A girl sleeping on the floor

Sleeping on the Floor: Benefits, Side Effects & How to

Posted By Vaibhavi K on Sep 2, 2021

Sleeping on the floor has been around for thousands of years. Beds and mattresses are quite recent innovations to help you sleep more comfortably.

These days people are going back to their roots and trying to lead a minimalist life. So, floor sleeping is growing in popularity. Some people claim that it has several health benefits too. This article will take you through everything you need to know about sleeping on your floor – from benefits, risks, to the right way to go about it.

Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor

The benefits of sleeping on the floor are yet to be scientifically proven. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that lying on the floor has multiple health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Can Soothe Your Back Pain

There is a lack of research to prove that sleeping on the floor for back pain is good. However, it should logically reduce your pain.

Sleeping on a soft mattress doesn’t give enough support to your spine and causes pain. But, when you lie on the floor, your spine stays in its natural alignment since it is a firm surface.

If you sleep on your sides, however, lying on the floor can worsen your back pain. That’s because side sleepers put the entire pressure of their body on a small area, requiring extra cushioning for their shoulders and hips.

Back pain is common during pregnancy and adequate pressure is required to get relief. Thus, sleeping on the floor might help.

Might Help to Cure Sciatica

Sciatica involves pain in your sciatic nerve which runs through the lower back, through your buttocks into the legs. It may occur due to a slipped disc.

Sleeping on firm surfaces helps reduce the pain by providing support. If you sleep on soft surfaces, your joints might get stressed out and worsen the pain. However, there is no concrete evidence that floor sleeping can cure sciatica. The claims are only based on the personal experiences of people.

Helps Regulate Your Temperature

Laying on the ground while sleeping will keep you cool. Studies show that higher temperatures can disrupt your sleep and circadian rhythms. You tend to sleep better when the temperature is lower.

Since heat rises upwards, you stay cooler when you lie down on the ground. Thus, you can have a better and undisturbed sleep. However, it might be risky in winter as you might catch a cold.

Improves Blood Circulation

When you sleep on the floor, your weight gets evenly distributed throughout the body leading to improved blood circulation. Proper blood circulation is crucial for the normal functioning of your organs.

Your blood supplies oxygen to different parts of the body and also helps to eliminate waste. Thus, proper circulation will strengthen your immune system, giving you a healthier life.

Floor sleeping can, however, be harmful if you are anemic since it is chilly on the ground.

Disadvantages of Sleeping on the Floor

Many people might feel better while they sleep on the floor. But, there are also several side effects of sleeping on the floor. Let’s look at some of them so that you can stay cautious.

Might Worsen Your Back Pain

Some people might claim that sleeping on the floor reduces back pain. But, some of them complain that it worsens their pain. That might be because it becomes hard for your spine to maintain its natural alignment on the hard surface. Your spine needs a surface that will adapt to its contours.

A 2003 study showed that firm surfaces were not that effective in dealing with back pain when compared to a medium-firm surface. Too firm surfaces might lead to stiffness in your joints, and a bit of pressure relief is required to make you comfortable.

Can Cause Allergic Reactions

If you are prone to allergies, it is not a wise idea to sleep on the floor. Why? The floor is home to innumerable dust particles, dust mites, and mold. So, don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night with your eyes itching or a runny nose.

If you are hyperallergic, lying on the floor might also cause

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Can Get Cold and Uncomfortable

If you are used to a cozy mattress, it can be uncomfortable to sleep on the floor. You might spend more time tossing and turning than sleeping. After all, the floor is hard and will never give you the same comfort as a bed.

It can get worse in the winter when you might not get proper sleep due to the cold. That’s because heat rises and the floor is cooler than the rest of the room.

Who Shouldn’t Sleep on the Floor?

People might report several health benefits of sleeping on the floor. But, dozing off on the floor is not ideal for everyone. It can lead to serious problems for some people.

