I’ve had patients tell me that poor mattress choices have almost lead to divorce!

I’ve also heard it said many times that if you hurt you back you should sleep on a hard floor.

I recently learned that some have taken this a step further and recommend sleeping on a hard floor at all times!

I can’t help but to cringe when I hear this. It makes little sense to me neither from a biomechanical point of view nor from my own experience of it.

Biomechanically, your back has, or should have, three curves in it. Our spines are strongest, most resilient and best able to avoid injury when we have these curves present. When we lie on our back on a flat hard surface, we allow gravity to flatten out these curves and place our back into a situation of strain. It’s fine when you are doing pilates or yoga and you are flat on your back on a thin mat because you would be consciously maintaining your posture. You are also there for an hour, not a night. Personally after I lay on the hard floor for 20-30 minutes I start to ache. Granted an overly soft or deformed mattress is no better.

Far be it for me to tell someone not to sleep a certain way if it is the only way they can get relief. I’d just love to understand why and how it works.