woman sat in Riser Recliner Chair reading a book

Is it Healthy to Sleep in a Recliner Chair?

We’ve all been there. Relaxing in front of the TV whilst watching a movie, or reading a good book, only to drift off part way through. It could be a nap, but equally as likely, you could wake up in the morning wondering what time it is!

We’re often told that spending a night in a chair is bad for you. But why is that the case, and are there situations in which it’s acceptable? Or even beneficial? In this article, we’ll be answering these questions and more.

So Why do some people choose to sleep in their chairs?

Aside from the occasional mishap, there are those who actively choose to spend their nights in a chair. This may be due to mobility issues, or other ailments that either make moving to a bed difficult or make the sleep itself uncomfortable. In these situations sleeping in a chair can feel like a relief.

The potential issues with sleeping in a chair

There are, obviously potential complications caused by regularly sleeping in a chair. Joint problems, in particular, are fairly common, especially along the spine. As well as this in a contracted position, muscles can tighten, compounding existing mobility issues.
Whilst recliner chairs can be acceptable, as we will discuss later, It is important to never sleep in a non-adjustable chair in an upright position. Sleeping upright can have a hugely detrimental effect on your spine, causing a build-up of pressure. This can lead to serious health problems such as osteoarthritis.

When is sleeping in a chair acceptable?

As mentioned previously, if you are going to be sleeping in a chair, make sure it is one with reclining functionality. This way you can get yourself into a position that takes pressure away from your spine, allowing fluid to return to the disks.

With all this taken into account, there are some instances in which sleeping in a recliner chair can be beneficial:

  • Pregnant women often find sleeping in a reclining chair to be more comfortable due to the better weight distribution when slightly above horizontal. This also helps to keep the baby in place.
  • Acid reflux sufferers also benefit from the ever so slightly elevated position.
  • Recent surgery patients who find it difficult to lay fully on an operated area, such as a heart bypass or a hip replacement benefit similarly from the greater control over their positioning.
  • Other conditions such as those with sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and even loud snorers benefit from the slightly elevated position. This is because a recliner chair can get you into a slightly more natural spinal position (rather than being completely flat) whilst still being reclined.

In some cases, sleeping in a recliner chair is even recommended by healthcare professionals, when a patient struggles with regular bed rest. They even have the added benefit of providing assistance in arising from the chair, should you choose to sleep in your bed some nights.

At the end of the day, it’s down to what works for you.

Whilst sleeping in a set back chair will increased spinal pressure, a well-positioned recliner chair can actually be of help to those suffering from mobility issues, or any of the other conditions mentioned. However, it’s not always the solution and should not be your first choice.

Remember: Always consult your medical professional before deciding to make sleeping in a chair a regular practice.

If you’re looking for a clinically tested riser recliner chair, at Rise & Recline our products provide unbeatable comfort to suit any requirement. We even offer bespoke builds to create a chair completely unique to you, designed to fulfil your every need. Request a brochure to get started, or get in touch for a free home demonstration.