As the night draws in, the question of where to lay one’s head becomes pertinent. The choices are often between a traditional bed or an inviting, comfy recliner. For some, the pull of the plush recliner wins out, leading to the intriguing query: Is it better to sleep in a recliner?
This article will explore the upsides and downsides to help you make an informed decision.
As always, please DO NOT TAKE THIS AS A MEDICAL ADVICE! I’ve built a loyal audience and I don’t want them to get hurt. You can get a new perspective from my articles, but please consult a doctor before deciding whether to sleep in a chair or not.
I’ve also written an article on “Is it okay to sleep in a recliner every night“. If you want a deep dive you can read that too.
The Benefits of Sleeping in a Recliner
Mitigating Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Those battling sleep apnea or persistent snoring might find recliners a worthy ally. With a recliner’s ability to keep your body semi-upright, your airways can stay more open, thus potentially reducing sleep apnea incidents and quieting the rumbles of snoring.
Heartburn and Acid Reflux Relief
Heartburn and acid reflux sufferers may find relief with recliner sleeping. The slight elevation helps keep stomach acid in its place, reducing the risk of acid creeping up into your esophagus. This can mean a goodbye to the fiery chest sensations that often accompany late-night indulgences.
Comfort for Lower Back Pain
Some find recliners offer an element of comfort against lower back pain. The chair’s design can support your lumbar spine in a slightly flexed position, possibly reducing pressure and providing relief from discomfort.
On the Flip Side: The Downfalls of Recliner Rest
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Risk
Despite the potential benefits, sleeping in a recliner isn’t without potential risks. One such risk is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots form in your body’s deep veins, often in the legs. Prolonged immobility, as when sleeping in a recliner, can heighten the risk. If the clot moves to the lungs, it can become a life-threatening situation.
The Development of Pressure Sores
Recliners aren’t specifically designed for long-term use. Consequently, they may not offer an even weight distribution, potentially leading to pressure sores or bedsores. This could be a particular issue for the elderly or those with limited mobility.
Limited Sleep Positions
A recliner locks you into a relatively static sleeping position. This limitation may lead to stiffness and aches over time. Additionally, for those with pre-existing musculoskeletal conditions, a lack of positional variation might exacerbate issues.
Possible Decline in Sleep Quality
Although the comfort of a recliner can be alluring, it might not offer the same quality of sleep that a well-designed bed provides. Consequently, your sleep quality might wane over time, leaving you less refreshed in the morning.
We’ve also written a somewhat detailed article on are recliners healthy for you? You can read that as well to learn more.
Making the Choice: Bed or Recliner?
Choosing between a bed and a recliner for sleep is not a one-size-fits-all decision. You can read my article about can a recliner be a bed?
But in the end, it depends on individual health conditions, comfort preferences, and sleep needs.
For some, the recliner’s benefits might seem enticing enough to outweigh the potential drawbacks. Others might view the possible negatives as too significant, preferring the familiarity and support of a traditional bed.
Before considering making the switch, it is recommended to discuss this with your healthcare provider or a sleep specialist. They can provide tailored advice based on your health history and specific conditions.
If you decide to sleep in a recliner regularly, invest in a high-quality model that offers good support and pressure distribution. Don’t worry. I’ve done the research for you. Here are some of the best recliners for sleeping.
Also, remember that regular movement and exercise are crucial for overall health and can counterbalance some of the risks associated with long-term recliner use.
The quality of your sleep environment, be it a bed or a recliner, plays a significant role in determining the quality of your sleep. As your sleep quality directly impacts your overall health and wellbeing, prioritize creating a sleep setup that ensures comfort and supports a good night’s sleep.
If you have some more questions, you might find an answer to them in our Questions You Might Have section.