After a long day of work and/or taking care of the kids, you know you deserve a break. You slump down on the couch with a blanket, throw on House of Cards and crack a cold one. You’re tired, but you need time to unwind before you make your way into your bedroom and pass out. Suddenly it’s 3am and you just awoke to Netflix asking you if you’re still there and your beer spilt all over the floor. You briefly consider getting up and moving to your bedroom, but the idea of cleaning up that beer and walking all the way upstairs keeps you planted. You decide to spend the night on the couch, and you sprawl out in the middle of the living room. After all, what’s the harm of catching some zzzs on the couch?
Well, bad news. According to a 2018 article published by Sleep Advisor, sleeping on the couch can negatively affect the quality of your sleep and your health.
Couches are generally made of thicker material and do not absorb heat as well as mattresses. This may cause you to feel too hot while sleeping, and as your body heat has nowhere to escape and continues to circulate throughout your body and on the couch, you may find yourself waking up in a pool of sweat.
Comfort & Support
The couch is designed for sitting and lacks the kind of structure and support a mattress has. Plus, there is limited space for ideal sleeping positions and less room to spread out. This decrease in overall comfort will have you tossing and turning through the night, leaving you tired and unrested the next day. Even worse, over time you could experience some serious back and/or neck pain.
Your couch is a cesspool of germs. A study found that the average family couch has more germs than the average toilet seat which, when you think about it, isn’t all that surprising. Your couch is a comfy home for any rear end that enters your domain, along with pets (along with all the outside residues our four-legged friends bring to the party) and, depending on your household habits, dirty clothes or even the footwear of lazy guests. Perhaps your relatively pristine bed looks a little more welcoming now?
The couch is usually located in a busy area of the house. Children or even your pets can distract and wake you easily and you’re subject to more illumination and lights. Blue light emitted from the TV, cable box, and your phone can suppress the release of melatonin and delay sleeping so you’re not getting the real rest your body needs.
To keep your sleep on schedule, instead of turning to the TV to relax near bedtime, we suggest lowering the lights, drinking a can of Som Sleep, and listening to quiet music or sounds from nature while you catch up on reading some on your favorite printed (not digital!) material. With these sleep hygiene upgrades and help from Som Sleep, the comfort of your bed will call and you’ll leave the couch and its many distractions behind.
Sleeping on the couch once in a while is unlikely to cause long-term harm but, if you do find yourself doing so frequently, you’re putting yourself at high risk for back pain and restless sleep. If you’re snoozing off on the couch because you just love the TV, plan to only watch one episode or pick a time to leave the couch each night and make your way to your bedroom. However, if you find the couch is actually more comfortable than your real bed, it might be time to update your mattress!