TikTok reveals why you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach

A viral clip on TikTok has revealed why one way of sleeping is the “worst” – shocking hundreds of viewers who declared they “can’t sleep any other way”.

A viral clip on TikTok has revealed why one way of sleeping is the “worst” – shocking millions of viewers who declared that they “can’t sleep any other way”.

In a video on the platform that’s clocked up 28.4 million views and nearly 27,000 comments, founder and CEO of UK mattress brand Levitex, James Leinhardt, issued a warning to people who lay on their stomachs when they get into bed each night.

“For anyone telling you you should be allowed to sleep in whichever way makes you comfortable – this is logic, and this is fact,” he explained, sitting on a bed beside a man in a suit printed with what our muscles look like on it.

“When you lie on your front like this, these muscles [gesturing to the back of the leg] have to extend for prolonged periods of time to maintain this position. Muscles don’t like to be tensed for long periods of time.”

Then pointing to the way people who sleep on their stomach tend to twist their neck against the pillow, Leinhardt said you wouldn’t “spend hours upon hours” watching TV in that position – “so why would you” when going to sleep?

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Thousands of viewers took to the comments on TikTok, declaring that they refused to take Leinhardt’s advice on board.

“Sorry but I can’t sleep any other way,” wrote one, with another adding, “I am currently in this position and will not be moving.”

“Leave me alone I’m comfy,” added a third, while one wrote, “I’m feeling very much attacked right now.”

“The way I’m laying in this exact position right now,” said another. “That is literally how I sleep every night.”

“Every way is bad for your back apparently so I will just sleep standing up from now on,” joked another.

Others noted that sleeping on their stomachs was the only way they could avoid sleep paralysis – a temporary inability to move that typically occurs right after falling asleep or waking up.

Leinhardt isn’t alone in his warning, however, that lying on your tummy could have “potential drawbacks”.

While there are “some benefits to sleeping on your stomach, like reduced snoring”, according to the Sleep Foundation, “the position can create strain in your back and neck”.

“That strain can lead to poor quality sleep at night, and aches and pains in the morning,” the Foundation noted.

They warned that some of the drawbacks could include misaligning your spine, experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain, and even “more facial wrinkles”.

“When you sleep on your stomach, your torso naturally sinks deeper into the mattress because of its weight. As a result, your back might arch, stretching your spine out of neutral alignment,” the Foundation said.

“When your spine is not aligned, you experience stress and strain, which may lead to aches and pains upon waking.

“Stomach sleeping may also increase your risk of neck pain. When you sleep on your stomach, you must turn your head to one side in order to breathe. Turning your head requires you to twist your neck, which moves it out of alignment with the rest of your spine.

“Beyond back and neck pain, poor sleep posture can lead to additional complications such as headaches and shoulder or arm pain.

“When one side of your face is pressed into the pillow, it stretches, pulls, and compresses your skin throughout the night. As a result, sleeping on your stomach can contribute to facial wrinkles.”

Originally published as Viral TikTok reveals why you shouldn’t sleep on your stomach

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