May 2, 2024

Is Sleeping on the Floor Good for Your Back?

Dr. Deirdre Conroy was interviewed for this Scientific American story

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It turns out that resting on the floor may offer advantages for certain people in certain scenarios. Some physiotherapists say that lying flat on your back in a star shape (with your arms and legs extending out and away from your torso) or with your knees up takes pressure off the back and can stretch it out. In addition, cooler temperatures near the floor may improve sleep quality and overall comfort, some experts say. Others agree that lying on the floor could have positive effects.

At least part of the benefit may be psychological. People sometimes learn to associate their bed with both insomnia and pain, says Deirdre Conroy, a clinical professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the University of Michigan. At the clinic, Conroy has seen insomnia patients who would sleep better when they left their bed for other locations, including the floor. “The relief could be psychological,” she says.


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