Sleeping in a Recliner Chair – Is it a Bad Idea?

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s safe to sleep in your recliner, look no further. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of using a recliner as a bed and whether or not you should consider it.

We also offer some tips and tricks that may make sleeping in a recliner easier to adjust to as it can be a significant change from your regular bed.

How Did I Wake up in a Recliner?

Do you ever find yourself jolting awake from a deep sleep, pitch darkness around you, realizing you fell asleep in the recliner yet again? Do you spend the rest of the day hunched over in pain as your back feels absolutely destroyed?

Maybe you’ve found the opposite, and sleeping in your recliner relieves your back pain, and you prefer that oversleeping in your bed. Or perhaps you’re recovering from a rough surgery that prevents you from sleeping safely in your bed.

Either way, we’ve all found ourselves falling asleep or choosing to sleep in our recliners from time to time. While we’ve all heard that sleeping in a recliner may cause back pain, there really isn’t much discussion beyond that.

The truth is, there are benefits and drawbacks to sleeping in a recliner.

Pros of Sleeping in Your Recliner

There are quite a few benefits of sleeping in your recliner that you may not be aware of. Cons such as pain and soreness are the most common symptoms people may think of when contemplating sleeping in your recliner.

Many don’t realize that there are positives that can come from choosing to sleep in your recliner as well.

Sleeping in Your Recliner Can Relieve Back Pain

Contrary to popular belief, certain recliners may actually be better for back pain. If you have a recliner with great support, it can improve the pain you may be feeling in your lower back.

What’s more, pressure can be relieved from your back if you sleep in a supported recliner.

Smoother Breathing

Laying on your back at night can make breathing more difficult as your weight can put pressure on the diaphragm.

Sleeping in a recliner in an upright position relieves some of the pressure on the diaphragm and promotes better breathing during sleep.

Soothing of Acid Reflux

Similar to how sleeping in a recliner may promote better breathing, it can also help ease the symptoms of acid reflux. The angle at which the chair sits can help promote better movement and reduce the common acid reflux symptoms.

Great After Surgery

Certain surgeries make sleeping in a bed painful or even dangerous. Rotator cuff surgery, for example, requires sitting up straight as your arm is most likely in a sling or large casing.

Sleeping in your recliner allows you to sleep comfortably without worrying about hurting your surgery site.

Relief in Pregnancy

It’s common knowledge that pregnant women often have trouble getting decent sleep, especially in the later months. They may also experience sleep apnea symptoms that are worsened by sleeping on their back.

Sleeping in a recliner can be a great alternative for pregnant women as the angle can help relieve sleep apnea symptoms while allowing them to get adequate sleep.

Cons of Sleeping in Your Recliner

We’re all guilty of falling asleep in our recliners while watching TV at night. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to keep in mind some of these cons that come from sleeping in our recliners for longer periods.

They may not always happen for everyone, but it’s important to understand the risks we may take when changing our routine.

Back Issues

As we mentioned earlier, sleeping in a recliner may promote better back health and relieve pain in that area. However, there is also the chance that sleeping in your recliner may disturb your back even further.

If you experience intense back issues, you should consult your doctor before deciding to sleep for any length of time in a recliner.

Lack of Movement

When sleeping in a recliner, there is not as much space to toss and turn. This may be an issue for those that prefer moving around during the night. Sleeping in a recliner limits you to one single position.

Knee Pain

Sleeping in a recliner may also promote knee pain. There isn’t much room for your legs to move, so if you sleep in your recliner, your knees may remain in the same seated position for long periods. This can be an issue and cause pain over time.

Blood Clots

Remaining in a seated position for long periods can hinder circulation. If you are in a seated position the entire night, you run the risk of developing blood clots over time.

It is not recommended to stay seated for long periods, such as when on an airplane, to promote circulation.

How Should I Sleep in My Recliner?

If you prefer sleeping on your back or your side, sleeping in your recliner may be a better option for you than someone who prefers sleeping on their stomach.

Sleeping on your stomach is not ideal in a recliner, but sleeping on your side is possible and sleeping on your back is ideal.

You must have a recliner that has great lumbar support to preserve your back during the night. It may be unwise to sleep in your recliner if the one you have is very old or worn out.

Having a newer recliner or one that is sure to promote lower back support is ideal if you are planning to sleep in it.

Further Considerations

Before you go to sleep in your recliner, you should consider the angle that will leave you most comfortable. Play around with the different angles that your recliner may adjust to and try them out to find one that works best with your sleeping style and preferences.

You should also consider the temperature of the room where your recliner is. You are most likely accustomed to the temperature in your bedroom, but you may not be aware of how your living room feels during the night.

Consider testing the temperate first before committing to a full night’s sleep.

Don’t sleep in your recliner in the same way you would sit in your recliner during the day. Make sure you bring small pillows and blankets to help make your recliner as comfortable as possible.

Giving your neck proper support can help prevent unwanted pains and soreness in the morning.

Should I Sleep in My Recliner or Not?

In the end, sleeping in your recliner is a personal preference. You may find that you have no other option after going through surgery, or perhaps you end up falling asleep in your recliner after work and realize you prefer it to your bed.

Either way, there are ways to safely sleep in your recliner if you wish.

There are both pros and cons that come along with sleeping in your recliner. As long as you keep these things in mind, you can safely and comfortably sleep in your recliner.

Remember, you should always consider speaking to a doctor or professional before committing to a big change in your sleep routine.

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