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Why Do I Sleep Better in a Recliner Than a Bed?

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Sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. It helps you to relax, rejuvenate, and freshen up. Moreover, a good night’s sleep ensures your bodily functions work well.

However, you need a comfortable position to get this good night’s sleep, isn’t it? Have you found sleeping in a recliner better than sleeping on a bed? There are many reasons for this.

As you read ahead, you’ll know the pros and cons of sleeping in a recliner. Plus, you’ll know how to do that the right way.

What is a Recliner?

A recliner is an armchair with cushioned armrests, a seat, a footrest, and a back. You can adjust the footrest and back to enable you to recline and fall asleep to have a sound sleep. A lever on the chair lets you lower the seat back and make the footrest go up.

Why Your Recliner Makes You Sleep Better?

Your recliner makes you sleep better because of the circulation it provides. Plus, rather than lying flat on a bed, the recliner lets you sit up a bit, giving you a comfortable position. A recliner chair gives your spine a neutral position that helps rest it.

Sleeping on recliner gives relief and lets your core muscles the rest it needs. So, it gives you a healing and restful sleep. Moreover, sleeping on a recliner provides you with several health benefits.

pros of sleeping in recliner

Health Benefits of Sleeping in a Recliner

As mentioned above, sleeping in a recliner gives you a multitude of health benefits. These advantages are also what make you easy to sleep with a recliner than on regular beds.

1. Helps Relieve Back Pain

Often, when you sleep on a bed, you’ll experience lower back pain or back stiffness. Plus, the mattress springs put pressure and worsens the back pain problem.

In contrast, when you recline while sleeping, you take pressure off your spine and joints. It relieves tension in your back. You’ll not be lying flat on your back which can cause lower back stiffness due to lack of support.

That means you’ll find the spreading pressure alleviates or solve your lower back pain. Plus, it’s easier getting in and out of a recliner.

Suppose you’ve had any back surgery; a recliner helps you sleep in a reclined position with adequate support. It helps you sleep without a curved spine and ensures you don’t put too much pressure on your back.

2. Helps Relieve Heartburn

You often get heartburn due to what you eat or drink. It occurs when your stomach acid moves up to the esophagus. You’ll find it painful and have acid reflux when this happens.

When you lie down flat on a bed, the stomach acid moves easily to the throat. That prolongs your heartburn, and it’ll be painful.

However, when you lie down in a recliner, you have an inclined position that helps keep the stomach acid from rising. That will help you in preventing long-lasting and painful heartburns. In fact, sleeping on the recliner can eliminate your heartburn.

4. Reduces Sleep Apnea and Snoring

Did you know sleeping in a recliner can reduce your sleep apnea symptoms too? Sleep apnea is a respiratory problem in which the tongue blocks your windpipes.

Sleep Apnea air way

Even snoring occurs when your airways get blocked. When you lie flat on your bed, you’ll worsen your condition by putting all the weight on your airways.

An inclined sleeping position reduces the weight pushed down on your airways. Putting less weight on your nose and throat will reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring.

5. Relieves Arthritis

Arthritis is caused by weak cartilage around the joints. It creates inflammation in your joints and makes it too painful. Plus, it makes you feel weak and has increased stiffness. Arthritis causes tenderness and swelling in one or more of your joints.

A flatbed tends to aggravate your arthritis symptoms as it puts too much pressure on your joints. In contrast, a recliner will help spread the pressure to all the areas. It will help reduce inflammation and swelling. Plus, it’ll give you relief from the pain of arthritis.

6. Helps with Surgical Healing

If you’ve had any surgeries, most doctors recommend that you sleep in an inclined position. Especially for a shoulder surgery like rotator cuff repair, the incline will give you a comfortable position to sleep in and help you heal.

A horizontal bed will be uncomfortable when you’ve had surgery. It puts pressure on your joints, and it becomes difficult to find the perfect position to sleep. Your doctor might recommend you sleep inclined for up to 6 weeks at least after surgery.

Possible Side Effects

Nothing in this world is devoid of side effects. Similarly, sleeping in a recliner can have some side effects too. However, note that these side effects only occur when you use your recliner for a long period.

side effects

1. Stiff Joints

It can shift your gravity center. Plus, sleeping in a single position without too much movement causes stiff joints.

