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Would sleeping on a hard surface build/tone muscle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 09, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I was reading another hack and came across an answer touting how the person looked much more toned after sleeping on a hard surface for a few days.

Any research behind this? Anyone personally experienced this?

The extra soft beds we have now are a new invention and I am curious if it is making us less fit.

EDIT:

Link found for those interested: http://www.zafu.net/sleepergonomics.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Futons have slats which provide ventialtion. I only found out about the mould a couple of years ago when we bought a bed that had large boards on the base with only small gaps between them. I was sweating half to death every night and the mattress went black underneath. I started reading up on mattresses and found out that they need plenty of ventilation underneath. We replaced the bed and mattress and the sweating and mould stopped.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 06:00 PM

From what I have read it takes an adjustment period if you have been sleeping on soft beds all your life. But to each his own.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 09, 2012
at 03:07 PM

LOL @WarrenD ... changing that. ;-) Thanks.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Does this only happen with mattresses? I know other cultures use sleeping bags and futons.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:37 PM

A mattress on the floor is not a good idea. Your body perspires in the night and much of this goes into the mattress. You need air to circulate under the mattress to stop it from becoming mouldy.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:34 PM

"I sleep on the flour" I thought flour wasn't paleo? ;)

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:16 PM

My n=1. Cushioning is also necessary to avoid putting too much pressure on nerves in knees/elbows. I tried an arrangement similar to greymouser's, not for health reasons but because I was broke at the time. I ended up with peripheral neuropathy and a drop foot--doctors ruled out all other explanations and concluded it was the hard surface at night. I'm OK now but this was not an experiment I care to repeat.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:48 PM

A real paleo couple doesn't need a bed :).

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7 Answers

3
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:28 PM

I wouldn't say it has made me more toned, but I believe that it has helped to improve posture and functioning motion. Granted, I attribute most of that to exercise, but we do spend ~8 hours a day sleeping.

I sleep on the floor with only a feather bed (i.e. the thing people usually use to make beds even softer) with a sheet over it. A little cushioning helps to alleviate putting too much pressure on any veins/arteries that may get compressed. I use a thin pillow as well -- enough so that my spine is mostly straight when I'm on my back, and not tilted up or down at my head.

Keep a bed around though ... it's ... uhhh ... "useful" sometimes. :-)

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:16 PM

My n=1. Cushioning is also necessary to avoid putting too much pressure on nerves in knees/elbows. I tried an arrangement similar to greymouser's, not for health reasons but because I was broke at the time. I ended up with peripheral neuropathy and a drop foot--doctors ruled out all other explanations and concluded it was the hard surface at night. I'm OK now but this was not an experiment I care to repeat.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 09, 2012
at 03:07 PM

LOL @WarrenD ... changing that. ;-) Thanks.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:34 PM

"I sleep on the flour" I thought flour wasn't paleo? ;)

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:48 PM

A real paleo couple doesn't need a bed :).

1
Medium avatar

(19469)

on April 09, 2012
at 06:36 PM

From my experiences camping, I can say that sleeping on hard ground (perhaps cushioned by a thin mat or piece of foam) is rather uncomfortable even for someone like myself who foam rolls, Mobility wods, and grok squats daily.

I've never given it more than a few days at a time (I'm usually rather sleep deprived, sore, and quite eager to return to my "normal" soft bed) but I would imagine that adaptation occurs over time.

There is no way that I could see that sleeping on a hard surface would "tone" the muscles. As another commenter said, the likely result would be greater muscular relaxation (and thus, improved posture, decompression of the skeleton and connective tissue, etc.)

I also think that this is something that shouldn't be jumped into too hastily. Just like the people who wear western style shoes and think that they can become barefoot/minimalist shoe runners overnight, most of us (myself included) are definitely not "in shape" for hard surface sleeping and a gradual transition would be the best way to do it without incurring unnecessary trauma.

0
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 09, 2012
at 10:40 PM

There was a time that I lived in a 150sq ft bachelor apartment, with a wooden loft bed that you climbed a ladder to get into. I slept with comforters and sheets only... I loved it. I also love sleeping on the floor, or any other hard surface. I dislike pillows and don't use them either.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 09, 2012
at 10:27 PM

i've been an avid floor sleeper since about 8 years old. I started one day and just haven't really stopped. The only time I sleep in a bed is if I'm in someone elses or someone else is in mine- otherwise it's all floor all the time.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on April 09, 2012
at 05:51 PM

If you are heavy, I wouldn't suggest this unless you want to be in pain often. I have a platform bed, with one of those fairly thin IKEA 6" mattresses, and the 2-3 nights I slept on it without the foam, I woke up with sore ribs, shoulders, elbows... pretty much anything that was gravity-downward (I sleep on mah belly or on my side).

So, I happily include some modern advancements if they improve my sleep and quality of life. The better my sleep and qol, the better my sex life, weight-loss, energy, and well, everything that I eat Paleo for...

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 06:00 PM

From what I have read it takes an adjustment period if you have been sleeping on soft beds all your life. But to each his own.

0
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I can be positive. Hard surfaces for sleeping can decompress you. If you take it too fast or if you are out of shape it can cause some nerve problems possible or make you really sore. The areas that usually get sore are areas where many muscles attach like the greater trochanter (side of your hip where all of your hip rotators/deep glutes attach). The pain should go away as the trigger points deactivate and the muscles relax. Monks, yogis, and Daoist adepts are known for sleeping on simple beds or no bed(I know a qigong for called "Sleeping on a stone bed). I say keep it up unless, of course, it is giving you nerve problems. Then solve these with massage and return to the minimal bed.

0
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on April 09, 2012
at 01:51 PM

My mattress is on the floor. I prefer it that way. I notice that I can squat better and am more functional than other girls at work.

7660f5a0ec906d3922d79b20f3434ecc

(788)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:56 PM

Does this only happen with mattresses? I know other cultures use sleeping bags and futons.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Futons have slats which provide ventialtion. I only found out about the mould a couple of years ago when we bought a bed that had large boards on the base with only small gaps between them. I was sweating half to death every night and the mattress went black underneath. I started reading up on mattresses and found out that they need plenty of ventilation underneath. We replaced the bed and mattress and the sweating and mould stopped.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 09, 2012
at 02:37 PM

A mattress on the floor is not a good idea. Your body perspires in the night and much of this goes into the mattress. You need air to circulate under the mattress to stop it from becoming mouldy.

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