Stomach problems can be of many kinds, and the underlying causes can pave the way for a proper treatment plan. Nevertheless, adequate sleep and rest are the cornerstones of treating any illness. Hence, determining the right sleeping position can help you immensely if you have any kind of stomach problem.
An upset stomach is mostly a symptom of poor digestion. And if this happens frequently, it could mean you have poor gut health. An upset stomach will make you feel bloated, your stomach will ache, and you may need to go to the bathroom frequently. You feel an aversion to food and drink, and the lack of nutrition can make you feel weaker.
The right position will let you sleep comfortably through the night and help with healing. In addition, it could also help with your digestion and other issues causing stomach aches. Although not all sleeping positions are right for all ailments, you will figure out what works best for you.
How Sleep can Affect your Stomach Health?
Your gut health is important for several reasons. Your stomach is home to billions of healthy bacteria that help with food digestion and waste excretion. Without proper sleep, your body produces inflammatory hormones that can lead to auto-immune diseases.
Your body will want quick fixes like fast food, but when you consume them, your body will be unable to digest them. You will also crave more sugar and will feel lethargic. Your energy will reduce, and you will have difficulty doing regular tasks.
A proper circadian cycle is essential to maintaining gut health, and the unhealthy bacteria will not be able to thrive. Lack of sleep often leads to constipation, making you uneasy throughout the day and killing your appetite. So, fixing your sleep is essential to maintain adequate gut health.
Common Reasons for Stomach Pain
Unless you are suffering from a major illness that needs specialized treatment, some common reasons for stomach aches can be easily managed. Sometimes, the body resolves the issue, and the stomach pain disappears at night. But they could persist in other cases. Here are some of the common reasons behind stomach ache.
1. Stomach Acid
The stomach produces some acid naturally for food digestion. However, some kinds of food stimulate the glands to produce even more acid. This can cause acid reflux when the food travels up the food pipe into the chest area.
This can cause stomach aches and a burning sensation in the chest. Those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease find it even more difficult to keep the stomach acid down.
Some passing of gas is considered healthy for the body as it means that the bowels are unobstructed. However, if you suffer from constipation, it could lead to smelly gas, which can be quite embarrassing.
Eating food like broccoli or cabbage could make it worse if they are not digested. Too much of gas buildup could lead to bloating, often resulting in stomach ache. Those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome could have it worse.
If you have low-fiber food, do not drink enough water, or do not exercise, it could lead to constipation. Certain kinds of food, like red meat, can also make you feel constipated.
Another reason is stress and anxiety, especially if it keeps you awake at night. If your bowels are not cleaned regularly, you may have stomach aches and experience your tummy growing hard.
4. Food Intolerance
Some people have a natural intolerance to certain kinds of food, and an accidental intake can make it worse, leading to stomach aches. It could lead to allergies, discomfort in the stomach, or nasty burps.
Food additives and histamines in stored foods are the biggest culprits. Lactose or sucrose intolerance can also lead to stomach aches if one has them accidentally.
Many kinds of illnesses specifically related to the stomach can cause mild to severe stomach aches. In extreme cases, they can be caused by stomach viruses, food poisoning, stomach ulcers, bowel blockages, and even cancer. Your doctor will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause.
Sleeping Positions that Improve Stomach Pain
Although sleep is not the only solution to healing stomach pain, it can definitely make things better and help with the healing process. Here are some sleeping positions that can help you sleep better. As some positions can suit you more than others, you might have to try the different positions in the first few days to determine which one works for you.
1. Sleeping on the Left Side
If you have a stomach ache lower in your belly and not in the upper abdomen, then you may try sleeping on your left. Since the stomach is towards the left side of the body, gravity helps relieve pressure and helps with better digestion. This could be beneficial if you have had a heavy meal before bed and want to avoid indigestion.
2. Sleeping on the Side with a Pillow
Sleeping on any side with a pillow between your legs can help relieve pressure from the stomach. The pillow helps you if you are a back sleeper and you are not used to sleeping on the side. Sleeping on the sides can help with pain related to gallstones. You can also use ergonomic pillows that help you with shoulder and spinal alignment.
3. Back Sleeping
Back sleeping can help with several kinds of stomach pain because it makes your stomach flat and relieves some pressure. However, you will have to make some adjustments if you have back pain.
You can keep a pillow under your knee to raise the legs and align the spine. Or, you could sleep with pillows under your head and spine to raise the torso, as it helps with acid reflux. The incline makes it harder for the acid to climb back up the stomach.
Positions to Avoid if You Have Stomach Problems
If you have stomach problems, there are some positions you must avoid.
- Do not lie flat on your back if you have acid reflux.
- Do not curl into a fetal position, as it puts extra pressure on the stomach. Always use a pillow for support.
- Do not sleep on the stomach if you feel bloated because it may put pressure on your chest.
It is natural to have some questions if you have stomach pains frequently. Here are some answers to help you.
Can you lie on your stomach with stomach pain?
Stomach sleeping may feel comfortable for some, but it puts extra pressure on your tummy. It can also cause strain on your spine and could increase the problems with acid reflux and indigestion.
Is there a pressure point to stop stomach ache?
There are some pressure points that can help with stomach pain. The Zusanli point below the knee, the sanyinjiao point above the ankle, and the qihai point below the belly button are acupressure points. You can massage these points lightly with your fingers with gentle pressure, which could relieve some of your pain.
Can a good mattress help with stomach pain?
Yes, a good mattress can help with stomach pain. A high-quality mattress can align your spine and torso and help with the stomach by aligning it properly. If you are sleeping on your side, it will also provide more support. It will help you regulate body temperature and will also make you feel snug and cozy.
Finding out which sleeping position works best for you for your stomach problems could take some time. Most of the time, people figure out what works best for them with one or two nights of sleep.
The right position will help you sleep through the night and aid with the recuperation. Along with rest and medication, you will heal much faster. Invest in a good pillow and mattress for added support; you should get much relief.