There is a wide range of pillows available in the market today catering to various types of sleepers. One such pillow is for stomach sleepers. In this article, you’ll learn more about stomach sleepers and the signs when you need to get a stomach sleeper pillow.
Stomach sleepers may suffer from neck, jaw, and back problems in the long run. They may experience neck stiffness and pain when they wake up each day. That’s why it’s important to choose the right pillow if you’re a stomach sleeper.
You might need a stomach sleeper pillow.
What Is A Stomach Sleeper Pillow?
A stomach sleeper pillow refers to one that helps promote the comfort and health of people who sleep on their stomachs. Most stomach sleeper pillows are thin, flat pillows. They are used to ensure the head isn’t too high. Some people use cut-out pillows to enable them to sleep with their face down.
Good-To-Know Things About Stomach Sleepers
There have been several stories that explain the possible reasons why people have different preferences for sleep positions.
According to a study about sleep positions and night-time body movements, about 50% of people sleep on their side, 41% on their back, and 9% on their front or stomach. Hence, stomach sleepers are less common than side and back sleepers.
Many people avoid the front or stomach position because the rib cage’s respiratory movements need more energy as it elevates the body against gravity. Infants who sleep with on-the-front position shows they have a higher heart rate as compared to those who sleep using the on-the-back position.
Males in a waking state reportedly have increased heart rate and sympathetic nervous activity on the front or stomach sleeping position with reduced stroke volume.
Major Problems Of Stomach Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your front or stomach might relieve sleep apnea, snoring, and other sinus issues. However, this sleep position is not good for spine health since the neck is turned to one side for hours.
Stomach sleeping or front sleeping position can lead to discomfort and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. Elevating the head and neck too much causes these problems. Hence, stomach sleepers prefer thinner pillows.
Signs You Need To Get A Stomach Sleeper Pillow
Below are the signs you need to buy a stomach sleeper pillow to avoid the major problems associated with the front or stomach sleeping position.
1. You Observe A Recent Change In Sleep Position
If you find yourself sleeping on your front or stomach more often these past few days or weeks, then you should consider buying a high-quality stomach sleeper pillow. In this way, you can support your head, neck, and shoulders properly.
2. Waking Up With Neck Stiffness
If you wake up in the morning on your stomach or front and experience neck stiffness, then it’s time to consider getting a stomach sleeper pillow. Your head might be too high for the pillow you’re currently using, causing strain on your neck that usually leads to stiffness and neck pain.
A sleeper pillow is flat and thin which still provides head support from the bed, but not elevating the head excessively.
3. Head And Shoulder Pains
Aside from neck pains, stomach sleepers may also suffer from anxiety, discomfort, and pain in their head and shoulders. If you’re a stomach sleeper who always feel pain in your head or shoulder these past few days, consider changing your pillow, and buy a stomach sleeper pillow, designed for the front sleeping position. In this way, you could stop anxiety and discomfort associated with stomach sleeping.
4. Lower Back And Pelvic Discomfort
Aside from the head, neck, and shoulder areas, stomach sleepers may also experience discomfort and pain in their lower back and pelvis due to spine misalignment. If this is the case, they would also need a high-quality body pillow.
Stomach sleepers can gain benefits from sleeping on a good body pillow that they can place under the lower back and pelvis. Check more info about the best body pillow for stomach sleepers below.
5. You Can’t Breathe Properly
Stomach sleepers who can’t breathe properly during sleep might need a wedge pillow. This pillow has a special design to make you feel comfortable and cozy while allowing you to breathe freely even when sleeping on your tummy.
6. You Have A Medical Condition
If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as a respiratory problem, you might need to get a new stomach sleeper pillow that can accommodate your medical needs. Learn more about choosing the best CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and wedge pillows for stomach sleepers with medical issues below.
7. You’re Pregnant
Sleeping on your front or stomach is okay in early pregnancy (16 to 18 weeks). However, you need to turn over sooner or later. Once your bump shows, you’ll find that sleeping on your stomach gets pretty uncomfortable.
Changing your sleep position can be challenging. As your stomach expands, stomach sleeping position is no longer advisable because it becomes more uncomfortable. You might need help to adjust to side-sleeping.
One way to adjust to side sleeping is placing pillows under your belly and between your knees. By doing so, you feel more comfortable when sleeping at night. If you still feel it difficult to switch to the side when you sleep, prop into an incline position using pillows, because sleeping on the back at a 45-degree angle can prevent compression.
Don’t worry too much if you are rolling over or lying on your stomach or back in mid-sleep when you’re pregnant, because your body will alert you if your baby is in real danger. You would experience difficulty breathing or feel nauseated.
Nevertheless, if you always wake up on your stomach or back, you can request your partner to wake you up to change position, and switch to your left side. Some doctors recommend pregnant women to sleep on their left side. The liver is on the abdomen’s right side and lying on the left side keeps the uterus off this large organ.
