Is Sleeping On My Stomach Bad For My Back?

Most of us have heard something along the lines of “sleeping on your stomach is bad for your back.”

If you are a tummy sleeper this could be troubling, because oftentimes sleeping on your back is impossible. Well good news… sleeping on your stomach is NOT bad for your back, in fact, I’ll take it a step further and say that more people SHOULD sleep on their stomach. Here’s why…

Many of us spend a massive percentage of our awake hours in a sitting position, really a surprising amount of time if we’re being honest with ourselves. That means for a massive portion of the day we spend time with our hips flexed, knees flexed, and backs flexed/rounded (especially when we start to get tired and our posture goes out the window).

Our bodies do best when we keep it moving and change positions frequently. If we spend the majority of our waking hours in flexion, we need to balance this out because our bodies were not meant to stay in this one position all of the time..

When sleeping on your tummy, you very easily are able to work on spending some time with your hips, knees, and back in extension.

If sleeping on your tummy is not natural for you, no worries! You can still spend some time lying on your stomach before going to sleep (assuming you don’t have a medical condition that prevents this).

Often, when patients first start physical therapy for back pain, we start working on being able to move their body into extension. How do we start? Typically by trying to lie on their stomach.

So if you are a tummy sleeper and it doesn’t cause pain or issues, I say keep it up!

If back pain or joint pain is keeping you from being able to sleep, work, or do the things you need, want, and love to do, Book a No-Charge Discovery Visit with Switchback Direct Physical Therapy!

Disclaimer: This content is for general, informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice.


Dr. Tyler Burke

DPT, Owner and Founder of Switchback Direct PT

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