Sleeping on the floor isn’t usually an ideal situation (unless you’re like Dillon who regularly takes floor naps), but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get your proper rest. Maybe you just moved into a house and your mattress hasn’t been delivered yet, or maybe you got the short end of the stick and have to sleep on the floor on your next vacation because there aren’t enough beds. There are even people in other parts of the world who prefer to sleep on the ground, as it’s known to help prevent back and neck pain. Regardless of the case, here is a step-by-step guide on how to –comfortably– sleep on the floor.
Step 1: Locate A Soft Surface
If you have to sleep on the ground, you should at least find a soft surface to sleep on. Carpeted floor is a lot more comfortable and easier to sleep on than hardwood floors. Hard surfaces might make it harder for you to fall asleep and irritate pressure points, so find a place flush with carpet or rugs.
If there are no carpeted spaces available to you, make sure you take extra precaution during step two.
Step 2: Padding, Blankets, And More Blankets
The next step is to bring in extra padding for reinforcements. Extra cushioning is beneficial for your back and pressure points, and it’ll make the whole sleeping on the floor thing a little more enjoyable. Try and find something thicker to lay on like a quilt or a sleeping bag.
If you don’t have either of these things available to you, you can stack blankets on top of each other as a last resort. You really just want to make sure that your blanket bed is supportive enough for your back, but soft enough to where it doesn’t irritate your pressure points.
Once you have your make-shift bed started, find a nice warm blanket to cover yourself with so you stay cozy throughout the night. The ground is much colder than a mattress or a couch, especially if you live in a cool climate — so make sure you bundle up!
Step 3: Utilize Pillows For Both Your Head And Joints
When setting up your temporary ground bed, you’ll want to have at least two pillows on hand — but they aren’t just for your head. One will be used to support your noggin’ while the other will provide cushion for your knee and perhaps your hip joints.
Now, it’s not like you’re recovering from knee surgery– you aren’t trying to lift your knee high into the air. Rather, you want thinner pillows just to provide a little extra cushion, and prevent your joints from pressing against the hard ground. When it comes to the additional pillow padding, however, it all depends on your preferred sleeper type.
Step 4: Determine Your Sleeping Position
When you go to bed on a mattress, what position do you usually sleep in? If you’re primarily a side sleeper like 68.7% of the folks in our sleep study, you’ll want to keep a pillow resting in between your knees so they aren’t touching. This gives them more support and comfort so you’re more likely to sleep throughout the night without disruptions.
For the stomach sleepers out there who are like me (Slumber Yard McKenzie Dillon), you’d be better off with a thin pillow underneath your hips and a thicker one under your knees. This will lift up the lower half of your body just a touch, so your spine is in proper alignment and your knees are prevented from rubbing up against the ground all night.
If you plan on sleeping on your back, your tailbone and shoulder blades can become tender rubbing against the ground. With that in mind, you may want to place a small pillow or folded towel underneath these areas, as well as underneath your knees to help keep alignment and prevent soreness.
Step 5: Get Comfortable
You won’t get your proper sleep if you don’t feel comfortable right away, so readjust your position until you feel you’re comfortable enough to doze off. You can also shift the pillows around once you get comfortable to make sure they’re still supporting the parts of your body that need cushioning.
If you’re in a situation where your floor-bed is more of a long-term arrangement, don’t worry if you feel a little sore the first night or two. Like anything, practice makes perfect and you’ll learn how to make sleeping on the floor more comfortable for yourself through experience and trial and error.