Zipping yourself into the cozy cocoon of a sleeping bag on a camping trip is one of those seemingly trivial moments that gives you warm fuzzies every time—so why not re-create that experience at home? Say goodbye to your lofty bed frame and box spring and place your mattress on the floor. It's something that designer Kelly Behun has been doing in her own house for years—and not just for looks, although playing with the proportions and viewpoint of your bed does ensure the room looks modern and fresh.
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Think of it this way: If you're drawn to low-slung sofas, you're bound to enjoy your bed closer to the floor, too. On night three, my husband, Jeremy, took a floor shift too. Over the weekend, we made it a slumber party, watching movies on the desktop. I agreed. In retrospect, I see why ditching the bed appealed to us. Our romance began in sleeping bags on cement slabs. Moving to the floor has reconnected us with our younger selves who wandered the world, comfort be damned.
A mattress can conform to your body in similar effect, but you still sometimes end up sinking in and your body can end up a little out of whack. By sleeping on the floor, the hard surface forces your body to keep in line. You may lose the comfortable sinking sensation, but the fact your body will be better lined up means you have a better opportunity to avoid some pain. Thanks to that added alignment assistance, sleeping on the floor also seems to help out with posture.
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This can be attributed to two things, the straightening of your back through proper support and because of the decrease in pain. People often slouch because standing up straight causes them pain, thanks to sleeping on a poor mattress or having developed bad habits. See related topic: Effects of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress. Sleeping on the floor can also lead to feeling more rested. People who sleep on the floor find themselves not only feeling more rested, but more ready to get up in the morning. Sometimes sleeping in a bed can be too comfortable, which is why we hit the snooze button once or twice each morning.
Why have an amazingly comfortable mattress you only feel before you fall asleep and after you wake up? At least, not for healthy people.
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These are prescribed and designed for important purposes. There is also a potential temperature issue. Different flooring types warm differently, as well. So sleeping on tile or concrete might feel colder than sleeping on wood, for instance.
Finally, sex can become a somewhat awkward situation when sleeping on the floor. For a couple, it can be an uncomfortable aspect, but not impossible. For a single person bringing someone special home, it can be strange to find out someone sleeps on the floor.
These issues can be combated fairly simply, however, with cushioning and discussion. The first part of getting ready to sleep on the floor is mental.
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You may ache a little as your body adjusts to not sleeping on such a soft and comfy surface such as that which a mattress provides. This adjustment period can be longer for some. Those who are overweight or already suffer from some aches may need more time than others, but eventually, it will work out. There are multiple items out there which can serve to soften the experience a little without removing the benefits. Some people who switch to sleeping on the floor think no pillow should be used.
This, they say, is more natural. There is some research which shows it may not be as necessary as one thinks. The natural way to sleep could be to use an arm to elevate your head, if needed. However, most sleep with a thin pillow, one which elevates just enough to provide support for your head and neck. Just as with sleeping on the bed, you can sleep in any number of positions while sleeping on the floor.
You might think the only good option is sleeping on the back, as that would give the best support, but some research shows that may not be the case. In his study, he pointed out each of them and the benefits they offered.
Not only did he find that people who sleep on the floor develop fewer musculoskeletal lesions, he found that sleeping in certain positions actually aided in the correction of different joints. From nature , he observed that various primates would sleep on their side. In this position, the arm can be used as a pillow. In nature, he states, this would allow for the mouth to be pressed closed in order to keep insects from entering the mouth.
It also maintains proper posture by helping the vertebrae align themselves as you breath. He also found that, when sleeping on your side, you can place the Achilles tendon of one foot between the big toe and the next to help correct a bunion, which is a condition involving a wonky joint in your big toe.
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When you sleep on your stomach, or as the research calls it, the quadrupedal position or the lookout posture, you can reap many healing benefits. By pushing out your elbows and sleeping on your forearms like a pillow, your spine can be correct easily.