  • People with restricted mobility – If you have limited mobility, you will have trouble getting down on the floor and then climbing up.
  • Older people – As you age, your immune system becomes weaker. Thus, you become more prone to catching a cold or other illness.
  • People with orthopedic conditions – If you have some preexisting condition like arthritis or osteoporosis, laying on the ground might worsen your pain. That’s because your joints will not get adequate support, leading to stiffness.
  • Side sleepers – Sleeping on your side puts the pressure of your entire body on a small area. Thus, your shoulders and hips need extra cushioning that the floor fails to provide.

Sleeping on the Floor While Pregnant

Pregnant women often find it comfortable to sleep on the floor and there are no such risks. However, getting down on the floor and then climbing up might be a task. If you find it hard to get down and rise from the ground, it is better to avoid floor sleeping.

During pregnancy, you should do whatever feels comfortable for you. But, remember to consult your doctor to know what is the best for your health.

How to Sleep on the Floor Properly?

If you are wondering how to sleep comfortably on the floor, let us look at some tips to help you.

1. Don’t Hurry

If you are used to sleeping on a cozy bed, you cannot start sleeping on the floor all of a sudden. You need to go slow and give time to your body to adjust. You can try taking a short nap first before sleeping for a full night on the ground.

2. Take a Thin Pillow

When you sleep on the floor, it is better not to stack pillows under your head. That will put unnecessary strain on your neck and shoulders. You can take a thin pillow instead to rest your head comfortably.

3. Find the Perfect Spot

The best way to sleep on the floor is to find the perfect spot where you can lay comfortably. It should be away from all the distractions to give you a sound sleep.

If your sleeping spot is calm and free from disturbance, you will find it easier to adjust yourself to floor sleeping.

4. Sleep on Your Back

Sleeping on your back is the best option when you lie down on the floor. In this position, your spine stays in its natural alignment, letting you sleep comfortably. Thus, you don’t have to worry about aches and pains. You can place a pillow under your knees to relieve pressure from your lower back.

Here are some tips to help you fall asleep fast if you find it hard to go to sleep on the floor.

Sleeping on Floor vs Bed

Is sleeping on the floor good for you? This question might have tormented you if you are used to sleeping on the bed. Whether you sleep on the bed or floor, your comfort is the priority.

Sleeping on the floor keeps your spine straight and might prevent pain in your shoulders and back. However, more research needs to be done on the effects of sleeping on the floor. It is better to sleep on a medium-firm mattress. That will provide you with a balance of support and pressure relief.

Wondering which mattress will suit you best? Take the free 365 day trial on Dream Cloud mattresses to find out.

Final Word

Now that you know the pros and cons of sleeping on the floor, you can decide whether you should go about it. Discontinue it as soon as you experience any difficulties. Your physician is the best person to guide you in this regard.

If you are wondering how to make sleeping on the floor more comfortable, you can consider sleeping on a mattress on the floor. That will give you the same feeling like a bed, helping you sleep better. Get the hybrid mattress from Dream Cloud to get a comfortable sleep at night and wake up feeling refreshed.
If you are facing problems fixing your sleep schedule, read our blog here.


Does sleeping on the floor help sciatica?

Sleeping on the floor might help reduce the pain in the sciatica. However, you need to consult a doctor for the appropriate treatment.

Can you put a mattress on the floor?

You can put a mattress on the floor if you are wondering how to sleep comfortably on the floor. That will reduce the rigidity of your sleep surface and give much-needed pressure relief.

Can you sleep on the floor without a pillow?

Sleeping on the floor without a pillow might feel hard on your head. It will also strain your shoulders. So, why sleep on the floor without a pillow when you can sleep comfortably with one under your head?

Why do Japanese sleep on floors?

The Japanese believe sleeping on the floor will keep your hips, spine, and shoulder in natural alignment, thereby reducing strain on your body.

Does sleeping on the floor help back pain?

Sleeping on the floor can either reduce or worsen your back pain depending on specific circumstances. If you are suffering from chronic back pain, floor sleeping can make your back stiff in the absence of adequate cushioning.

If you are thinking, “Is sleeping on the floor good for you?”, it is better to consult your doctor first.