One year ago, I started to sleep on the floor. In this article, I want to talk to you about the reasons and my experience with sleeping on the floor.
Why do I sleep on the floor?
Before I start to explain all the benefits and reasons, why sleeping on the floor is actually good for you, I first want to tell you how I got into floor-sleeping.
It all started with a simple reason: I felt uncomfortable sleeping in my bed. It was too small, in the summer too hot and often I woke up with lower back pain. I really didn’t feel very comfortable in my bed all the time. I started to research the reasons for my problems but wasn’t quite satisfied with the results. The same time I started to look for a solution, me and my friend planned a bike-tour to the Lake Constance. We would sleep in a tent and to save weight, we would just sleep on a small yoga-matt.
At first, I was concerned, that it would be uncomfortable, but it actually wasn’t. The first day I woke up with no back pain, whatsoever. I thought: “Well, that’s the first day and we were really exhausted. That must be the reason.” But it got better and better. I really enjoyed lying down on the thin yoga-matt and sleep wherever I want.
The first night back home I slept on my bed, and it was ok, but nothing compared to the sleep in the tent. That day I started to think about a way to get the same kind of sleep at home as I had in the tent (I just realize how funny that sounds). So I took the yoga-matt, put it on the floor next to my bed and started my little experiment.
The first night was painful: I still had lower back pain and my bones hurt. I concluded: “The floor may be too hard compared to the grass we had placed our tent on.” But I was really interested if anything would change if I kept sleeping on the floor. And it did get better after one rough week of sleep (it was really uncomfortable, to be honest.) As it got better and better, I got very curious about why. My research on the internet supported my idea. There are all sorts of “proven” reasons, why people should sleep on the floor. So I continued and believe me, it is awesome!
I know it sounds weird, but I had the best sleep for a year on the floor. Every morning I woke up with much more energy and no pain. Laying down on the floor now is one of the most satisfying thing for me now. Sometimes when I think about something or feel a bit uncomfortable sitting at my desk, I just lay down for a minute or two and feel much better.
I continued to sleep on the floor to this day and will do it forever.
I’m not exaggerating, but when I go to “bed” I fall asleep within 5 minutes. My brain can relax instantly when I lay on the floor.
What are the benefits of sleeping on the floor?
Now we get to the interesting stuff: What are the actual benefits of sleeping on the floor?
- It makes you realize the comfort of life. Life has too many cushions.
- You achieve much deeper sleep when laying on a firm floor.
- You will strengthen tiny muscles.
- You will strengthen your bones.
- I feel really comfortable when you get used to it (like a message to be honest).
- You don’t lock your body into one position.
- You save a lot of money.
- You can literally sleep anywhere perfectly, even at the airport if you miss a flight.
- You have more room.
These are the first things that came into my mind in no particular order, but I hope you see how many benefits it has for you. What I mean by “It makes you realize the comfort of life.”, is that you can really enjoy the comfort of life when taking away comfort consciously. If you are comfortable all the time, you get lazy, at least that’s how I react to comfort. That’s why I do a lot of things to take away some comfort in order to be more productive. I shower with cold water, exercise a lot and sleep on the floor. Our society has got way too comfortable and therefore we need some wake-up-calls on how comfortable life really has become. That’s one thing floor sleeping does for you.
The practical side of floor-sleeping:
You save money! If you don’t sleep on a mattress, you don’t need it and can save that money. There are some really expensive options, but I’m sure nothing compares to the comfort you can get on the floor.
You have more room for yourself. If you don’t have much space or want to use your space more efficiently, floor-sleeping is perfect for you. Every morning, you can roll up your “bed”, put it somewhere and use that room for other things.
You can sleep anywhere. You will never be concerned about the quality of the mattress in a hotel. When you want to sleep at your friends’ house, you don’t have a problem to just come over. If you have a delayed flight, just lay down and sleep.
What are the issues and how to solve them?
Issue: It’s really uncomfortable at first. I think what holds most people back from floor-sleeping is the first uncomfortable night. They conclude, that they simply need a comfortable mattress.
Solution: Stick to it for at least two weeks. It took me about ten days to feel comfortable on the floor. Try it for a longer period of time to get used to it.
Issue: Sleeping on your side is difficult. Because the floor does not allow your body to “sink in”, sleeping on the side will be really uncomfortable.
Solution: You will need a higher pillow, so your neck and your spine are straight. That way you can sleep comfortably on the side too.
Issue: Body parts can fall asleep much easier. Because of the firm ground, your blood cannot flow when you lay on your arm for example. When you put your head on your arm, you cut off the blood flow.
Solution: Don’t sleep on your arm. Sorry, but that’s the best solution I can come up with. I think in this point the mattress wins over the floor because it still happens to me that I wake up with my head on my arm, with no feeling in it. That’s just how it is.
How should I get started?
I hope by now you got really excited about floor-sleeping and want to try it for yourself.
Now the best way to start is to start with ease. Don’t just lay on the floor and expect it to be comfortable the first time. Here are some steps on how to get started:
- Use a lot of cushion at the beginning. Use multiple yoga-mats or blankets to ease into the feeling of sleeping on the floor.
- Take away more and more layers as you go. When you got used to five layers, take away one of them. When you get used to that take away another one. Keep on doing that.
- Never sleep on the naked floor. While some might tell you they truly sleep on the cold brick-hard floor, I wouldn’t recommend it. Personally, I sleep on one thin yoga-mat and a thin blanket on top of it. Watch the video below to see how I sleep.
- Get used to sleep on your back. The more layers you take away, the harder it will get to be comfortable sleeping on the floor.
My Experience with floor-sleeping:
As you may have already realized, I love to sleep on the floor. There is nothing more comfortable for me. I have to admit that my arms fall asleep from time to time and that lying on the back can get boring after a while. Nevertheless, I fall asleep really quickly and wake up with no pain and a lot of energy.
There is another part to it too: You feel “grounded” and supported by the floor. It feels like it is holding you, not letting you hang. It also feels much healthier to me and I always feel like my bones and joints fall into the right places when I sleep on the floor.
I highly recommend you to at least try it for two weeks and see for yourself if it could replace your bed or not. It certainly did for me and I don’t regret a night the decision I made.
If you have some questions about floor-sleeping, let me know. If you have other tips and tricks, please write them down in the comment section as well. Some other articles and videos will follow on the topic of sleep, so stay tuned.