Sleeping on Couch: Is it a Good or Bad Habit?

sleeping on couch
Sleeping on Couch: Is it a Good or Bad Habit?

Most people sleep in their bed every night, without fail. However, some people claim that sleeping on their Ottoman couch improves their sleep, while others enjoy napping on these comfortable lounges.

If you are a member of this group, you may be wondering whether sleeping on the couch is a good or bad practise. Isn’t sitting for long periods of time on the couch bad for your back and neck?

Take a seat and unwind. All of these questions will be answered, as well as how to settle more comfortably on a settee and what steps to take to avoid discomfort after falling asleep on a couch.

Is There a Distinction?

Sleep is critical to our overall health and well-being. If we don’t get enough, it affects our ability to learn and limits cognitive function. As a result, finding a comfortable place to sleep is critical.

What Makes Couch Snuggling Unsuitable?

To put it another way, is sleeping on a couch bad for your back? If you’ve ever awoken from a nap feeling stiff or sore, you probably already know whether sleeping on the couch is a good idea.[1]

Don’t worry, you don’t have to beat yourself up if you occasionally enjoy dozing off on comfortable chaise lounges; just don’t make it a habit. It can cause more than just aches and pains over time. Years of sleeping on a couch cause spinal misalignment and chronic back pain.

We understand that couch sleeping can be very appealing, but before you curl up in your favourite nook, consider the following disadvantages:

Inadequate Assistance

Support is one of the primary differences between sleeping on a couch and sleeping in a bed. Couches, to put it simply, are designed to be sat on.

Of course, there are exceptions, but when compared to a mattress designed specifically to brace your inert form, your favourite long padded seat falls short.

Settees are designed for short periods of relaxation. It is not designed to support the entire body in a supine position for an extended period of time.

Sleeping on your soft, cosy couch on a regular basis can lead to back problems such as spinal subluxation, also known as spinal misalignment. Pain on one side of the body, tension or stiffness in the back or neck, or limited movement are common symptoms.

In many cases, the transition is gradual, and it is frequently the result of prolonged and repetitive stress to the spinal column. It is best to reduce the strain on your back, especially if you do manual labour or have a job that requires you to sit most of the time.

Back pain from sleeping on a couch is unavoidable unless the habit is avoided.

Read – How Much Sleep Do Teenagers Require? The Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

Sleeping Position is Impairment

Snuggling in your favourite divan can often force you to sleep in positions that aren’t entirely comfortable, especially if there isn’t enough room to stretch your legs. When sleeping on a sofa, you are compelled to curl up or bend in unnatural positions in order to fit in.

Drifting off at an awkward angle, with your hips sunk between the cushions and your knees overly bent, will result in strained muscles and joints. If left unchecked, this bad habit will leave you exhausted and tired every morning. Select a location that allows for healthy resting positions.

Excessive Distractions

When you sleep in the living room, where that long cushioned seat is usually found, you are surrounded by external distractions that can disrupt your sleep even more.

This is especially true if you live with a partner or if you like to watch TV before going to bed and leave it on all night. There’s also the stereo, cell phones, laptops, and even a dripping faucet. The list goes on, and they all add up to poor sleeping conditions.

Light, both natural and artificial, reduces sleep quality

If you’re trying to sleep during the day, chances are the living room or wherever the settee is brighter than your bedroom. Similarly, the bright blue light emitted by electronics can interfere with your sleep.

To maintain your natural sleep-wake pattern, or “Circadian Rhythm,” it is best to sleep in complete darkness. Light signals to your brain and body that it is not time to sleep yet. It’s a signal that tells you to stay awake, which can be inconvenient when you need to sleep.

If your bedroom is truly relaxing and well-lit, you will sleep deeper and better than you could have hoped for.

Sofa Materials Heat Up More Rapidly Than Mattresses

Your sofa is not custom-made to regulate temperature in the way that most mattresses are nowadays. Instead, it is intended to be comfortable for a short period of time while also being aesthetically pleasing to those who appreciate a beautiful piece of furniture.

Couches, unlike mattresses, do not use gel infusions or moisture-wicking technologies to keep them cool.

Because of the reduced breathability in its entire structure, this type of furniture frequently absorbs a significant amount of heat and has no way of releasing it.

A divan is not the best sleeping surface if you want to sleep uninterrupted.

Couches Quickly Collect Germs

Your divan is far superior to the Collyer Brothers in terms of hoarding. These cushioned lounges collect germs from a variety of sources and require a significant amount of effort to clean.

Inquire with your mother. If you’re like the majority of people who like to prop their feet up on long upholstered seats, you’re a regular source of microscopic organisms that thrive on your divan.

