Most of us are used to sleeping in our comfortable, soft, and comforting beds. It’s hard for me to even imagine sleeping anywhere else, and I assume you feel the same way. Yet, despite all the dreamy beds people can choose from, some do like snoozing on the ground. But what are the disadvantages of sleeping on the floor anyway?
Although we consider it common sense to spend nights in bed, there are many cultures in the world that associate sleep with a hard floor. But is it really good for you to be sleeping on a firm, uncomfortable surface?
There are many contradicting points of view at play here, and I’m sure you’ve come across at least a few of them already. That actually sparked my curiosity to learn more about the repercussions I might have to deal with after spending a night on the ground. Here are some of the most relevant disadvantages you should know about.
1. Intense Back Pain
Back pain on its own feels like a living nightmare, so I can’t even imagine what it would turn into if you attempted to sleep on the floor. If I were to guess, I’d say that you would wake up in even more pain.
However, when it comes to back pain, people’s opinions are quite conflicting. Some say that sleeping on the floor helps their back pain, while others claim that it worsens it. Out of those two groups, I presume you’re more likely to relate to the second one. After all, it is rather troublesome for your back to keep its natural curve if you’re lying on a hard surface.
In 2003, there was an interesting study that divided 313 people into two groups. The first group slept on medium-firm mattresses, whereas the second one slept on firm mattresses. And you guessed it; the first group had fewer back pain issues than the second one.
So, to avoid increased back pain, keep sleeping in the comfort of your soft bed — I am sure this is the easiest advice to follow!
2. Lower Body Temperature
You’re probably already aware of the fact that heat rises, and that floors are generally always colder because of that. Yet, although it may seem like a good idea to sleep on the floor during summer, exposing yourself to the chill isn’t too good for you.
Floors can get freezing, and they are capable of reducing your body temperature in the blink of an eye. Even if you get a futon mattress or a yoga mat, you should know that these materials don’t really hold body heat, or at least they don’t hold it for as long as your regular bed mattress does.
All in all, avoid sleeping on hard, freezing surfaces, especially in winter months. I’m sure no one would be that eager to sleep on the floor on a snowy January day anyway. Staying warm in bed is often challenging enough!
3. Direct Exposure to Dirt
The floor has got to be one of the dirtiest spots in your home. Usually, it is covered in layers of dust that can be invisible to the eye at first. If you have a carpeted floor, the layers of gunk are likely even more extreme.
And I don’t mean to scare you, but there can always be (quite) a few insects creeping around. I’m sure you don’t want those anywhere near you — I certainly don’t!
4. Direct Exposure to Allergens
As I’ve already mentioned, carpets collect many things you’d never even want to take a look at. Some of the most common allergens you’ll find in carpets are mold, dust, and dust mites. I think those are good enough of a reason for you never to consider sleeping on the floor again.
If you’re allergic and directly expose yourself to at least one of these three things, you will experience a few, potentially alarming symptoms. These are the most common ones:
- difficulties breathing
- runny nose
- red, itchy, teary eyes
5. You’d Have to Get a Mattress
If you still feel like sleeping on the floor, you should know that you’ll have to prepare yourself. Because you shouldn’t sleep on the carpet, it would be a smart idea to purchase a mattress that will give you a slight lift.
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Just remember the part where I told you about the insects that could be crawling next to your head. I’m sure you’ll immediately agree that the lift is necessary.
Here are some futon mattresses you can check out:
When it comes to comfort while snoozing on the ground, futon mattresses are definitely the way to go. And remember — the thicker, the better.
6. Discomfort Doesn’t Allow for Bonding Time
If you’re looking to snuggle with your partner, sleeping on the floor might be a bad idea. You would have to figure out which positions work best (more like figure out which positions aren’t extremely uncomfortable), and that could take quite a bit of time.
I’d say that sleeping on the floor by yourself takes some getting used to on its own. If you add another person to that equation, it’s quite possibly going to turn into a huge mess.
Floors aren’t too friendly when it comes to rolling around, and you will be doing a lot of that while trying to figure out how to make the situation bearable. That said, I wouldn’t even recommend trying it out, as it might turn into a boring and exhausting experience.
7. Others Might Put You in Danger
Do you live on your own? Well, you’re lucky if you do because if you live with other people under one roof, you’re at risk of getting stepped on.
As silly as it may sound, if you’re sleeping in the hallway, for example, and one of your housemates or family members decides to get up in the middle of the night to grab a glass of water — you’ll be in trouble. And, it goes both ways since they could trip and fall flat on their face.
Bottom line? If you’re going to sleep on the floor, make sure that you aren’t in anyone’s way. Finding a safe corner in some room would be a good idea.
Who Shouldn’t Sleep on the Floor?
Although many people used to think that pregnant women were the ones who shouldn’t sleep on the floor by any means, we now know that this is a myth. However, it still applies that they shouldn’t do it in the coldest months, of course.
It is actually the elderly that should avoid sleeping on hard and cold surfaces at all costs. Because their bones and muscles are weaker than those of younger people, such surfaces can cause severe stiffness. It’s possible that they wouldn’t be able to get up the next day — yes, it could be that problematic.
Sleeping on your side is generally good for you; it improves your brain health, as well as your blood circulation. This sleep position is definitely the most common and most comfortable for us all, whether we choose to stretch out our limbs or curl up like a fetus.
But when it comes to sleeping on the floor, on your side, you’ll run into some trouble. If there isn’t a mattress that can support your body weight, your calf, hip, and shoulder are going to suffer. So, if you can’t sleep on your back or stomach, you should give up on the idea completely — or at least get a good futon mattress.
Many of you have probably heard that sleeping on your stomach generally isn’t recommended, let alone sleeping in that position on the floor. That’s because the position strains your back and spine, therefore preventing the maintenance of a neutral spine position.
As it stands, the only acceptable way to sleep on the floor is to sleep on your back. If you’re into that position, then you might like it after all.
So Should You Sleep on the Floor?
In case you’ve already slept on the floor, loved it, and experienced no repercussions, feel free to keep doing that! Some people say that it comes with certain benefits, so I assume it can’t do you much harm.
On the other hand, if you have never done it before and are curious to try it, I suggest that you give it a chance. For all you know, it might be a wonderful experience! Here’s an article on how to sleep on the floor comfortably.
However, if you are allergic to some of the allergens I mentioned above, I wouldn’t experiment with it if I were you. You’ll be stuck with a runny nose and itchy eyes for a couple of days in the best-case scenario, and I simply don’t think it’s worth it.
In the end, sleeping on the floor definitely isn’t for everyone. Hopefully, you now know whether it is even an option for you.