THE COMFORT OF SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR
It's no magic carpet ride...
Would you sleep on the floor?
Hardwood, tiled, cemented or carpeted, would you sleep on the floor?
Many old folks I know (male) prefer to sleep on the floor, than on a mattress with their wives; why is that? Do the wives of these men find it a better advantage for them sleeping alone? No more poking from the husbands. The wives do not have to reason about a headache. Hmm, sleeping on the floor is our topic here, not…
It is not that these men don’t want to touch their wives anymore, but as they grow older, common back pain problems occur. Upper back or lower back, men needed to lie down on their backs straight and flat. Women do too. And many other couples do practice sleeping on the floor together. There is no problem with getting intimate there…it’s just like having intimacy with a picnic basket next to you.
The comfort of sleeping on a flat surface
Ever been complaining about back aches? Try sleeping on a floor or flat surface to keep your body in alignment. It also reshapes the back with all the avoidance of developing a crooked back or simply building a good posture. It is the same experience if you are lying on a flat exercise machine that tunes up your spine. The less support your body is rested upon, the better it is to feel good getting up. It makes slumber better as you get use to sleeping on a hard surface.
Lying down on a sandy beach, on grassy areas, on a park bench or other flat surfaces, does it not just make you feel rejuvenated? It is true, is it not? It is like sleeping on nothing!
At home, I have tried nights sleeping on the floor with just a white sheet over the carpeted bedroom. My dog must think that I am invading his sleeping spot. Well, he liked sharing it with me and I like the feeling of closeness with my dog. The only disadvantage of sleeping on the floor at nights is that I was recently asked to move and sleep in bed instead.
“Sweetie, you don’t have to sleep down here in the futon or on the floor. Move and sleep in the bed, later.”
I did not want to argue with that sweet gesture accompanied with a sweet smile, so I replied like an obedient babe, "okay". Why am I sleeping with my dog, when I have him to sleep with? But I wanted to get rid of my right back-shoulder pains from sleeping in bed though I can sleep on my right side for long hours. I have been switching different pillows in terms of thickness, thinness, softness and hardness, but still I am getting backaches reaching up my neck turning into annoying migraines. Our mattress is of great quality but nothing compared to the comfort I am getting from sleeping on the floor the past nights. Now, I take my chances sleeping on the floor during nap times.
Floors are cooler during a hot season or ordinary hot days. Wooden floors have that magical essence that it is just beautiful to sleep on especially if they are shiny and wide Narra wood flooring like in my grandpa’s ancestral house. If a person is prone to using a mattress his whole life, he will find difficulties sleeping on a hard floor in the first few days. He will be experiencing lower back pains to his tailbone or perhaps caused by poor posture. To try harder lying on the floor, support your tailbone with a firm pillow and ease your way in finding your most comfort position. As you get use to the hard surface, you will find yourself gradually romancing with the comfort of it and ease your sleeping experience.
Eco-friendly bamboo products
One example of a flatbed is a bed made of bamboo.
My pa made his own bamboo bed. He loves the cool and comfortable feeling of it. It is his permanent bed. My pa does sleep on a hard surface as he could and he is now in his 70s and does work wonders for him. How about my ma? You would probably wonder. “Oh, she is fine in her queen size bed, lol.” My pa suffers from lower (waistline) back pains and this is from sitting, squatting with his lower back bent forward on some work and especially if he is not constantly moving around. He has to be always on the go to keep the pain away. On weekends, he still does not rest doing nothing or he will feel the back pains again. When driving, he sits up straight. When at the table for mealtime, he sits up straight. When walking, he does not slouch; that is how he disciplines his posture. I remember my pa coaching us to keep our backs straight when eating, just how he demonstrated to us his eating position during his military training. Eating a “square meal” he said. But my brothers and I need to see the food on our plates!
When he is resting on his flat bed, he gets up feeling marvelous. He made his bed out from bamboo slats forming them into one bamboo board (similar to the image of a bamboo bed you see here). He uses a woven mat over it and sleeps on a hard-foam pillow he made for himself. The rubber foam he is using as pillow is the kind of foam used for cushioned furniture. He gets up in the mornings fine and relaxed than compared to spending a night’s sleep on a regular bed, spring or mattress. Back in my parents’ home, my pa also had made bamboo living room furniture- a wide sofa and chair made of strong bamboo frame and painted it chocolate brown. Where termites share land space in Asia, the bamboo used for furniture must be well treated to be termite resistant.
