Level Down to Level Up Your Sleep
Sleeping entails taking a break to rest and laying back and just sometimes, laying low. While we are pretty much used to flying high to our imaginary neverland as we experience the bliss of slumber, it is not necessary to actually lay above ground, away from the floor. Surely, people did manage to get their daily dose of sleeping even before beds were invented. In all probability, these ancestors of ours slept on the ground, baring a few who may have just found it more comfortable to hang on tree branches while getting those precious sleep points.
While you may have, at some time in your life, had the opportunity to sleep on the floor, I know I have, let us look at how we can use this technique and strategy of sleeping more productively so that it helps us rejuvenate efficiently.
A lot of times when I have had episodes of insomnia, I decide to get up, gather my sleep belongings and shift to the floor. A change of environment quite often helps me during those sleepless nights. However, there is a lot more to ‘floor sleeping’ than just plopping on the floor and lying down. It is frequent to experience discomfort at the beginning, especially now that the soft cuddle of your mattress is gone and the cold hard floor beneath you may just seem like a ruthless enemy.
Worry not, once you get adjusted, you would not want to get up. Personally, I recommend you sleep on the floor only during the summer months as the ground quite often is cold and while it may be a relief from the hot and humid environment during the summer months, winters might just be brutal.
‘Floor sleeping’ has also proven to help me maintain a good posture and is a quick and easy solution to my back pain. Although these improvements are completely subjective and depend from person to person and don’t have much medical research to back it up, it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.
Also, for all those active sleepers out there who cannot control their constant movements during the sleepy hours, afraid of falling off the bed, this is one of the best solutions. I have myself time and again found myself mid-sleep, waking up just because few of my limbs decided to fall off the bed. Well, none of your limbs can fall off the floor!
You can choose to place your precious body on either a clean carpet, a smooth rug, a sleeping bag, a thick bedsheet or even a thin one. You can also start off by sleeping on a mattress on the floor as well and then gradually shifting to less dense platforms. I highly recommend using a pillow under your head when sleeping on the floor as the cold, hard floor may irritate and hurt your head inhibiting you from visiting your dreams.
Make sure to find a space on the floor which is clean and decluttered as you don’t want random objects such as Lego pieces or dead insects poking at you while you try to sleep. Once you’ve found your spot, laid out your sheets and pillows, try finding the best position to help you sleep. It might take a while, but it is definitely worth it. When it comes to sleeping position, it is best to sleep on your back, keeping your head, neck and back properly aligned, although it is encouraged to try and sleep on your side or your stomach if that suits you better.
As the floors are colder than ordinary mattresses, make sure to use warm blankets. You can also use another pillow which you can keep between your joints and the ground if at any point the floor causes any discomfort. This usually happens with the hip or the knees. I always keep a small pillow between my knees while undertaking the task of ‘floor sleeping’.
While you’re sleeping on the floor, remember that it is only the location that has changed and not anything else. Do wear comfortable sleepwear, de-stress, ensure a calm environment and make sure you take the same measures you would if you were to sleep on the bed.
Additionally, make sure the floor is clean and there are no insects roaming around unless you decide to camp out and stargaze. You can always decide to sleep on the ground outdoors, just prepare properly for an adventure. Clear a lot of space, carry insect repellent and a clean tents/sleeping bag. And remember to ensure good sleep hygiene, no matter where you go to sleep.
A lot of people often mention how they need a change of environment or new surroundings to function better. The same applies to sleep as well and now that you know that going to bed doesn’t always require you to go to BED, try out this new change of location and see if it benefits you the same way it did for me.
On weekends, I recommend that you call over your siblings, friends or your loves ones, build a blanket fort and lay out sheets on the floor and host a fun slumber party. You can even decorate your fort and lie on the floor watching a TV series, listening to music or even gossip for hours before you realise you’ve fallen asleep as the floor is just that comfortable.
‘Floor sleeping’ does not only have to be a task you do with serious intentions, but you can also have fun with it. While I do not sleep on the floor every day and return to my bed very often, the change of the location and all the preparations I do does help me mix-up my sleep routine a little, making even the passive task of sleep, entertaining.
Is it better to sleep closer to the ground?
Many people find it more calm and easy to sleep when they are closer to the ground or sleep on the floor. It is believed to be a more natural way to sleep.
Is sleeping on the floor bad or harmful?
As long as you’ve not been told by a medical professional to avoid to sleep on the floor or if you do not have a condition which is worsened by sleeping on the ground, it is not harmful or bad to sleep on the floor.
Why am I comfortable sleeping on the floor?
It is often said that sleeping on the floor has its own benefits and leads one to become more well-rested. It also allows one to get out of bed easily as the warm and fuzzy comfort of your bed which makes you want to naturally hit the snooze button is now replaced with a more practical and efficient sleep method.
Written by Preeti Gokhale
The author is a sleep enthusiast. When not writing about sleep they prefer to either sleep or play games online. They also like to eat pizza and drink cranberry juice. You can often spot them on their way to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. You can connect with them via email!