The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Stomach: Is It Bad for You?

Sleeping positions play a crucial role in determining the quality of our sleep and overall health. Among the various positions people adopt, sleeping on the stomach is often met with mixed opinions from health experts. While some argue that it may have negative effects on the spine and other bodily functions, others suggest that it can be a comfortable and viable choice for certain individuals. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach to help you make an informed decision about your preferred sleeping position.

For many, sleeping on their stomach is uncomfortable and makes it nearly impossible to fall asleep. For others, they can’t sleep unless they are on their front. Here are the pros and cons to sleeping on your stomach.


  • Reduced Snoring: One of the potential benefits of sleeping on your stomach is a reduction in snoring. This position may help keep the airways open, preventing the vibrations that cause snoring. For individuals who struggle with snoring, stomach sleeping might offer some relief.
  • Comfort for Acid Reflux: Stomach sleeping can alleviate symptoms of acid reflux for some individuals. Elevating the upper body by sleeping on the stomach may help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus, reducing discomfort.
  • Reduced Sleep Apnea: In some cases, stomach sleeping can be beneficial for individuals with mild sleep apnea. This position may help keep the air passages open, reducing the likelihood of breathing disruptions during sleep.


  • Strain on the Neck and Spine: One of the primary concerns associated with stomach sleeping is the potential strain it can place on the neck and spine. This position may force the head and neck into an unnatural angle, leading to discomfort and potential long-term issues.
  • Increased Risk of Back Pain: Sleeping on the stomach can contribute to lower back pain for some individuals. The arching of the spine in this position may cause strain on the lumbar region, leading to discomfort and stiffness.
  • Potential Nerve Compression: Stomach sleeping can lead to nerve compression, especially in the arms and shoulders. This can result in numbness, tingling, or pain, affecting the overall quality of sleep.
  • Facial Wrinkles: Over time, stomach sleeping may contribute to the development of facial wrinkles. The constant pressure on the face against the pillow can cause creases and lines, potentially accelerating the aging process.

Tips for Stomach Sleepers

If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, there are ways to minimize potential negative effects:

  • Use a Thin Pillow: Opt for a thin pillow or no pillow at all to reduce strain on the neck and spine.
  • Support the Hips: Place a pillow under your pelvis to maintain a more neutral spine position and reduce pressure on the lower back.
  • Stretch Before Bed: Incorporate stretching exercises into your bedtime routine to alleviate muscle tension and reduce the risk of stiffness.

While sleeping on your stomach may offer certain benefits such as reduced snoring and relief from acid reflux, it comes with potential drawbacks like neck and back pain. Individual factors such as personal comfort, existing health conditions, and sleep quality should guide your choice of sleeping position. If you are concerned about potential negative effects, consider consulting with a healthcare professional or trying alternative sleeping positions to find what works best for you.

Mattress type also plays an important role in providing support for different sleep positions. If you have any questions about the right mattress for your preferred sleep position, get in touch with us and we can explain which mattress is right for you.