You may also allow pets on the couch or invite friends over on a regular basis. Both of which aid in the accumulation of dirt and bacteria. Given this, as well as a plethora of other germ sources, sleeping on the couch can spread contaminants and should thus be avoided.

To make matters worse, your couch is difficult to clean. You can’t just toss it in with the laundry. You can always spot clean for a few drops of wine, but your favourite seat goes for long periods of time without being thoroughly sanitised.

We recommend going over your options the next time you’re tempted to nap on the couch.

Some Benefits

sleeping on couch advantages

Given what we’ve learned thus far, it’s reasonable to wonder if dozing off on couches is still beneficial. However, depending on the circumstances, sleeping on a couch rather than a bed has advantages.

It can be relaxing to recline on a sofa while reading or watching late-night news. Of course, moving to your bed once you’re finished would be more beneficial in the long run.

A divan will also come in handy if you are in desperate need of a quick power nap. Putting aside the constant discomfort and unsettling temperature, you may have wondered, “Why do I sleep better on the couch?”

It is often the result of subtle conditioning that you have repeatedly subjected yourself to. Most people have a nighttime routine, and if it includes lying down on a sofa as you prepare to sleep, you may have trained yourself to do so. Insomnia can also be indicated by frequent snoozing on the couch.[2]

Quick Reminders When Using a Bed or a Couch

  • Try sleeping with an eye mask on. This can help you get enough darkness and begin your circadian rhythm.
  • Earplugs can help to reduce external noises that can disrupt your sleep, especially if you are a light sleeper.
  • Aromatherapy can help to relax your senses and relieve stress after a long day at work. This is especially true when dealing with stress. The scents of lavender and chamomile are effective at relieving anxiety and tension, resulting in complete relaxation and restful, sustained sleep. Avoid the odour of smoke as well.
  • Plants can help to create a relaxing environment while also purifying the air.
  • Natural sleep aids, such as valerian root, can aid in the promotion of deep sleep.
  • If you are unable to find relief, consulting your doctor is a viable option. A medical condition may be interfering with your ability to sleep.

Advice for Those Who Must Sleep on Couch

In some cases, such as when visiting a friend, you may find yourself with no choice but to sleep on the sofa. When this occurs, there are a few things you can do to improve the comfort of your sleepover. Although we do not recommend sleeping on the couch every night, these tips can help you learn how to sleep on a couch when necessary.

Related – A Comprehensive Guide to Get More Deep Sleep

Make More Room

To make more room on the couch, remove the back cushions if they are not attached. This will give you more room to spread your arms and legs out while sleeping, depending on the structure.

Examine Your Position

If you are unable to stretch out due to a lack of space, a proper position is essential. Hang your legs or arms over the padded seat’s edges, or curl up in a foetal position. If you prefer the latter, sleep on your left side to avoid heartburn, especially if you ate a hearty dinner less than two hours ago.

Invest in a Quality Pillow

Use a full-size pillow to properly support your neck. You may not have the luxury of a mattress, but don’t skimp on the pillow either. A good headrest can save your neck from unnecessary strain.

Go the Full Length

Cover the surface of the couch with a cotton sheet. This will keep you awake in the middle of the night due to heat and uneasiness, especially if you’re on a leather sofa. A bed sheet will also ensure that you are lying down on a clean surface and not resting your face on someone else’s feet.[3]

Roll a couple of blankets

Use a blanket for extra warmth. Consider folding or rolling up blankets to provide extra support or to fill in any gaps in the seat cushions for a more consistently flat surface.

How to Recover from a Sleeping on a Sofa

sleeping on the couch

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of falling asleep on a couch, try the following stretching options for temporary relief:

  • Neck stretches and rolls
  • Shoulder stretches and twists
  • Twists in the spine
  • Stretches for hip opening
  • Leg stretches in both seated and standing positions

Conclusion – Sleeping on Couch

There are advantages and disadvantages to dozing off on the couch. Nonetheless, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages.

To summarise the main complications associated with sleeping on a sofa, we have: a lack of proper support, chronic tension and pain, a compromised sleep position, exposure to a plethora of disease-causing bacteria, an unfavourable resting environment that is too bright to promote solid sleep, abundant distractions, and lounge materials that have a substandard breathability, which ultimately leads to feeling hot during sleep.

Instead of dealing with these disadvantages and insisting on sleeping on the couch, we recommend reconsidering these options to save yourself from sleepless nights and avoidable health problems. If you want to sleep like a baby, nothing beats a firm mattress!