Why do we sleep on mattresses? Of course, they are comfortable and we perceive it as a luxury, so sleeping elsewhere would be awkward.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who live in the forests or the ones coming from more primitive cultures have fewer musculoskeletal issues than the people living in cities, ‘the civilized class.’
And they don’t have any mattresses to sleep on.
Physiotherapist Michael Tetley published a paper in The BMJ, which documented the findings of his sleep posture research.
According to him “forest dwellers and nomads” actually struggle with fewer bodily injuries than “civilized” people. He also found that pillows were basically just unnecessary for quality sleep. We all will be up for debate on this one though.
Mindbodygreen writer Nathan Weibe carried an experiment on sleeping on the floor for five weeks.
And what he learned may be useful for the ‘civilised’ people currently snoozing in their beds.
One of the most important findings of his study is that sleeping on the floor can reduce stiffness in the body and is useful and better for our bodies than sleeping on beds.
Sleeping on the floor reduces stiffness
This is quite the opposite of what all of us actually experience when we sleep on the floor or a hard substance, right?
But how often and regularly have we slept on the floor or any hard substance to conclusively come to this point?
Generally, initially a person will, in fact, feel stiffness in sleeping on the ground and that can be quite uncomfortable. But that is because our bodies have been accustomed to sleeping on the beds which are soft and give our backs lunches and arcs.
Sleeping on mattresses may also weaken your muscles because they lessen the muscle movement.
However, sleeping on the floor and if regularly done may give you better results and will reduce body stiffness when you wake up in the morning.
Sleeping on the floor corrects the ill bone alignment
The kind of mattresses we use especially the soft ones lead to misaligned spine and poor posture with minimal or no support to the back.
Sleeping on the floor helps in lessening the back pain. Sleeping flat on back on a concrete surface reduces lower back pain. To provide support to the spine one should lie down on the back.
According to Tetley’s paper in BMJ,
When the head is down, the vertebrae are stretched between two anchors and every time the ribs move through breathing the tension is increased, the vertebrae realign themselves, and the movement keeps the joints lubricated.
Correct posture circulates growth hormone
The right posture allows the body to circulate sleep growth hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland.
The growth hormone helps in developing the bones. Sleeping on a firm surface allows the alignment of the spine and causes the growth hormone to get distributed in the body.
Sleeping on a hard surface is perfect for our bodies since it can correct our posture and maintain healthy circulation of the growth hormone whilst reducing body stiffness.
How to accustom your body to sleeping on the floor?
To get your body used to sleeping on the floor, which will mind you be very difficult in the initial few days one must ensure that you don’t just give up on it.
For starters, a yoga mat or a thin mattress can be used to lie down on if it is too uncomfortable for you.
After getting used to the same, one can shift to sleeping on the ground, however always keep a thin sheet between your body and the floor to stay away from allergies and health problems.
Always lie on the back rather than the stomach to take most benefits from your sleeping on the ground.
Once you are habituated to this healthy habit you would never want to return to the ‘expensive and soft’ beds.
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