Archive for May, 2012

5 serious drawbacks of sleeping on your tummy you might not realize if you’re lucky enough to sleep on your back

Monday, May 7th, 2012

This article is little writing exercise in the style of articles. No material was copied from that page, i just tried to impersonate that style of writing for practicing purposes.

When you’re young, you can probably sleep anywhere, even with your head down a toilet. But when you’re getting slightly older, you might find the bending-over-the-toilet-and-taking-a-nap position suddenly and inexplicably a bit uncomfortable and you might look for a more appropriate sleeping positions.
My sleeping position was on my tummy. Numbers diverge but i seem to belong to a group as small/large as 13% of the population [1] – even when i was a baby, I could not sleep on my back, it had to be on my tummy. Yes, I’ve got pictures to proof it but I won’t show them here :-p

At first glance, this preference doesn’t seem to make a big difference. But what do those backies know? Not a lot about us poor tummies, I can tell you… let’s have a look at all the body parts that do not play nicely with sleeping on your tummy. Of course, there are also people sleeping on their sides but for the sake of simplicity I can’t include them here as well.

1) Where your feet point

If you’re not a ballerina or a clown you or your feet will have to get creative. Try lying on your tummy, keeping your legs straight with your feet as an extension to your legs. Can you feel the stretching? So what’s the alternative? Spread out your feet. Feels good for the moment but if you do that every night for six hours you will start walking around like a hillbilly. What I had to do at home is to raise the mattress a couple of centimeter so I could let my feet dangle over the edge of the bed. Don’t get me started on winter when it’s too cold to let your feet out from under the blanket…

2) What concerns your feet also applies to your neck

Raising the mattress certainly helped my feet but unless you own one of those fancy massage tables where you can stick your head through a hole, then your neck is still in twisted trouble. Again, try it out for yourself: Lay on a bed on your tummy with your head towards the left. Feels comfortable, right? Now wait 15 minutes. Still comfortable? Then you’re lucky. Now try to lay still like that for another four or five hours… i usually use the cushion to raise the head somewhat but this in turn makes your body twist slightly. I still haven’t found a valid alternative for this problem.

3) Forced weight check

Have you ever tried sleeping on a barrel? Imagine this barrel is your tummy and can’t be removed. Now the only position available to you is to lay on your back – in which position you can’t sleep. Aat least, that’s how it is for me. I can lay awake for hours on my back, in fact if I want to keep myself from falling asleep, that’s what I have to do.
So, I can’t let myself become too fat.

4) Your lower jaw and grinding your teeth during the night

Nightly teeth grinding seems a not-so-rare issue, mostly caused by mental grieve or anguish and apparently anyone can have occasional issues. But if you sleep on your tummy, you are basically lying on your face as we elaborated above.
What happens then is that your lower jaw will be pushed back every night for years and years until you end up with an overbite. As if it wasn’t terrible enough that your sleeping position is apparently trying to make you British, you will at the same time grind your teeth to a perfect flatline. You think I’m kidding? I wish I was but my dentist was actually questioning me about this and I don’t think I’m his type.

5) The lower back

Occasionally I wake up with lower back pain. Occasionally is still too often when I get this pain only during sleep. Sleep is supposed to be gentle and refreshing like a breeze on summer day or a fawn chewing on your nipple. Anyway, moving on from that disturbing image – sleep is not supposed the bringer of pain and misery. But unfortunately, all of the items listed above (the neck, the feet, the jaw issue) make you a twisted man (Twisted, get it? Haha…) which of course will do your spine no good. I suppose ‘backies’ are off much better in this respect as long as they have an appropriate mattress and apart from moving sides every two hours or so, I don’t really see an alternative.

I’ve been bitching about sleeping on the tummy for a couple of lines but are we really off that bad? Maybe. Can we help it? Hardly. Hey, at least we don’t look like entombed saints while we’re sleeping but like proper dead people, leftover of a crime scene. Meh… could be worse 🙂

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