We have bad news for stomach sleepers: sleeping on your stomach isn’t great for you. But, you argue, sleeping on my stomach helps reduce my snoring. It’s the only position I can fall asleep in! We totally get your outrage — we’re stomach sleepers, too. But according to several scientific sources, sleeping on your stomach can lead to a long list of physical health issues. Ugh.

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Perhaps some of you out there have already begun to feel the negative impact of stomach sleeping — the most common being back pain.

 

According to the Mayo Clinic, sleeping on your front can put stress on your lower back and neck due to the curvature of your spine and the weight of your abdomen. You can partially remedy this by placing a pillow under your hips and removing your pillow from under your head to even out your spine placement.

But if the pillow switch-a-roo doesn’t do the trick, SleepAdvisor.org notes that continuing to sleep on your stomach can ultimately lead to numbness and tingling if your spine remains bent out of shape.

 

Furthermore, sleeping on your stomach can also lead to future head and neck issues. Constantly sleeping with your head to one side can shift your neck and head alignment, which can cause serious pain issues over time.

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One such pain issue is a herniated disk, which happens when “the spinal vertebrae shift enough to cause a rupture of the gelatinous disk inside, causing the gel to leak out and irritate the nerves,” SleepAdvisor.org explains.

 

You’ll need to seek professional treatment if you end up with this diagnosis.

And as one would probably guess, stomach sleeping is not recommended for expecting mothers. Back pain and discomfort aside (neither are good for mother nor baby), a fetus needs room to grow. Being squished between mom and mattress is not an ideal situation.

A 2012 study found that disordered breathing caused by sleep position increases the risk for stillbirths. The study also found that mothers who sleep on their left side are less likely to experience late stillbirth.

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If you just can’t quit stomach sleeping, then there are a few things you can do to better your situation.

 

As mentioned, adjust your pillow placement or remove your pillow altogether. You can also purchase pillows specifically designed for sleeping on your stomach — they’re generally flatter in design to help align your spine. Bustle also suggests partaking in a few morning stretches to help your spine out.

Do what you need to do to get some shut-eye.

 

But if you start feeling uncomfortable during your day-to-day, you might want to switch up your sleep position before heading to a chiropractor.

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