Are you struggling to sleep well? Do you find yourself spending more nights on the couch than in the bed? Has your spouse thrown you out of the bedroom because of your snoring? Or, do you fall asleep while watching TV and then spend the night there only? Whatever the reasons, sleeping on couches once in a while probably will not harm you apart from causing pain. Unlike beds, couches cannot balance your body weight properly. This is the reason why you wake up with an aching back or crick in the neck after spending the night on a couch.
However, sleeping on the couch can often lead to some health conditions such as chronic back and neck pain. Couches are generally narrower and shorter than beds. This forces you to sleep in unnatural positions. It can lead to lethargy the next day and cause you to become less productive throughout the next day. Spending more than a few nights on the couch can mess up your spine alignment and cause serious back problems.
8 Reasons You Should Not Sleep on The couch
There are many reasons for why you should not sleep on the couch, but here we list the most common ones that can harm you. Sleeping on the couch should be a once in a while activity and should be avoided for longer durations.
1. Wrong Sleep Position
This is one of the most heard complaints from couch sleepers. A bad or unfavorable sleeping position can do a lot of damage to your body. It is not only due to the couch’s size but also on how soft or saggy it is. We are used to sleeping a certain way, either on our backs or on our sides at night. Adequate support for turning is essential while we sleep. If the couch is too small, you may end up in contorted positions. Narrow couches can make a person sleep with legs either hanging or on the backrest, and both these positions are not comfortable.
2. Cause Back and Neck Pain
Is sleeping on couch bad for back? Yes! Back pain for most people starts gradually. It usually comes from repeating bad posture or positions while sitting, walking, or sleeping. Sleeping on a couch puts a lot of pressure on your spine and can cause back or neck pain. Invariably, a couch sleeper will end up in a bad sleeping position and wake up with neck, back, or shoulder pains. Sleeping on the couch, again and again, can end up in serious medical issues.
3. Lead to Leg Pain
When you sleep on a cramped couch, you are subjecting your spine to some abnormal stress. Over time, this stress causes structural changes in your spine, which include joint degradation, disc misalignment, and damaging the muscles and ligaments that support the whole structure of our body. It can lead to severe leg pain. People with joint problems should avoid sleeping in a cramped position on an inadequately supported couch.
4. Couch Material Is Bad for Sleeping
Usually, the couches are made from materials like leather, which is slippery and can make your skin clammy and hot. Some couches have velvet covers that are soft but accumulate a lot of dust. Most materials used in the couches are meant for easy cleaning and less usage. It is not comfortable to spend the whole night. Breathability and texture are crucial for a comfortable night’s sleep.
5. More Germs on Sofa, Is Bad for Our Health
Couches are placed in public areas and become an abode for germs from various sources. Some people let their pets laze on the couch. Some people entertain a lot and see frequent visitors. All these factors contribute to the collection of germs and dirt on the couch. Avoid sleeping directly on the couch if you cannot clean it thoroughly. Use sheets or liners to create a layer. The best thing would be to avoid sleeping on a dirty couch.
6. Sofa Heat Up Faster
Like we mentioned earlier, couch material is not the same as bedding material. The construction of a couch is also different from a bed. Depending on the material and construction style, some couches can absorb too much heat, and some may not absorb any heat. Both these conditions are not suitable for a restful sleep. The coziness and warmth of a bed are missing on the couch.
This is undoubtedly a big problem for people who can only sleep in total darkness. Couches are mostly placed in the living room or other public areas. Even after switching off the lights, you will find some brightness either from outside or from other rooms around you seeping in. Even worse is the light from the TV, if you go to sleep leaving it on. This can cause disturbed sleep and cause fatigue the next day.
8. Make Us Distractions
Apart from the light, sleeping on a couch can have many more distractions. You are more likely to have a TV and computer to distract you while on the couch. Moreover, there are more chances of you being disturbed by people if the couch is in the hall near the kitchen or a staircase. If you are living with several other people, then it is possible that they may keep going in and out at odd times. Falling asleep on the couch cause a lot of distractions and affect sleep quality.
Tips for Your Sleeping on Couches
Though it is best to avoid sometimes sleeping on couch instead of bed. What to do when it is the only choice? If sleep and your health are important to you, then there are some things that you can try to make it more comfortable.
Try to Right Position
Positioning your body on the couch is very important. If the couch is small or narrow, then you will have to make the best of it. Curling up in a fetal position can surprisingly be good for you. If you need to sleep on your back, hanging your arms or legs over the arm can be an option. Remove the back cushions to create more space. You can place them next to the couch in case you fall off the couch at night.
Use a Good Pillow
If you plan to sleep on the couch at night, then take a proper pillow to rest your head on. It is very easy to grab any sofa cushion and use it through the night but remember that these cushions were not designed to lay your head-on. They are generally more stuffed and can keep your head at an uncomfortable angle. Most couch cushions have odd shapes and may have design and embellishments, making them more uncomfortable. You will mostly get up with a headache or an achy neck.
Prepare Sleep Masks And Ear Plugs
One of the biggest problems sleeping on the couch is that you cannot eliminate sound and light. It can make your sleep very distracting. For sound and restful sleep, using sleep masks & earplugs is very helpful. If you cannot make the room completely dark, try using sleep masks. There are some sleep headphones and noise-canceling headphones that can help with any unwanted noises. Playing soft or relaxing music can also help you to sleep better.
Roll Some Blankets
Grabbing some extra blankets is a good idea when you are sleeping on a couch. They can be used for a variety of purposes. First and foremost, sleeping on the couch at night is hard enough, and you should not be spending it shivering. Instead of using a sofa throw, which may not be thick enough or the right size, using a blanket is always better.
Rolling a blanket to keep under your head for the right elevation is a good option. You can spread a blanket on the couch for a better and thicker layer for you to sleep on. Rolling up blankets and placing them wherever you think it is uneven on the couch may give you better sleep.
Now It’s Up to You
Your couch may be perfect for an afternoon nap, but it is not the best place to spend the whole night. Even the best and most luxurious couches don’t make for good sleeping options. They are not designed for a night’s sleep in the first place and have none of the features which are necessary for comfortable sleep. Your body weight does not get to rest evenly. This causes soreness and lethargy initially and serious medical issues after prolonged use.
You are forced to sleep in uncomfortable positions and contort your body to fit on a couch. Spine and other joints come under a lot of pressure and can lead to chronic back pain and other such issues. Moreover, couches are generally placed in areas where there is more noise and light, adding to the discomfort. Sleeping on a couch once in a while will not do much damage apart from slight pains and niggles, but sleeping on a couch for years should be avoided. Sleep is essential for your well being, and you must always make sure to get a good night’s rest.