People would normally only sleep in a reclined position when they are either fall asleep in their couches or when they are on a long plane ride. Never mind the title of this article, I am not here to tell you that lying down flat is a bad practice, neither am I endorsing sleeping in a reclined position.
In this article, you will be learning all the different benefits associated with sleeping in a flat position or a reclined position, and the negatives associated with them. The disadvantages and the advantages of these two sleeping positions are very much dependent on certain circumstances.
Is it Bad to Sleep in a Recliner Every Night
Sleeping in recliners is very comfortable they are almost addictive and before we get into the pros and cons of sleeping in recliners let’s talk a bit about some facts about sleeping in recliners.
Unlike what many people think, sleeping in recliners is safe and totally alright. However, there are certain ground rules, your backrest has to be reclined fully especially if your legs are in an elevated position.
Otherwise, this position would put all the pressure on your spine and legs and this would potentially cause health problems. Sleeping in a recliner – the right way- affords the body full-body support.
Read More: Best Recliners for Fibromyalgia
Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner
A recliner chair has the functional ability to bring a relaxing calm to the body and the muscles. It works by removing tension from the upper back region down to the legs and this essentially removes tension or pressure from the body. There are several situations where sleeping in a reclined position is better than sleeping flat in a bed.
Pros of Sleeping in a Recliner (Benefits of Sleeping on a Recliner Chair)
Now let’s talk on the benefits of sleeping in a recliner chair.
1. Eases Acid Reflux Symptoms:
Acid reflux works in such a way where the esophageal sphincter or muscle acts as a valve gateway that separates the stomach and the esophagus.
While eating or during digestion, this valve is supposed to remain closed, however, for people who suffer from acid reflux condition, the muscle does not close up completely and the acid found in the stomach moves back up into the esophagus, and the tendency for this to happen increases greatly when you are laid down in a flat position. The acid from the stomach causes heartburn and this occurrence is more prevalent at night.
A study was carried out in 2012 for 7 days by a group of researchers who used people who suffered from acid reflux at night and carried out the research under two different conditions, sleeping in a reclined position and sleeping in a flat position. The study found that 65% of the people experienced a reduction in their nocturnal acid reflux condition.
2. Reduces Sleep Apnea:
Studies have found that raising your head or sleeping in a reclined position reduces sleep apnea in people.
3. Helps Promote Pregnancy Comfort:
Pregnant women are often predisposed to risks such as back pains, sleep apnea, and acid reflux or GERD. It is generally recommended that when a pregnancy is in its 2nd or 3rd trimester, sleeping flat on the back should be avoided as much as possible. Sleeping on the side is a better alternative, as well as sleeping in a recliner.
4. Relieves Back Pain:
People that suffer from back pain have testified that getting in and out of recliner chairs is much easier than getting in and out of a regular bed. However, people suffering from back pains would need an added extra cushion for their backrests to optimally ease the strain they feel on their backs.
5. Best for After-Surgery Healing:
Regular beds may be too much strain on a delicate after-surgery patient and even dangerous for them whenever they attempt to get in or out of bed. Recliners provide them the ease and convenience they need for a smooth healing process.
Recliners are also known to improve blood circulation, promote digestion, and aid better breathing.
Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner (Dangers of Sleeping in a Recliner Chair)
Amid all the benefits of sleeping in recliners, we also have dangers associated with sleeping in recliner chairs. However few they are these dangers ought to be taken seriously and heeded. The dangers of sleeping in recliners include;
1. Risks of Blood Clot:
Sleeping in reclined or semi-reclined position predisposes you to the risks of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. This is caused by the restriction imposed on the body by the reclined sleeping position.
2. Fitful Sleep:
Sleeping in a reclined position can be tricky, that is if you are unable to find that sweet spot where you just sink in and find ultimate comfort then be prepared to have a very restless night.
3. Respiratory Problems:
A reclined position could cause blood to congest in the lungs and cut off the oxygen supply.
Other dangers in sleeping in a recliner include; joint stiffness and circulation problems. The sleeping position is also very limited in a reclined position.
The Best Ways to Sleep in a Recliner
After highlighting the pros and cons of sleeping in recliners, it would be a disservice not to mention some of the best ways to effectively and comfortably sleep in a recliner chair. They are;
- Sleep with the chair fully reclined
- Always try to change positions
- Always try to use pillow support