A stiff joint makes it difficult for you to get up when you need to. The sedentary position means there isn’t much movement for your joints; this stiffens your joints and causes aches.

2. Insufficient Blood Flow

When you sit on your recliner for longer hours, you’ll experience blood flow issues. Your legs will be lower than your heart, and your body will find it difficult to circulate blood around your entire body. Plus, if you are a person who sits a lot, the recliner will probably cause more illness than solve because sitting a lot can cause obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses.

Plus, insufficient blood flow means your body is not receiving the blood it needs properly.

3. Shallow Sleep

Sleeping on a recliner can result in shallow sleep. While you’ll feel cozy and comfortable in a recliner, you won’t be able to twist and turn as much. So, your sleep could be interrupted as you aren’t able to go into a deep sleep. However, if you don’t move as much while sleeping, this should be a problem.

Sleep might not be continuous, and it won’t be a deep slumber when you cannot move comfortably. It will result in shallow and restless sleep

4. Breathing Issues

When sleeping on your recliner, if you hunch your upper back and sleep, it’ll restrict the flow of air to your lungs. Moreover, it’s likely a reclined position can cause blood congestion in your lungs and cause difficulty inhaling oxygen.

Plus, you can put weight on your airways if you don’t adjust your recliner properly. It will aggravate your breathing issues.

So, if you have any lung issues, it’s best to consult a doctor before you start sleeping in a recliner regularly.

5. Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is caused due to lack of joint movement. It occurs when there’s a blood clot in a vein that is deep. On a recliner, you often sleep with your joints bent and motionless; this causes DVT.

DVT is a severe blood clot. Generally, it occurs in the leg. However, it can occur anywhere else too. It’s a potentially life-threatening clot and prevents blood flow. It might help you to wear compression socks while sleeping. That will help prevent DVT.

6. Impaired Circulation

When you sit with your knees bent for a long period, the blood vessels will get impaired. It affects the functioning of blood vessels in the lower body. It’s best to keep your legs straight while sleeping in your recliner to prevent the impaired circulation of blood and air.

This impaired circulation also contributes to DVT and insufficient blood flow.

Is It Okay to Sleep in a Recliner Every Night?

Now, you know the side effects. The benefits outweigh the side effects. Moreover, you can sleep comfortably in a recliner cozily.

It helps alleviate your joint pains, heartburn, and more. It is safe to sleep in a comfy recliner; however, you should consult your doctor for every night’s sleep.

recliner for big and tall man

How to Sleep in Your Recliner Chair Properly

Are you wondering how to sleep properly in your recliner? Sleeping properly will help you take advantage of the above benefits. Plus, it’ll minimize your side effects.

So, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind to have a comfortable night’s sleep.

  • Put a sheet over your leather recliner to keep you from sweating
  • Use plenty of blankets to keep you warm at night
  • Use a pillow for a hard headrest
  • It might help you to use a pillow for your neck and lower back
  • Ensure your legs are supported in front
  • Wear compression socks to prevent impaired blood circulation
  • Ensure the position of your recliner is perfect for getting up and getting in comfortably
  • If your recliner has heating and massage function, turn it on to relax your muscle and then turn it off before sleeping
  • If you have a manual recliner with limited reclining options, use pillows for better sleep
  • Adjust your seat comfortably using the buttons in a power recliner. These recliners offer you infinite positions and give you a restful sleep
  • Ensure your lights are out except for a small lamp which you access close to your recliner


You’ll probably find sleeping in a recliner better than a bed because of the incline position. The slightly elevated head relieves your back and spine to give you a well-rested sleep. Plus, it helps you heal after surgery.

A flatbed makes it difficult to achieve this even though you use pillows. However, the pillows will move as you twist and turn. So, a recliner gives you superior comfort. Plus, recliners will prevent sleep apnea, heartburns, alleviates symptoms of arthritis, and more.

That’s why you feel sleep better in your recliner than a bed. So, invest in a recliner and have a sound sleep!

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