If you are pregnant and a stomach sleeper, you want to ensure that you don’t stress your baby with your sleeping position. Hence, you need to buy the right pregnancy pillow for stomach sleepers. Check more details about choosing the best pillows for pregnant stomach sleepers below.
8. Sleep Problems
Of course, you likely need a new stomach sleeper pillow if you suffer from sleep issues recently. You will feel uncomfortable if your old pillow can no longer support your sleep needs, leading to difficulty falling asleep. Hence, you should find and buy a new stomach sleeper pillow to get back into your normal and sound night-time sleep routine.
Guide To Choosing The Best Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
You need to choose the right stomach sleeper pillow so you could avoid health problems. Pick one that’s flat and dense enough to promote comfortable stomach sleeping.
Below are some of the types of pillows recommended for stomach sleepers and a guide on how to choose one for you.
- Best CPAP Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
Doctors may recommend patients with medical conditions to use a continuous positive airway pressure machine or CPAP machine.
A CPAP machine pumps air through a tube and a mask worn over the nose and mouth while the patient is asleep. Because stomach sleeping can be difficult for patients on a CPAP machine, choosing the right CPAP pillow with a concave center is highly recommended. This type of pillow also has a crescent-shaped bottom for shoulder support. This is useful for when you turn your head to the side.
The indentations on the side of a CPAP pillow are meant to accommodate the mask and hose of a CPAP machine.
- Best Body Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
As mentioned, you can benefit from using a body pillow if you are a stomach sleeper. Choose one that contains certified polyurethane foam. It should be with a core made of shredded memory foam. In addition, selecting a pillow with a gel-infused memory foam wicks heat away, which is a good pillow for hot sleepers.
Find a body pillow whose fill you can adjust, like when you want to make it thinner on the neck area and thicker in the body or middle part. In this way, your pillow can promote good and neutral spinal alignment.
- Best Wedge Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
Are you looking for one of the best wedge pillows? The foam wedge pillow for stomach sleepers stays in the same position with a U-shaped opening and a gentle slope for the face to keep the neck aligned with the spine.
Wedge pillows work well for some sleepers who have used them post-eye-surgery. In addition, wedge pillows also promote comfort during back massages.
But you need to choose the right wedge pillow to avoid issues. Many wedge pillows are made from polyurethane that contain chemicals and release gas you might want to avoid. Make sure to use a wedge pillow with a removable and washable cover for easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Best Pregnancy Pillows For Stomach Sleepers
You need a pregnancy pillow if you’re pregnant to reduce front-position-sleeping pressure to your tummy. You can find an inflatable pregnancy pillow with adjustable cut-out areas for the chest and stomach. In this way, you can sleep on the adjustable headrest directly, or deflate it so you can use the pillow part instead.
Other Pillow Considerations For Stomach Sleepers
- Choose a pillow infused with charcoal to help eliminate odors.
- Choose an adjustable pillow with removable layers. This is so you can adjust the height to find the perfect head elevation for you.
- Consider buying a pillow with a cool mesh design on one side to promote proper air flow, and with the other side having a soft, hypoallergenic fill.
- It’s also important to choose a hypoallergenic pillow to avoid allergy, skin irritation, and respiratory issues. For instance, some people are allergic to latex. If you have a similar problem, then you need to make sure you choose a pillow made from a different material.
- It’s a good idea to buy pillows that you can machine wash and dry for easier maintenance.
- You may receive vacuum-packed and compressed new pillows. After unpacking, you need to fluff these pillows.
Other Tips For Stomach Sleepers
Here are some tips for stomach sleepers:
- Take Natural Sleep Aid Supplement
If you’re a stomach sleeper who has problems falling asleep, it would help taking natural sleep aid to help you get well-rested and feel more rejuvenated the next day.
- Eat Nutritious Foods
This advice is often underestimated. You need to make sure that you eat healthy foods to avoid sleep issues. Too much caffeine, sugar, and carbohydrates a few hours before bed time can disrupt you from getting enough rest and sleep.
Eat a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. Drink milk to promote sleep. In addition, you should avoid spicy foods that can irritate the stomach lining and wake you up late at night.
- Regular Exercise
Like any other sleeper, you need to make sure that you get regular exercise every day to help you sleep better at night. Exercise or physical activity releases happy hormones like endorphin and serotonin. The late effect of moderate exercise is increased melatonin production, which is important in getting a night of restful sleep.
- Minimize Sources Of Stress
Stomach sleepers may feel a degree of discomfort already when sleeping on their front or tummy. So, it’s important to reduce the sources of stress to avoid additional sleep problems. You need to turn off or put your smartphone on silent mode as well as your other gadgets to avoid disruption at night when you’re sleeping.
Now you know the signs that you need to get a stomach sleeper pillow. Sleeping on the front position or stomach can be uncomfortable and painful. However, you can minimize these problems by choosing the right stomach sleeper pillow, and practicing other healthy bedtime routines.