Sleeping on one's stomach, also called sleeping prone, may happen to anyone in the course of a night's sleep. It may not feel right to sleep on your back because of lower back issues. Or if we do a lot of work during the day where we have to reach our arms out in front of us, our chest muscles may become tight and sleeping on our stomach may feel like a good way to stretch those muscles. So because of these or other reasons we may choose to or our body may just roll over onto our stomach to find a more comfortable position. There is evidence to show sleeping on our stomach can cause:
Troubled sleeping as the major nerve of our heart and lungs (Vegas nerve) is compressed;
Decreased blood flow through the vertebral artery in our neck decreasing blood flow to the center part of our brain (circle of Willis) which may lead to migraines or headaches
Lower back pain through excess lower back arching;
Shoulder and neck pain because of excess prolonged stretching of these;
TMJ, at least partially because of #4;
SIDS - with in the first 6 months of life.
About 80% of the human growth hormone (HGH) our body produces during the day is produced during rapid eye movement sleep (REM). If we don't sleep well enough, we don't get enough REM and our body suffers in many ways from not having enough HGH. The hormone HGH is a very central part of the way our body keeps us vibrant. Massage, exercise and other relaxation methods can be used to loosen our muscles and reduce body stresses so our body doesn't desire to sleep on our stomach. With all the potential risks and problems it is worth working at never sleeping on our stomach again.