Have you ever slept on the floor, only with a thin sheet or carpet under you, without the luxury of your expensive spring bed or mattress? You will probably think that unless necessary, like during camping trips or when you have to stay over at a friend’s house, sleeping on the floor is something you’re not interested in. The hard surface will probably cause discomfort for you since you’re used to sleeping on thesoft bed. But what if sleeping on the floor can actually improve your overall well-being? What if it has many health benefits that you haven’t previously heard before?
In fact, sleeping on a lavishmattressis a recent trend. Our species used to sleep directly on the ground. Today, the modernity has brought as an over-cushioned life. We sit on chairs at work, in sofas at home, and on thick mattresses when we sleep. But those cushions may be the reason behind some of our health problems. The super pricey mattresses turn out to be movement restrictors that lock our bodies into one position, prohibiting us from the natural tossing and turning overnight.
Perhaps, we should all just go back to sleeping directly on the floor, just like our ancestors do. This is not only a call to romanticize the past.In fact, sleeping on the floor brings a lot of benefits for our health.
1. Soothes Back Pain
Back pain, especially the type of pain in the lower back area, is a pretty common occurrence. Most of the times, this pain is not a symptom of a serious disease, yet it’s still very disturbing and uncomfortable. It usually disappears on its own in a few weeks or months. You can use hot or cold compression and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen to provide temporary relief when your back starts aching.
However, if the pain doesn’t go away in months, you should start paying more attention. Your chronic back pain can be a result of your unhealthy lifestyle choices. A lack of exercise and a sedentary life are what make your back pain worse. But most of the time, your bad posture, such as sitting on a chair in front of a computer all day long or doing hard and repetitive manual labor is what causes your back pain. Sleeping in the wrong position makes it worse. Unfortunately, sleeping on a bed almost always results in the wrong positions.
Sleeping is the time when your body is given chance to relax in its natural position and heal. Soft surfaces, like your bed or mattress, make it difficult for your spine to straighten up. As a result, you get chronic back pain. According to researchers, changing your mattress with a firmer surface, like the floor, may heal your lower back pain.
2. Allows Your Body to Naturally Stretch
As previously mentioned, sleeping should be the time when your body can stretch and relax in its natural resting position. Unfortunately, your mattress makes this hard to achieve. Soft sleeping surfaces mess with human body’s natural alignment. When you sleep on your soft bed, your hips will sink in and your lower back will collapse because the mattress doesn’t provide firm support on the back.
This is much like when you’re sitting on a chair. Your bottom will sink in. As a result, your upper body will become hunched and tight. The weight of your body will continue to be distributed unevenly. Your bottom and lower back will have to handle most of the pressure which makes it prone to hip and back pain.
In addition, your body is not allowed to stretch naturally during your sleep. There will always be thepressure that disrupts the essence of having a good sleep. The purpose of sleep as a recovery mechanism won’t be achieved.
3. Promotes Deeper Breathing
When your lower body sinks in the mattress and your upper body becomes tight, thecapacity of your lungs will interfere. Your tight lungs cannot handle much oxygen, so your breathing becomes shallower and shorter. Shallow breathing results in shorter oxygen intake during sleep. When your body is deprived of sufficient oxygen due to improper deep breathing during sleep, your body will be stressed out. Stressing your body out during sleep is reallybad because it should be the time where it’s most relaxed.
Meanwhile, your conscious self-doesn’t process this as a threat because a soft mattress provides a comfortable feeling. This comfort happens because your body is allowed to stay in ‘front-loaded’ or tight positions just like what it has experienced during the day. Whereas, your body should actually be lengthening and straightening its skeletal system when you’re asleep.
Sleeping on the floor will allow your body to align and straighten its bones. At first, it will feel uncomfortable because of the hard contact and the force to strengthen its skeletal system, just like stretching exercises. However, you will later experience the benefits when you feel that your breathing becomes deeper and more oxygen is pumped into your system.
4. Realigns Your Hips and Shoulders
Sleeping on the floor, especially on a straight and wooden floor, is able to put your hips and shoulder back to its natural alignment. It realigns those parts to its more symmetrical, natural positions. Awkward mattress sleeping provokes awkward skeletal alignment and may result in sore shoulders, sore hips, and pinched nerves. This is because awkward sleeping positions disrupt muscular balance and cause poor posture. The misaligned bones can pinch and trap the nerves. When your shoulder bones misaligned and nerves pinched, you will experience chronic pain not only in the shoulder area, but also in the neck, upper back, and even head.
To avoid this, you need to sleep on a hard surface. By hard surface, it doesn’t mean a firm or hard mattress, but the floor. Lying on your back on the floor will prevent hips and shoulder misalignment.
5. Promotes Better Growth Hormone Circulation
During sleep, your growth hormones are released. The hormones are generated in the pituitary gland and then circulated throughout your body. The growth hormones serve important roles, including lengthening and thickening the structure of your bones. Sleeping on a soft surface will impede this distribution as the bones are not in its proper alignment.
On the contrary, sleeping on the floor promotes correct structure and helps the unrestricted circulation of the growth hormone throughout your body. The hard surface gives your body not too much resistance for healthy circulation, proper breathing, and the correct alignment.
