Why Do I Sleep Better In a Recliner Than a Bed? The Answers Revealed!

A recliner is one of the most comfortable pieces of furniture people have in their living areas or bedrooms. In fact, I have one in my living room and love curling up in it with a good book or when watching TV. So why I Sleep Better In a Recliner Than a Bed?

And some days, I end up sleeping peacefully, waking up feeling even more comfortable compared to being in bed.


It’s got me wondering: Why do I sleep better in a recliner than a bed?” As I did some research, I found out some cool facts AND that I wasn’t alone in this! So read on as I show you why sleeping in a recliner may feel better compared to being in bed.

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

Isn’t it much better to sleep on an actual bed than something that looks like a sofa? You’ll be shocked with the health benefits it actually offers, some of which you may not get from a bed!

These are the reasons why many people report better sleep in their recliners compared to the bed:

1. Back Pain Relief

One of the most irritating parts of sleeping is waking up with the worst back pain! Unfortunately, many of us experience this at least once in our lifetime.

Sometimes, the pain is mild and acute, but for others, it becomes a chronic and painful experience. This usually happens after sleeping in the wrong position. These backaches happen usually since our muscles would work to balance our upper and lower parts of our bodies.

But when we use a good recliner, we take the pressure from our spines, allowing the core muscles to rest. This allows it to heal and make it stronger. That’s why the reclined sleeping position is more beneficial compared to the upright position, as sitting up too much still stress the muscles.

Besides relieving our back pain, those who have suffered from spinal issues like osteoarthritis or lumbar spinal stenosis benefit from a recliner. With their heads and knees elevated, you’re in a more comfortable position compared to staying flat on your back.

2. Reduce the Risk of Respiratory Issues

When you are in a reclined position from your recliner, it can help with respiratory problems as well, such as:

  • Sleep apnea, which is a breathing problem during sleep. It happens when your tongue falls back, which blocks the windpipe. Sleep apnea can be relieved by changing sleep positions and keeping your head elevated, which is why recliners help you sleep more comfortably
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a long-term respiratory issue, something that isn’t fully reversible. Sleeping inclined on a recliner may be the only comfortable way to sleep, as it relieves some of its symptoms, such as cough, mucus production, and shortness of breath
  • Heartburn happens when your stomach releases acid to your esophagus, and its symptoms worsen when you sleep horizontally. You feel more comfortable when you sleep on a recliner, as it keeps the acid down

3. May Help With Certain Symptoms

Besides respiratory issues, sleeping in a recliner can relieve symptoms from particular diseases, such as:

  • Meniere’s Disease would affect the inner ear, leading to vertigo and hearing loss, along with pressure in the ear. When sleeping in a recliner, the elevated head position helps keep them comfortable, and it’s much easier for them to move from laying to a standing position without risk of vertigo
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia usually disrupt the sleep-wake cycle. While the connection isn’t very clear yet, researchers suggest that when you sleep in a lateral position, it helps remove waste products from the brain, and those with neurological problems may like sleeping in a recliner better for its feel
  • After certain surgical procedures, it’s recommended to sleep in an inclined position, especially for those who have had surgery on their shoulders. It helps reduce pain and maintain comfort compared to laying straight on your back

4. Helps Pregnant Women

When pregnant, one of the symptoms is difficulty in sleeping because of the extra weight and pressure added from your growing little one! Many women experience back pain and discomfort because of this, making it difficult to sleep in a bed.

Many pregnant women have reported being able to sleep peacefully in a recliner, particularly when they have a body-length pillow or a pillow between their legs. This may be due to how recliners help improve blood circulation and lessen the risk of respiratory problems, which can come from pregnancy as well.

And not to worry, as it’s perfectly acceptable and safe for pregnant women to sleep in a recliner.

5. Helps With Circulation

Research shows that when you sit too long, it can adversely affect your health and cardiac status. It raises the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, as well as increase cholesterol. It may also cause clots and swelling, as well as muscle cramping!

The reason why people use recliners is that you’re able to elevate your lower legs properly, which aids in blood circulation. This ensures that your entire body has better blood circulation, and it can help reduce stress to help you recover from the daily fatigue.

HOWEVER, take note that sleeping in recliners is not for everyone, and some may not like the feel of it in the long-term. That’s why I recommend that you try sleeping in your recliner for a few consecutive nights to see if it’s really a good choice to make it a permanent sleeping space.

Some people may not like the restricted space, and the limited movement can affect balance and comfort, having them wake up even more and losing sleep. It’s really all up to personal preference, and if you sleep better with a recliner, it’s most likely due to the reasons mentioned above.

Tips When Sleeping In a Recliner

Now that you know all about the wonders of sleeping in a recliner, the next question is: HOW?

While beneficial, you have to make sure you have proper posture and set your recliner correctly to avoid pain and discomfort in the long run. If you plan to use your recliner for sleeping for the long-term, follow these tips:

  • If your recliner is made of leather, I recommend that you put a sheet over it to prevent sweating or making sounds
  • For those in cold weather, do have a lot of blankets to regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable throughout the night
  • Do you deal with a hard headrest? Use a pillow and add another pillow behind your beck and lower back, which provides more support
  • Make sure that your legs are also supported in front of you, and to wear compression socks to prevent the blood from pooling around your feet (https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/sleeping-in-a-recliner#how-to)
  • Switch off all the lights before sitting in your recliner, though have one lamp beside you for one light source
  • When sleeping in a power recliner, simply play and adjust the controls and recline angle according to what works best for your comfort
  • For those in a manual recliner, add more pillows for your neck and for behind the knees. Manual recliners only provide limited recline positions, so if you would like to tweak more, you can use the extra pillows to do so
  • Again, give it a few nights and monitor your sleeping patterns and overall comfort! Don’t throw out your bed just yet and see how your body reacts to the change and if you do sleep better

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of a recliner and how to properly sleep in one? Check out this interesting video:

Wrapping It Up

Surprisingly, a high-quality recliner can actually give you the best night’s sleep, though this depends on the person and his preferences. With that in mind, recliners can provide great health benefits and may be better for a few sleepers. If you have a recliner at home, I recommend you try it out one time to see how you feel right after.

I hope that this article answered your question, “why do I sleep better in a recliner than a bed?” So if you feel more comfortable in one, invest in the best recliner for sleeping today! Do you have any questions or want to share your own experiences sleeping in a recliner? Share your thoughts below, I appreciate all your comments!

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