Sleeping On The Couch: A Habit To Make Or Break?

4 min read

sleeping on the couch
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Most of us have probably been guilty of grabbing a quick afternoon snooze on the couch from time to time. Sleeping on the couch is also incredibly easy while watching television or chilling out.

No harm, no foul; there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the comforts available in your own home. However, there’s a big difference between having an occasional nap on your couch and using it as a bed. But, don’t worry, we’ll have all questions answered so, sit back and relax.

What makes Sleeping On The Couch Inadvisable?

When you wake up from a nap feeling stiff or sore, chances are, you already know whether sleeping on the couch is a sound idea or not. Lying down with your head slightly elevated is the most natural position for people to sleep.

Sleeping horizontally with some cushion for spine support has also been proven to be a healthy sleeping position because it distributes your bodyweight evenly. While a traditional flat mattress provides the ideal place for sleeping, sometimes a cosy couch or sofa ends up being the place you settle down to rest.

It’s better to sleep in the same location every night but dozing off on the couch occasionally is probably not bad for your long-term health. However, there are some instances when you should avoid sleeping on the couch.

Is It Good To Sleep On The Sofa? 

Sometimes, sleeping on the sofa seems to be the most comfortable position. However, it is not advisable to make it a habit. Sofas and Couches are made for sitting on. Comfortable or not, when it comes to sleeping, the bed is the best place to go. The question arises, why do people sleep on couches?

There can be a lot of reasons why people prefer to knowingly sleep on the couch. Some people do it when they return home late and don’t want to disturb their partner. Another reason may be due to an argument. When problems like these arise, sleeping on the couch seems to be the best on-the-spot solution but it can adversely affect your health.

Health Implications

  1. Not the right material

A very important aspect to take into consideration is the material of your couch. Couch material is not the same as a mattress. Diverse materials will conduct heat in different ways therefore, depending on the couch material you have, you could find yourself too cool or too warm while sleeping on the sofa. To feel more comfortable, sheets form an important element towards sleeping well.

2. Inadequate support and back pain

Sleeping on a couch too often places a strain on your neck muscles and back. It’s not good for your spinal column at all and sleeping in a poor position with inadequate support may also be bad for your bones and joints. Sleeping with spine and neck support is the safest way to sleep — and sleeping on the couch doesn’t necessarily provide that.

While sleeping on the sofa you’re subjecting your spine to some great deal of abnormal stress. Over time, this stress can cause structural changes in your spine and may even cause joint or disk degeneration.

3. Hampers sleep

When it comes to health, sleep is as vital as regular exercise. When you are in discomfort it wakes you up.  Sleeping on the couch can result in a lack of REM sleep, disturbing dreams, and more frequent wake-ups during the night.

On a mental level, waking up feeling grumpy is only the tip of the iceberg. Research suggests a lack of REM sleep may increase the likelihood of chronic depression and anxiety. There’s a lot to be said for getting a good night’s sleep and couches are a poor place to get it.

4. Distractions

Sleeping on the sofa or couch can result in you surrounding yourself with a lot of distractions that can further interrupt your sleep. Sleeping on the sofa means being subject to more illumination and lights, so we are more likely to get disturbed and wake up in the middle of our sleep.

Apart from this, we are likely to get disturbed by computers, television or other people in the house. The list goes on and all will equate to poor resting conditions.

sleeping on the couch

5. Couches collect germs rapidly

These cushioned lounges accumulate germs from numerous sources and take a lot of effort to clean. You may let pets on the couch, too, or have friends over frequently. Both of which contribute to the collection of dirt and bacteria. Considering this, as well as countless other germ sources, sleeping on the couch can spread contaminants and, therefore, should be avoided. 

We recommend reviewing your choices the next time you are tempted to fall asleep on a couch.

Wrong Sleeping Positions

Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person maintain optimal health and well-being. Regularly sleeping on your couch can over time, strain your back and neck muscles, and can lead to serious medical conditions. 

Your couch has not been designed for supporting your body’s curves. This is something common that sofa sleepers suffer from a bad sleeping position. 

An unfavourable position can eventually damage your back, harm your neck muscles, leaving you tired and exhausted, and end up in serious medical conditions.

As we are designed to sleep on our sides, we need enough support to do it freely, but on a couch or sofa, this sleeping position can be difficult to achieve, making us lose a lot of sleep and eventually waking up much more tired than normal.

Sleep problems will lead to irritation, compromised mood as well as fatigue all day long. It will also result in poor concentration and therefore bad work.

How To Cope After Spending A Night On Sofa?

  • Neck rolls and stretches are ideal for loosening up those stiff muscles after a night on the couch.
  • Spinal and shoulder twist is excellent as it loosens that tight spine.
  • Standing-forward-bend- stretches the lower back tightness as it also stretches your tight hamstrings.
  • The butterfly pose is a simple exercise that will stretch out your lower back and hips.

What If You Get A Good Night’s Sleep Only On The Couch?

Some people find it very hard to get quality sleep when they climb into a bed, yet, it comes easily as they lie on the couch. If a normal bed is not available and sleeping on an airbed is out of the question, you may have no other choice but to sleep on the couch. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can try to make the best out of a bad situation.

  1. Make more space.
  2. Get yourself a good pillow.
  3. Check your position.
  4. Turn off your televisions, lights or computers.
  5. Prepare your sleeping surface with good sheets.
  6. Try to make your room as sleep-friendly as possible.
  7. Make use of suitable sleep accessories.

Although sleeping on a couch every once in a while is unlikely to be detrimental for your long-term health and well-being, it’s not something you should be doing very often.

It’s not a good way to sleep. So, why don’t you start sleeping in your bed right now and avoid all of these consequences that can be bad for your health? It’s free and makes your mind and body feel a lot better. Sleep is important. You owe it to yourself to make sure you always get a good night’s rest.