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Why People in Japan Sleep on the Floor and 5 Reasons to Give It a Try

If you grew up in a Western country, you are probably used to sleeping curled up on a soft bed. But when you walk into a Japanese bedroom, chances are you won’t even find a bed. There are many reasons why the Japanese prefer to get their z’s on the floor, and it’s not just a tradition or for space-saving reasons in small apartments. Turns out, sleeping on the ground has some pretty impressive health benefits.

We at Bright Side admire Japan for so many reasons, and the fact that it has become the world’s most long-lived country made us think about the reasons behind its centuries-long tradition of floor-sleeping.

1. It may relieve back pain.

Sleeping on a hard, flat surface is good for your back, and may free you of pain that’s been with you for years. While sleeping on a soft bed surely feels comfy, your mattress may start to sink down over time, causing your spine to curve and leading to back pain. In fact, medical experts even recommend placing plywood under your mattress if it’s too soft. Sleeping on the floor will also keep your spine aligned and prevent your body from twisting into an unnatural position.

2. It can improve your posture.

If you sleep in the right position and your spine gets proper support, it will be much easier for you to keep your back straight during the day. Making the move to the floor can help you fix poor posture, because when your back doesn’t hurt, you don’t feel the need to slouch.

3. It may improve blood circulation.

When you sleep on the floor, it enhances your blood flow, because your weight is distributed evenly and there’s less pressure on different parts of your body. Sleeping in a natural position will also prevent the numbness and tingling caused by poor circulation. For example, if you sleep curled up on your side the blood gets circulated and then flows back to your heart, causing various health problems, like blood clots and varicose veins.

4. It can help you get up on time.

If you find it hard to leave the comfort of your pillows and get out of bed in the morning, you’re not alone. Many people struggle when the alarm goes off and are tempted to hit the snooze button. When you sleep on the floor, you get just the right quality of sleep, and you’re not so comfortable that you want to lie there the whole day.

5. It’s affordable.

Making the transition to a floor bed will also make your wallet happy. The average person spends around $1,000 dollars on a mattress, and picking the wrong one and replacing it can cost you some time and energy. Sleeping on the floor will save you thousands of dollars, as you won’t need to buy a bed frame or a foundation to fit your mattress.

Who should avoid sleeping on the floor

The floor is the hardest surface you can sleep on, and although going mattress-free has many benefits, it’s not recommended for some groups of people.

  • Allergy sufferers. Because the floor collects dirt and dust, people who are prone to allergic reactions might experience coughing and a runny nose.
  • People with bone diseases. If you already suffer from a serious bone disorder, sleeping on the floor can do more harm than good as it could put more pressure on your joints.
  • Elderly people. Because mobility decreases with age, older adults might find it difficult to get onto the floor.
  • Cold sleepers. If you find yourself waking up chilly at night, it’s better to avoid floor-sleeping, as it can make you even colder.

What do you think of sleeping on the floor? Would you be able to leave the comfort of your bed for these health benefits?

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