Benefits of Floor Sleeping for Pectus Excavatum in 2022

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

If our sleeping pattern is terrible, our pectus excavatum deformity can worsen. We spend about one-third of our lives in bed, sleeping. In this blog post, I will talk about how you can maximize the benefits of those hours by sleeping on the floor. 

Health Expert’s Thoughts

According to numerous health experts, the ideal sleeping surface should be firm and not very soft. On a soft or worn-down mattress, one of the sides is probably more dipped than the other.

You will sag down asymmetrically, which is very bad for your posture and recovery. The cells in our body won’t repair as well as they should, leading to increased anxiety, shoulder, neck, or back pains, immune system weakening, tiredness, etc.

I was never a fan of sleeping on a very soft bed because my body didn’t get used to it. Experts recommend you to sleep mostly on your back and sides and avoid stomach sleeping as much as you can. 

Floor Sleeping With Pectus Excavatum

Floor sleeping provides a firm surface. Most of the bodyweight is located from below the neck to the waist. When you’re lying on a soft surface, this area that weights the most will dip in the most.

This is called the “hammock effect,” and a lot of stress is being put on the spine, where the legs are elevated, and the head is pushed forward, further worsening the poor pectus excavatum posture you may already have.

Floor sleeping will help you keep the proper vertical alignment while you’re sleeping, helping you improve your posture while you’re resting. 

Uncomfortable At First

Sleeping on your back, on the floor will feel very uncomfortable at first. You will probably wake up sore and in some pain.

This is because the muscles in your body have memory and are used to unnatural sleeping patterns, and when they are finally correctly aligned, they feel uncomfortable. 

Similar to Working Out

The same applies when you’re working out. The muscles will be sore when you wake up in the morning after a challenging workout. That is thought to be expected until the muscles get used to the strain.

When you sleep on the floor more and more, the pains will reduce gradually, and you’ll eventually have some of the most peaceful night sleeps that you’ve ever had.

You’ll feel very energized the following day, ready to tackle the obstacles your pectus excavatum deformity puts on you.

How Humans Are Designed to Sleep

Our ancestors didn’t sleep on squishy mattresses and pillows back in the day. Throughout evolution, people were sleeping on the ground. Our bodies are developed to rest on hard surfaces.

Sleeping on these soft surfaces is a relatively new occurrence. We go unconsciously about this without questioning ourselves whether this is the ideal sleeping surface.

Many people are surprised how others can sleep on the floor, mainly because it seems to be very uncomfortable and dirty. When I started sleeping on the ground, I noticed instant improvements in my physique and mental well-being. This is the natural way to sleep. 

Maintain 3 Normal Curves

The best night’s sleep is when the three natural curves in the spine are supported. 

  • The natural curve of the spine in the neck – Cervical lordosis
  • Front-to-back curvature of the thoracic spine
  • Inward curvature of the lower back – lumbar lordosis

The spine should remain straight if you look at it from the front or the back. Any curvature to the side is considered scoliosis.  

Stabilize These 3 Areas

The ideal posture is by laying on our back to stabilize these three areas. When we sleep in a position where we unwind the muscles, relieve nerve disturbances, and keep a naturally aligned posture, the health of our spine will be improved and can help you relieve joint and muscle pains. 

When sleeping on the ground, the gravity will take everything away that isn’t natural to the joints and muscles. 

How to Stabilize

When we lay down with our back on the floor, it is best to use a cervical pillow or a rolled-up pillow to our neck to maintain the natural curve of the spine in the neck.

It would be best if you placed another regular pillow in a comfortable position below your knees to keep them bent. This will make a massive difference to your physique and energy levels.

Pain While Floor Sleeping

The majority of people with sunken chest deformity are underweight and probably feel a lot of pain while sleeping on the floor. Om the other hand, if you’re overweight, you’ll most likely feel very uncomfortable, and your body won’t adapt to the change. 

If you want to bear the benefits of floor sleeping but experience pain, you should go through a transitioning process where you sleep on a two or 3-inch pad on the floor. It will help you relieve pain, and at the same time, it won’t be as comfortable as sleeping on a soft bed. 

You May Never Get Used to It

Some people love living in comfort, and floor sleeping won’t be for you. However, this isn’t just sleeping on a covering on the dirty floor. If you put a two or three-inch memory foam pad on a hardwood floor, it is still considered floor sleeping.  

4 Benefits of Floor Sleeping for Pectus Excavatum

Improved Energy

The most significant benefit is waking up energized every single day, even when you wake up early in the morning. After a few days of sleeping on the floor, you’ll feel so much more energized and motivated to start your day than previously.

I usually wake up, brush my teeth, take a cold shower, drink lemon water, and hike, and when I go home, I write content for this website in the morning.

