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Like exercising and eating healthy, a good night’s sleep is also crucial for your health. Most adults need 7-8 hours while others may need as few as 6 hours. Unfortunately, natural sleep patterns can be interfered with a lot, including feeling uncomfortable in bed. Some of us opt for the recliner and enjoy our sleep more than we ever did in bed. Perhaps you are wondering: what’s the science behind better sleep in a Recliner? Why do I sleep better in a recliner than in a bed?
Well, in this article, we are going to answer those questions. We will also highlight the pros and cons of sleeping in a recliner and share tips on how to sleep on your recliner comfortably.
Let’s start with the scientific part, though.
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The Science Behind A Recliner Chair
A recliner’s structure and overall construction are made to offer pure your pure comfort. It’s no wonder it comes with perfectly padded armrests, a headrest and a backrest that reclines backwards for you to relax.
A recliner chair also gives you the option of elevating your legs for more comfort by raising a cushioned footrest. The reclined positions reduce body stress, especially on the spine, giving you a good night’s sleep compared to sleeping in your bed.
Why Do You Sleep Better in A Recliner Than in A Bed?
There are many reasons why you enjoy sleeping in a recliner than sleeping on your bed. The main reason, however, has to do with the sleeping position.
The zero-gravity position
Is it OK to sleep in a recliner every night? You see! Unlike the bed, a recliner allows you to sleep with your head slightly elevated than your legs and the knees. This sleeping position is known as zero gravity. It has been proven to relieve pressure on the spine and make breathing easier, giving you a good night’s sleep.
Achieving the zero-gravity position is problematic on a flatbed, even with pillows. And if you are lucky enough to reach the correct height, it’s usually short-lived since pillows tend to change position or fall out with movement.
Besides being incredibly comfortable. This inclined position comes with more health benefits, as discussed below.
How to Sleep in A Recliner
Knowing the benefits of sleeping in a recliner vs a bed is not enough. You should also know the HOW for you to enjoy the experience fully.
Here are some tips on how to sleep on a recliner:
- If yours is a leather recliner, it would be better to put a sheet over it to prevent sweating.
- Have enough blankets to keep you warm throughout the night.
- If your recliners pillow is hard, get a pillow for support. You may also require an extra pillow for additional support for your lower back.
- Make sure your legs are supported to prevent blood pooling on your feet. Alternatively, wear compression socks.
Health Benefits of Sleeping in A Recliner
Relieves Back Pains
There is nothing worse than waking up with back pain. It ruins your whole morning! Unfortunately, most of us experience this often.
These backaches are caused by sleeping in the wrong position build up pressure on the spine. Sleeping on a recliner will help reduce the stress from the spine and allow the core muscles too.
Additionally, sleeping on a recliner helps relieve back pain for those who suffer from lumbar spinal stenosis or osteoarthritis.
Here is a review of the Best recliner chairs for lower back pain you may like to read.
It Helps Reduce Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition whereby your throat muscles relax and blocks your airwaves. As a result, you start snoring and experience abrupt awakenings.
Studies have revealed that sleeping with your head elevated at 30-60 degrees can help improve this condition. A recliner can therefore come in handy.
Prevents Acid Reflux/Heartburn
Let’s learn a little biology!
Your esophagus and stomach are partitioned by a muscle known as an esophageal sphincter. This muscle remains shut during digestion. However, sometimes it may not close completely, allowing some acid from your stomach into your esophagus.
This acid causes a burning sensation, also known as heartburn. Heartburns mostly attack at night, especially when you lie horizontally.
Sleeping in a recliner helps ease heartburns as your body is in an elevated position thus the acid cant retract to the esophagus.
Helps with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an irreversible lung disease that hinders airflow from the lungs. Some of its symptoms include wheezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and production of mucus. This disease is mainly caused by constant exposure to harmful gases such as cigarette smoke.
Sleeping on a recliner helps elevates the upper body helping a person with COPD breathe and sleep better.
Improves Blood Circulation
Sitting on a regular sofa for a long time with your knees bent f impairs the functioning of the blood vessels on your legs. With a recliner, you can elevate your legs which helps with blood circulation.
Side Effects of Sleeping in a Recliner
Generally, sleeping on a recliner is comfortable and comes with a lot of health benefits. However, it comes with a fair share of adverse effects, especially when you spend too much on the recliner. Some of these negative effects include:
- Joint Stiffness – usually, your knees and hips remain bent while sleeping in a recliner. With time, the bending can cause tight calves, hips, and hamstrings, which affects your overall posture. The tight muscles are also likely to increase your risk of falling.
- Shallow Sleep: although you are likely to fall asleep as soon as you sink into your recliner, falling deep asleep may not be as easy.
You see! While sleeping in a recliner, you can’t twist and turn and change sleeping positions freely. This makes it difficult to fall deep asleep.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)– DVT is a risky blood clot that usually occurs in the legs. Bending your knees for long hours each day while sleeping in a recliner increases your chances of developing DVT.
Wrapping It Up 🎯
There you have it, the reason why you sleep better in a recliner than in a bed. You should, however, not dump your bed yet. Remember, although sleeping in a recliner is comfortable and comes with many benefits, it should be done in moderation. It comes with some negative effects too.