on your stomach.

Every person has different preferences that work with different types of mattresses, so call and book an appointment with a select Mancini’s Sleepworld SleepMatch location or buy mattresses online. SleepMatch is a new technology that measures thousands of parameters to help you find the best mattress partner for a comfortable sleep. It uses science to provide a color-coded match of perfect mattresses suiting your body type, including blue, red, green, and gold. With 34 stores in Northern California, you’re bound to find a Mancini’s Sleepworld store near you.


  1. "Stomach Sleeping: Is It Really That Bad?", Accessed 10 May 2023.
  2. "The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Stomach." Sleep Advisor, Accessed 10 May 2023.

September 03, 2021