3 Problems Caused By Sleeping On Your Stomach

Many people do not have a clear answer to the question, “is it bad to sleep on your stomach?” The answer, in a nutshell, is a yes. Sleeping on your stomach can be heavenly but can cause unnecessary strain on your muscles. In this article, Dr Kausthub Desikachar shares his wisdom on 3 problems caused by sleeping on your stomach. 

Many people comfortably sleep on their stomachs, but it is harmful. Doctors emphasise that altering the sleeping position is crucial, as sleeping on your stomach can induce bad neck, back, hip and shoulder pain. At times with a throbbing headache too.

Dr Kausthub Desikachar adds to this by saying that healthy adults who are used to sleeping in this position may not be disturbed, but it is harmful to health in the long run. However, for those already experiencing chronic lower back pain or spondylitis, it will indeed trigger distress. 

Whether you’ve landed here to find the most healthy and helpful sleeping position or just watching out for tips for other fellow stomach-sleepers, you’re in the right place. Let’s discuss in detail exactly why sleeping on your stomach is bad. 

3 Problems Caused By Sleeping On Your Stomach

1.Loads your Spine With Extra Pressure

Sleeping on your stomach allows gravity to pull the belly down by loading extra pressure on your spine. As you sleep for long hours, your lower back continues to arch, causing severe pain and discomfort for days. It is crucial to shield your spine, mainly while you sleep, to protect your spine from feeling a numb and tingling sensation. 

Your spine is the residence of your nervous system, and a load of extra pressure on the spine could lead to distress throughout your body. 

2.Sprain-like Neck Pain

Sleeping on your stomach challenges you to keep turning your head in either direction to breathe in properly, giving your neck regular rotations throughout the night. This unnatural position tends to produce pain in your neck. Also, the blood flow to your head and neck is dwindled in this position, leaving you with a head and neck ache that may get evident over time and create trouble to perform your day-to-day activities. 

3.Upset Belly

Sleeping on the stomach is associated with causing an upset gut because it can worsen stomach problems like indigestion, gas and acid reflux. Stomach sleeping can also provoke stomach discomfort if you’ve eaten a large meal before getting to sleep.

Other Problems Faced By Sleeping On Your Stomach

  1. Wrinkles
  2. Sagging face skin
  3. Disturbed sleep
  4. Deficient breathing 
  5. Threatening to pregnant women


Dr Kausthub Desikachar says if you’re a stomach sleeper, you should start to make changes to your sleeping position to evade persistent back and neck discomforts. Sleeping on your left side or on your back are the best sleeping positions and is acknowledged as the healthiest and safest. 

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Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr Kausthub Desikachar

Dr. Kausthub Desikachar is the successor and current lineage holder of the classical Viniyoga tradition of T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar. He is an acclaimed yoga teacher, yoga therapist, healer and spiritual adviser. He is also an avid photographer, inspirational writer and poet.

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