Is It Safe To Sleep On The Floor?

Last Updated on March 11, 2022

Growing up in a Western country probably involves sleeping on a big comfy mattress with soft pillows and cosy blankets. Yet, sleeping can be associated with a hard floor in many cultures worldwide.

It’s becoming more and more common in the UK, too. Some individuals say it helps with their back pains and body aches, while others don’t find it as comfortable.

However, the popularity of minimalist living has inspired people to get rid of their bed frames and sleep near the floor. There aren’t any researched benefits of sleeping on the floor to date, so we can only make assumptions and hear what other people have to say on the matter. That’s because the advantages have been purely anecdotal.

That’s why in today’s article, we’ll try to explain is it safe to sleep on the floor, what you shouldn’t do, and how can you even improve your sleeping experience on a floor mattress.

Is it safe to sleep near the floor?

Is it safe to sleep on the floor?

Resting near the ground has its advantages and disadvantages. Though some individuals feel better after sleeping on the floor, there are also potential side effects that can accompany your choice of sleeping on a floor mattress. Here is what you need to be mindful of before making your decision:

Back pain

The claims about floor sleeping and back pain are conflicting, as there is little to no research on the topic. Some say that it reduces pain, while others think it has the opposite effect. Overall, a hard surface makes it challenging for your spine to maintain its natural curve and stay properly aligned.

However, many advocates for floor sleeping say that it reduces back pain, improves posture, and results in an overall better night’s sleep.

But, it can also increase pressure and discomfort without sufficient cushioning around pressure points on the body — such as the hips, tailbone, shoulder blades, or back of the head, resulting in poor sleep and further pain and body aches.

Allergic reactions

The floor typically has more dust and dirt than other surfaces in your bedroom. This is especially true if you have a carpet that collects allergens such as dust mites and mould. If you’re allergic to any of these substances, sleeping on the floor may cause sneezing, a runny nose, itchy, red eyes, coughing, wheezing and even trouble to breathe.

Exposure to cold

Generally speaking, heat rises up, meaning your floor will usually be cooler than the rest of your bedroom. It may feel good to sleep on the floor during the hot summer months, as you will stay cooler, but during the winter, a cold floor will rapidly reduce your body heat, which can make you feel colder than usual. That means a floor mattress might not be a year-round solution if you live in a colder climate.

Overall, whether you sleep on the floor is entirely on you. Yes, it is safe to sleep on the ground if you keep your sleeping area clean. Ensure that both the floor and the mattress you are sleeping on are cleaned from time to time. And don’t forget to keep the floor clear of residue, dirt and debris.

How to sleep on the floor safely?

Who shouldn’t sleep on the floor?

Sleeping on the floor isn’t for everyone. That’s because it might not be safe for some individuals, such as:

  • The elderly – as we age, our bones become weaker, and we tend to lose fatty tissues. Generally, sleeping on the floor might increase the risk of fractures, especially in older adults.
  • Cold sleepers – conditions such as anaemia, type 2 diabetes, and hypothyroidism can often make you feel cold. And floor sleeping can make you feel even colder, which is why we recommend you avoid it if you have any of the conditions mentioned above or tend to sleep cold.
  • People with limited mobility – if you are someone that has difficulty getting to the floor or getting back up, choose an option with a bed frame instead. For example, if you have joint pains like arthritis, you should also stay clear of sleeping near the ground.

How to sleep on the floor safely?

If you’re interested in sleeping on the floor, there are a few things you can do in order to do it safely. We recommend following this step-by-step guide to getting you started:

  1. Choose a space on your floor that’s free of clutter and is clean (free of mould and dust mites).
  2. Put your floor mattress on the ground.
  3. Get comfy bedding such as blankets, duvets, sheets and pillows.
  4. Don’t stack multiple pillows, as it can strain your neck
  5. Lie down on the floor and experiment with different positions to see which one feels best.
  6. If you live in a colder region, make sure your thermostat is on, or even plug in an electric blanket so you don’t feel cold.
  7. Lay down and give yourself time to get used to the floor (try a short nap first). Your body will need to adjust, and over time, you will be able to increase how long you sleep on the floor.

Bottom line

Having a bed on the ground will take some time to get used to. You might find it uncomfortable at first, but with reports of improved health and quality of sleep, it can end up being a positive adjustment for you. 

The good news is that you can always go back to sleeping on a bed if you change your mind, meaning there’s no harm in trying. We recommend you try it first and see if it will benefit you and suit your personal needs and preferences.

Understand that a floor mattress has its disadvantages too. If you are struggling with chronic pain, mobility issues or illness that makes it challenging to get in and out of bed, sleeping on the floor might be unsuitable. Thus, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure that those lifestyle changes won’t impede your health. 

We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to Is it safe to sleep on the floor and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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