Would you be surprised if you were told that sleeping on a mattress is a new phenomenon for humans? You should not because we have been sleeping on a bed for only a few centuries, but ever since the dawn of civilization, humans were sleeping on the floor. We sleep on a mattress because it is comfortable. There is no other reason for choosing to sleep on a mattress, oversleeping on the floor. But is a mattress the best sleeping surface for us? Although this is debatable, if we look at our ancestors, we will find that they either slept in trees or on the floor.

Because sleeping on the floor has been hailed as a healthier alternative to sleeping on a fancy mattress, there has been significant attention paid to the benefits and the downsides of ditching your memory foam mattress and making your bed on the hard floor. Those who practice and advocate holistic living regularly sleep on the floor and claim to enjoy a better quality of rest.

Most people today prefer to sleep on super expensive, plush mattresses. And why not? Given the huge variety of mattresses available today online, you don’t even have to step outside your house to get a new mattress delivered right at your doorstep. Even the mattresses that aren’t super expensive are designed to provide the utmost comfort and alignment to the body.

Sleeping on the floor is considered pathetic. If you don’t have a bed, you at least have a couch. If you sleep on the floor, you are too poor to afford a bed. And when you sleep on the floor despite having three bedrooms furnished with luxurious beds? You’re going bonkers.

That’s what many people think of those who sleep on the floor every night. But sleeping on the floor does have benefits that people sleeping on mattresses miss out on. In this post, we discuss the benefits of sleeping on the floor, and how to smoothly transition from a mattress to the floor.

Why Should You Sleep on The Floor?

If you look around, you will find that our lives are too cushy. We sleep on a plush mattress, our couches are cushioned, our chairs are upholstered, and even the seats of the car are designed to be soft and comfortable. You can even get your toilet seat cushioned for more comfort.

What does all the cushioning do to the body? It makes the body soft. Cushioning provides comfort, but it does nothing to strengthen muscles. And if muscles aren’t strong, not only do they get inflamed very easily but also become softer overtime, leading to muscle loss. We exercise our muscles to make them stronger but then ruin all the hard work by sleeping and sitting on soft cushioned surfaces.

There are certain cultures where people regularly sleep on the floor. Japan is one such country where sleeping on the floor is commonplace. However, for some comfort, they lay soft tatami mats on the floor. It isn’t unusual to find the entire flooring made of tatami. This takes away some of the discomforts of sleeping on a hard surface, while also offering the benefits of sleeping on the floor.

If you still aren’t sure about sleeping on the floor, here are the top reasons.

Alignment: Your back and spine remain perfectly aligned when sleeping on the floor. When you sleep on a mattress, your body sinks in over the course of the night. But since that doesn’t happen with the floor, your body must maintain its natural alignment. This keeps your posture right and benefits your body while you sleep.

Pain: People who usually suffer from aches and pains in various parts of the anatomy are often advised to sleep on a flat and hard surface. When these people sleep on the floor, they discover that their back pain shoulder pain or neck pain has disappeared suddenly. Many mattresses claim to help alleviate pain and soreness, but only the floor can live up to this claim. The pain that with you when we wake up in the morning is not because of sleeping on the wrong mattress but because of being restricted and not being able to move throughout the night. The floor does not restrict your body in any way when you sleep and helps preserve your natural alignment.

Rest: When you sleep on the floor, there is much less distraction than there would be sleeping on the bed. If there was someone else sleeping next to you, there would be no disturbance if they moved around at night. Getting up in the morning is also easier because you’re well-rested and not tempted to hit the snooze button.

Space Saving: When you sleep on the floor and don’t need a bed, you save space in the room. Besides, you can sprawl all you want on the floor without rolling out or falling down. There is also no need to make the bed, something many people dislike doing.

Downsides of Sleeping on The Floor

For a normal, healthy person, there isn’t any downside to sleeping on the floor. With practice, anyone can master sleeping on the floor and even come to love and enjoy it. There are people who have been sleeping on the floor for many years and enjoy better health and rest than others.

However, in certain cases, sleeping on the floor may present certain predicaments, such as:

Having A Guest Over: When a guest plans to stay the night and finds out that you sleep on the floor, they might worry that they have to do the same. If you bring home someone special, they may be mortified to learn to sleep on the floor.

Sex: Sexual activity isn’t too comfortable on the floor. To make things more comfortable, you can try adding a cushion or mat or just do it somewhere else.

Medical Conditions: If you have a special condition that requires you to use a hospital bed, you should not attempt to sleep on the floor. Sleeping on the floor is only for healthy people with no medical condition. If you suffer from conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or other mobility issues, you must not sleep on the floor. Remember that your health and comfort should always come first.

Transitioning to Sleeping on The Floor

For someone who has never slept on the floor, making the transition isn’t easy. Whether your floor is made of wood or tiles or stone, sleeping on the floor is just not the same as sleeping on your $2000 mattress. And some people may not even have space on the floor to sleep. Then they must go out to the living room to sleep next to the dog on the floor.

There are various ways in which you can slowly adapt to sleeping on the floor. The key here is to take it slow and not rush the process. Remember that you have been sleeping on a mattress ever since you were born, and getting used to the hard floor is going to take time.

The following is a step-by-step process to transition to sleeping on the floor.

Switch sides: Almost everyone has a favorite side of the bed. In the case of couples, each partner shares a different side of the bed, and they do it religiously. The left side may be for the wife and the right side for the husband or vice versa. Over time, your body adapts to the mattress, and the moment you lie down on your side of the bed, you feel comfortable and familiar.

But that’s not how it’s with the floor. Your body must adapt each and every night when you sleep on the floor. There are no familiar indentations in the floor that remind your body this is where you sleep. That is your starting point. Simply switch sides on your bed. If you so long slept on the left side, now sleep on the right. Your body will have to adapt, the same way it must adapt to the floor every night.

Change Rooms: If you have more than one bed in the house, it’s time to move to the other room. Have you noticed why your body finds it hard to adapt to a new bed? This is called cross-training, required to help your body adapt to its time on the floor. The purpose of these steps is to increase your body’s power to adapt to any surface you sleep on.

Remove the Comfort Layers: If the mattress has a top cover or padding that adds extra comfort, it’s time to get rid of them. When you sleep on the floor, you won’t have the pillow top or the padding for comfort. This is just helping your body get used to what is to follow.

Ditch the Bed: Now is the time to take the topper or padding for the bed and spread it on the floor. You’re going to ditch the bed and make the floor your new sleeping place. You can have two layers or three on the floor, because in the beginning, the hard floor is difficult to adjust to. You can add toppers and quilts to make your new bed as comfortable as you want for now because later, you’re going to remove them. Remember to use blankets and comforters because, unlike the memory foam mattress, the floor isn’t going to keep you warm.

Reduce the Layers: This is the final step in the transitioning process, and it involves removing as many layers as possible. According to sleep experts, the way to measure the effectiveness of sleeping on the floor is to feel like you had a workout when you wake up in the morning. In short, you should feel amazing. Remove the padding from the bed as much as possible, keeping only a thin layer between you and the floor. You can try using a grass or tatami mat for sleeping on; these are healthy and natural and eliminate the need for other layers.

While going through this process, do not try to rush it. Sleeping on the floor isn’t something that can be achieved in a day, especially if you’re too attached to your bed. After you go through this experiment, you will not only appreciate your bed even more but also realize that the effects of sleeping on the floor are compounded with time. The longer the time you spend sleeping on the floor, the greater you enjoy the process. But to get the most out of it, you must be willing to stick to the process. Within two or three weeks, you get used to your new bed, and your body starts to thank you for the support and relief it feels.