A bamboo or “woody grass” offers hardwood, does not expand so easily and if well treated, the bamboo does not crack nor break. The bamboo’s natural look provides comfort as it is cozy and light to use especially in furniture. Its strength makes the bed or any furniture durable and longer lasting. Its exotic beauty is now taken advantage much on other furniture such as tables, chairs, benches, closets, cabinets and beds. Bamboo has been widely used for its durability and eco-friendly material source in fixtures such as shelves, lamp stands and shades, wall and mirror frames, even flooring and fencing and are exported just like the bamboo beds.
Having bamboo furniture at home is the “green” thing which also provides the home a fresh, exciting and exotic ambiance.
If you are a minimalist and care more of the environment, try sleeping on the floor using an easy, comfortable material to sleep on and move around.
· The Japanese “tatami” mat
· Fabric or Yarn mat
· A Fleece blanket
· Plastic Woven mat
· Roll-away Bamboo mat
· Light Pad sleeping mat
· Self-Inflating mat
· The Philippine “banig” mats made from sedge or straw. A "banig" is a hand-woven mat traditionally made in East Asia and the Philippines in a variety of colours and attractive designs.
· Camping Sleeping Bag
Hand-woven "banig" in the Philippines
7 Sleeping Styles
1. Straight on back and flat – stretches the abdominal area and makes you feel great. Relaxes all your muscles, releasing from tension.
Con: Some people are not prone to sleeping flat on their backs also known as “the zombie position” and will feel the strain on the spine or pelvis.
2. Sleeping semi-curled on the side – the most common and preferred comfortable position. It helps maintain our spine’s natural curve adding a pillow clutch in between the legs.
Con: Prolonged side position makes it uncomfortable for the arm and shoulder, thus creating shoulder and neck pains.
3. Sleeping curled-up on the side- also known as the ‘fetal position’ where tummy is tucked, legs are folded curled up close to the chest, the spine and neck are flexed forward and the head is bowed, like the fetus curled up in a ball in the womb. This is a common position we do when the body reacts to feeling cold.
4. Sleeping straight on the side – almost similar to ‘sleeping curled on the side’ and would mostly benefit the spine as well by having a pillow tucked in between the legs. Also called as “the arrow position”.
Con: Prolonged side position makes it uncomfortable for the arm and shoulder, thus creating numbness on the hand and arm, and pains the shoulder and neck. Now, this eventually does not occur to all people. It is just a matter of finding your most comfortable position.
5. Sleeping on your stomach- as advised by my doctor once, this position is not really advisable for women for it is unhealthy to the breasts. The best position for a better breast development and care is sleeping on your side.
Con: Breast deformation
6. Sleeping with face buried in the pillow- coming home exhausted and you drop dead in bed with face down in your pillow, or your neck tilted to the side (chin is pointing upward). People often find this comfortable but only for a brief while. If you have been a stomach sleeper, give your head a turn to the side with your chin pointing towards your chest for a soothing flexibility and easy breathing or much better yet, change this long time sleeping habit and switch positions. If your pillow is too high or too hard, change it.
Con: This position hinders the natural and normal way of breathing and heartbeat during sleep and is extremely dangerous. It also puts a hard stress on the shoulders and strain on the neck.
7. Sleeping on back with arms extended alongside of head or above head- also known as “the surrender” is one of the coziest sleeping positions. You surrender your whole self without any care. You’ll find yourself drift off to sleep so easily.
Con: I don’t seem to know any, do you?
10 Benefits of Sleeping on the Floor
Combining the practice of sleeping on mattress and on the floor until you agree how the change of comfort sleeping on the floor can do for you and benefit you on:
1. Back alignment, solves back problems as physical therapists would recommend
2. Overall good posture
3. Better health
4. Adapting easily to sleeping on floor when visiting friends without inconveniencing the host. I was a host to my bestfriend and her family once coming from New Jersey. I have arranged my kids' room to share it with her two kids. The kids had fun turning the bedroom into a camp improvising tents out from their sheets and blankets. Two of them occupied a bunk bed and the other two slept soundly on the floor.
5. Travelling/Packing light
6. Saving space
7. Blissful stability with your partner (if you can convince your partner to sleeping on the floor)
8. Staying cool without the need for a/c
9. Easy and convenient maintenance like washing and storing
10. Giving you room to stretch out as much as you need
"Good night, sleep tight, have no back pains tonight." - coffeegginmyrice