It’s amusing how one can go literally years without getting sick or injured, then all of the sudden your body decides to give you hell.
That was me this entire month of August. And now that I think of it, amused might be the wrong word choice.
From terrible back strains, multiple doctor visits, a minor health scare, and a cold with a cough so violent you have to run to the bathroom just so your coworkers don’t give you weird looks, It’s been a rough month.
I don’t mean to complain, I know others have it MUCH worse. Despite all the stress and discomfort, I’m actually really grateful because now more than ever I’m grateful for my health and nutrition knowledge. #commininclutch
I won’t bore you with the gross details of all my health woes this month, but I do want to share my back pain story only because I think it could help someone.
So grab some popcorn (air popped of course) and read on!
My Experience Floor Sleeping +Benefits of Floor Sleeping
Back Pain: It Really Does SUCK
I just turned 25 this summer. I’m active, I do yoga every week, and like to think I eat a pretty healthy diet. So when I noticed the middle of my back getting tighter, stiffer, and just plain angry… I was confused.
I still don’t really know exactly what made my back so angry, but I highly suspect it was my horrid mattress at the time.
My hubby and I had been sleeping on it for just about a month when I realized I didn’t feel rested when I woke up and it was incredibly uncomfortable. I mean when a mattress starts to have the taco effect, you KNOW it’s not a good mattress.
I also noticed my back starting to feel tight as time went on. Finally, when I was too uncomfortable to sit at work or stand (my preferred working position) I decided I had enough of that crummy mattress.
Looking For Solutions
My first thought for a solution was buying a new mattress. But then I remembered floor sleeping.
I had heard about floor sleeping in the past, and one of my best friends had been sleeping on the floor for quite some time and loved it. She even made a video about it!
I did some research, including asking my friends advice and input on it, and decided that I would give floor sleeping a try. I hoped it would help my back and that both my hubby and I would sleep better.
Side note: Shout out to my amazing husband who agreed to sleep on the floor and didn’t even think it was that weird. I married
a good the best one.
So about four weeks ago we threw some thick blankets and comforters on the floor and called it our new bed. We figured we would give it a try and see how we liked it, and if it didn’t work out we’d invest in a new mattress.
We Tried Floor Sleeping
The first few nights of floor sleeping went pretty well, although since I’m a side sleeper I had to adjust my padding a few times to get it comfortable. Once I got that just right, I slept about 100% better compared to my crappy mattress.
I noticed immediately I didn’t wake up if my hubby tossed and turned in his sleep (which he does a lot but I love him anyway 😉 ).
Within a few days, I noticed my back felt much better. It continued to unwind from its angry knot each night. Three weeks later my back problem seemed to be completely gone!
Needless to say, I’m a fan of sleeping on the floor and I think it’s safe to say my hubby and I will be doing it for a while!*
*Update: We ended up getting a mattress as a gift and it’s pretty firm and comfortable. But part of me misses sleeping on the floor.
Potential Benefits of Floor Sleeping
I had a great experience with floor sleeping. If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep and a happy back, you should give it a try too! Here are some other benefits I came across in my research of floor sleeping in case you need some more convincing or want to try it out.
Better Spine Health
One of the potential benefits of floor sleeping is to help your spine and alignment. Floor sleeping can be super beneficial for a healthy spine. When your spine is aligned correctly, you’ll have better posture and total body alignment.
This may not sound like a big deal and something only “old” people need to worry about. Not true! NOW is the time to pay attention to your posture and body alignment, not when you’re 75 and have a hunched back and two hip replacements.
Proper body alignment helps you move correctly and protect against injury. Whether you’re ripping 300 pounds off the floor in the weight room, or carrying a bag of groceries, how you move is critical.
Proper body alignment also helps your internal systems work optimally. Standing up straight with good posture helps you breathe deeper, and can even benefit your digestive, nervous, and immune systems.
Less Back Pain
With a healthier, happier spine and proper body alignment, your lower back is going to feel lots better.
I’ve experienced this first-hand! Most of us have tight lower backs due to tight hamstrings, bad posture, and weak cores. Many of us (myself included) walk around with our hips pushed forward with cause an exaggerated arch in the lower back.
When you sleep, you want your body, and especially your back, to be supported. If the surface you sleep on is too soft, you’ll get a hammocking effect. Your lower back then becomes the center of all that gravity pushing your weight down. NOT GOOD.
A harder surface like the floor provides a much more stable and supported way of sleeping. No “hammocking” or extra pressure on your back.
Before I suggested floor sleeping, Jonny and I were thinking of purchasing a fancy mattress. Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of people who do find great mattresses (which we eventually did), but a thousand bucks is a lot of money, money at the time I wanted to save.
We ended up building a solid wood platform bed (nothin fancy but we love it!) purchased a 4-inch queen-size piece of memory foam for a cushion. Both of these purchases together still cost less than a brand new mattress and for several months this is what we slept on and loved it!
Wrapping it Up
I’m not saying sleeping on the floor is going to solve all your problems and it may not be for you, but it did help my back feel better and for Jonny and I, it worked out well.
Like everything health and fitness, sometimes you just need to try it out and see if it’s a good option for you. If you have specific questions or problems ask a spine specialist or chiropractor. They’ll help you figure out what’s best for you!