Ever since I added floor sleeping, I tend to avoid using the phone in the morning and wasting the essential part of the day, mainly because of increased motivation and energy. 

Improved Flexibility

Sleeping on an unbending surface such as the floor can help you squeeze out water from the tissue. Because the feeling is uncomfortable, you will tend to move your body at night.

When you do this, the fascia will be hydrated and relaxed. Contrary, soft surfaces will allow you to remain longer in one position, making you feel stiff when you wake up.

Here’s a video of Isabel Paige showing how much her flexibility in yoga improved after she started sleeping on the floor. She claims that she drastically improved her back flexibility.

Yoga is extremely valuable in enhancing poor pectus posture and strengthening the core, making flared ribs and your sunken chest less visible. Improving yoga is very important, and sleeping on the floor can help this.

Cost-Effective

After I slept on the floor and reaped the fantastic benefits, I firmly believe that most mattress marketing is misguided. For the longest, I thought that spending a lot of money on a high-quality mattress was utterly essential, primarily because we spend one thrids of our lives on a bed. 

Finding the right sleeping mattress for pectus excavatum can be a hassle. They are pricy, and sometimes making a wrong buying choice will prevent you from achieving a good night’s sleep. The ideal mattress for pectus excavatum is a sturdy one.

You can replicate the same thing by sleeping on the floor for no cost at all. It is recommended to change a mattress every five years, which can cost a lot. Also, it is more environmentally friendly to sleep on the floor because mattresses cannot be recycled. 

Perfect for Vacuum Bell Usage

The ground of the room is cooler. Sleeping on a lower level than the bed height will lower the temperature by a few degrees. This is very beneficial in the summertime, especially when you sleep with the vacuum bell or a pectus excavatum brace.

It will lower sweating throughout the night, making the application much more convenient. The itching on the skin throughout the night will be relieved. 

Bedtime Ritual Importance

What you sleep on is less important than how you sleep. Developing a proper bedtime ritual is very underrated. Just like there are a lot of morning routines, I believe that there should be equal nighttime routines because that is also very important.

Cutting out alcohol, blue light exposure, unhealthy meals before sleeping should be cut out immediately. That will prevent you from sleeping well, no matter how expensive the mattress you’re going to sleep on is going to be. Sleeping in quiet, dark, and cool rooms is very important. 

Don’t Go Too Hard Too Soon

Floor sleeping won’t be as attractive as sleeping on a modern, high-technology mattress. At first, it can be very uncomfortable, especially if you go too hard too soon, but it is better in the long run.

Ideal Balance

I highly recommend the following combination that has been used for years by the Japanese:

  • Japanese-style pads on the ground for ventilation.
  • A slim mattress topper that will provide minimal cushioning. 

Your body and mind will reap the advantages of sleeping on a low to the ground sleeping surface. 

Who Shouldn’t Sleep on the Ground

Patients With Pectus Bar

I don’t recommend patients who underwent Nuss Procedure and have a pectus bar underneath the sternum, to sleep on the floor simply because it can feel very uncomfortable.

Living with the pectus bar can be discomfiting by itself, and sleeping on the floor will only increase the distress in your life, regardless of the benefits it provides. 

Older People

Generally, older people are more prone to bone-breaking and feeling cold throughout the night. The loss of mobility will also make getting up and going down to the floor much more complex and uncomfortable, especially if you have joint problems. 

2 Disadvantages

Cold Temperatures

It can be very uncomfortable to sleep on the floor on tiles or wood in the winter because of the cold. It will take a lot of willpower to do that. I’ve tried to use insulation as yoga mats or various blankets, but nothing works for me in the winter.

During this time of the year, the cold bottom can rapidly decrease your body temperature, and you can feel a lot colder than sleeping in a regular bed.

Allergy

Sleeping on the floor can cause allergic reactions because of dust and dirt exposure. I don’t recommend sleeping on the carpet because it can contain a lot of allergens like dust, mold, and dust mites.

Also, the thought of bugs on the ground stepping on me during sleep was very uncomfortable to me at the beginning. However, I felt more secure from bugs after slightly elevating the floor bed on a Japanese-style pad and bed topping. 

The Bottom Line

Sleeping on the floor can benefit people suffering from pectus excavatum. 

You will:

  • Feel more energetic to start the day, spend less time consuming social media after you wake up
  • Your posture will improve.
  • Applying of vacuum bell and pectus excavatum brace will be more comfortable because you’ll sweat more minor in the summer. 

Some of you may find it very uncomfortable, and you’ll probably never get used to this feeling, mainly if you are used to sleeping on very soft mattresses.

The ideal balance is to purchase a Japanese-style pad and put a bed topping on top of it. If you have any concerns, please write them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

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