6. Leads to More Tranquility
Sleeping on the floor will lead you to a deeper, more tranquil sleep. This is because when you sleep on a hard surface, you can breathe without restraint and stretch your body without applying uneven pressure to certain parts. You will have a sense of repose. Your sleep will be deeper. Your physical and mental calmness will be heightened and you the rest you have will be more effective in recovering your cells. In the morning, you will wake up fresher and more alert.
7. Preserves Healthy Spine
The spine is an important part of the body that supports you and hold your central nervous system. The spine or backbone is composed of 33 bones, all interlocking and supported by many muscles and ligaments. The spine is directly related to the brain, making it an important organ for your movement, support, and spinal cord protection. Preserving the health of your spine should be your utmost priority.
Sleeping on a hard surface maintains spine health by enforcing a good posture. When you succeed at maintaining a good posture during your sleep, then you are on the right path for a healthy and functioning spine. The chance of suffering from ailments due to wrong backbone position is greatly reduced.
8. It is Simpler
Sleeping on the floor is definitely simpler than sleeping on mattresses. The mattress industry has offered us a wide range of choices, all in the name of delivering a better sleep. However, all of those still fail to provide what we actually need during our nightly sleep.
On the contrary, sleeping without mattresses is very simple. You just have to put your body there, on the hard floor, and accept it as the surface that will treat your body right. You don’t have to pick from the range of elaborate and fancy beds. You don’t have to make the bed every morning when you wake up either. Besides, you can sleep anywhere you like. It’s just simple.
9. It is Cheaper
Sleeping without a pillow is also cheaper. Buying mattresses is an expensive business. While there are always cheaper alternatives to mattresses, most of those provide very little support to our bone structure. There are different types of mattresses in the market, including airbed,gel mattress, memory foam mattress, hybrid mattress, innerspring mattress, and many others. The more complicated technology used to design the mattress, the more expensive the price is.
The different fillings and technology are designed as an attempt of the manufacturers to deliver the most comfortable and healthy sleeping mattress. But the truth is, we don’t need it. Sleeping on the floor is what our body needs to get to its natural alignment and it’s not even cheaper, but free. For once, being healthy doesn’t require any money.
10. It is More Hygienic
There is probably dirt on everybody’s floor, but there is also dirt, dust, and bacteria in everybody’s bed. Fortunately, cleaning the floor is easier. You just have to sweep and mop it when necessary. You can do it as often as you need because you only need to clean up your sleeping surface. There are also many floor cleaning products that can eradicate bacteria but maintain safety for adults and children to sleep on. You can easily guarantee the hygiene of your sleeping surface.
On the contrary, ensuring your bed stays clean all the time is difficult. Besides washing the sheet, you also need to find a way to clean your mattress. These are not things that you can do often. Even hotel rooms don’t always change the sheet of each bed in the morning, let alone the mattress. Bad hygiene can give you various skin problems because of the allergy or bacteria. Thus, it’s better to give up the bed and choose the floor.
11. Makes Yourself More Adaptable
When you are used to sleeping on the floor, you will be able to sleep anywhere. Your adaptability when it comes to thesleeping area will improve. You don’t need to worry about sleep difficulties during camping or finding a space in the sofa during sleepovers, you can just take the floor and rest peacefully. When you are on a travel, you don’t need to worry about getting good hotels with comfortable beds because you don’t need them. The sad truth about our sleeping habit is that we are very dependent on our beds despite the fact that we can’t carry them around. Sleeping on the floor will improve your adaptability.
12. Gives Less Restriction on Movement
When you sleep on the floor, your movement surface is not limited to the size of your bed. Because of this, you can move freely in your sleep without having to worry about falling off the bed. Your body doesn’t need to follow the shape of your mattress either. Thus, your sleeping positions will be less restricted.
13. Reduces The Risks of Suffocating
Because a mattress doesn’t allow you to rest on your natural alignment, it gives resistance to your breathing and circulation. Shallow breathing means a higher chance of breathing difficulties and even suffocation. Sleep suffocation is a serious problem because it makes your body deprived of oxygen. Your muscles will become strained throughout the night and you can even wake up with a severe headache because of the lack of oxygen.
14. Is Worry-Free
When you sleep on the floor, there is nothing to worry about. You will never tear the bed sheet or stain the bed cover. When you’re on your period, you don’t have to worry about blood stain on aclean sheet and the difficulty to clean it. When aleak happens, you can just easily clean the floor in the morning and the stain will disappear quickly. All those worries are things of the post. Now, you can let go and just enjoy your sleep. You will feel more freedom and it will lead to a significantly better sleep.
15. Feels More Natural
Sleeping on the ground is what human beings do as a species since the first day of our lives. Our ancestors were not familiar with beds, yet, they managed to sustain. In fact, until today, a large population of human in different parts of the world still sleep on the ground. Today, as a part of a modern society, we have abandoned this long tradition and opted for the luxury and softness of mattresses. These sleeping surfaces are unnatural. Just like many unnatural things in life, the good feeling that we initially feel will lead to chronic health problems.
Sleeping on the floor will help us reconnect with nature amidst the modernity. When we are connected to nature, we will be more spiritually fulfilled and feel overall happier.