Is Sleeping on a Recliner Bad for You?

Do you find yourself dozing off on your recliner while watching TV after a long day at work? Do you wake up feeling fatigued, with muscle cramps and neck stiffness? Do you reckon that sleeping on a recliner is bad for you? Do you wake up drenched in sweat and buried further inside your recliner than you remember? Then the fault lies within your recliner.

A specialized sleep recliner with an adjustable horizontal position and a foot and headrest should help you sleep like a baby. But many parameters must be thoroughly researched and incorporated into making the best recliner for sleeping.

Some of these parameters include the fabric, the framework, neck and spine support, and massaging options of the recliner. Find out what makes a recliner the perfect spot for a quick snooze.

sleeping on a recliner

Vertical Back Angle

An ergonomic research was carried out to assess the sleep quality in different chairs and recliners compared to a typical bed.

The subject’s brain waves were calculated using EEG (electroencephalogram). The results showed the recliners and seats, with a vertical back angle greater than forty degrees showed normal sleeping cycles in EEG and fewer interruptions during a full night’s sleep. On the other hand, chairs and recliners with lesser than forty degrees angles prevented the users from getting restful sleep with frequent waking cycles. Their EEG showed decreased sleep efficacy with brainwaves resembling awake cycles.

Hence, sleeping on a recliner is only bad for you if its angle isn’t ergonomically correct.

Its Beneficial For Elderly and Post-operative Patients of Coronary Bypass Surgery

A study was conducted analyzing common post-operative complaints experienced by older adults or those who recently underwent coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) to help patients employ better sleep hygiene and symptom management through simple measures employed at home.

The findings concluded that recliners helped improve sleep hygiene – since they allowed frequent repositioning from the bed to another comfortable seating. Thus, preventing the patient from being too bedridden and sedentary.

The reclined position of these chairs prevented shortness of breath, commonly experienced post-operatively, thus speeding up rest and recovery.

See also  The Dangers of Water and Electricity - How To Avoid The Risks

Recliners with an elevated foot rest were recommended to manage leg swelling and consequently prevent lethal complications such as developing deep vein thrombosis that may lead to pulmonary embolism.

Hence, elderly patients and people who underwent bypass surgery must buy a sleeping recliner for better sleep.

Opt for Reclining Chairs with Pneumatic Cushions for Optimal Sleep

If you want to experience a great night’s sleep, even better than your bed, then go for a reclining chair with pneumatic cushions. A study found the pressure points of the body that were the most prone to pressure sores upon lying for prolonged hours. Thus, reclining chairs were designed with pneumatic cushions on the head, neck, back, buttocks, and heels to prevent the pressure differences that caused sores.

The pneumatic cushions allowed better blood flow and did not disrupt the spine’s natural curvature. Thus, helping one sleep better. Even mattresses could not provide this level of comfort and alignment with the natural anatomy of the human body.

Sleeping on Reclining Chairs with Lumbar Support is good for Your Back

A study using electromyographic signals from the contraction of trunk muscles on a recliner for sleep showed that sleeping on reclining chairs with good lumbar support was beneficial for the user.

A good lumbar support helps maintain the concave curvature of the lower back. The decreased contractions prevented pressure on the dependent muscles of the region and helped stabilize the lumbopelvic joint. It is especially useful in people with limited activity since that’s the number one cause of lower back problems. It also helps prevent neuropathic pain due to compression and disc slips. Thus, choose a reclining chair with good lumbar support for a good night’s sleep.

A Reclining Chair Must be Spacious for Better Sleep

Red leather reclining armchair

One does not sleep in the same position throughout the night. If you want a refreshing sleep, then a spacious recliner is recommended. A recliner should be wide enough to allow you to sleep in the fetal position, on your back, or your stomach.

See also  How To Future-Proof Your Home And Garden

But spaciousness does not mean you have to sleep with your child on it. It is a serious suffocation risk, and please avoid sleeping with children on a recliner – irrespective of how wide it may be.

On the other hand, you can sleep with your loved one in wide-spaced recliners. Snuggle with them on a cold winter night and enjoy warmth, love, and oxytocin. All of which are known to improve sleeping patterns.

Pick a Rocker or A Hugger for A Great Night’s Sleep

A rocker shall cradle you to sleep – revive your childhood memories by getting rocked to a peaceful sleep. You will never want to go back to your bed once you start.

A glider is a type of recliner that can be adjusted horizontally. If you do not have any medical requirements that require you to sleep in an upright position, then choose the glider to get that flat mattress experience but with the perks of a massaging and comforting reclining chair for sleeping.

Massaging Option is a Perk

If your reclining chair has a massaging option, go for it! Deep massages help improve circulation, knots, and strains on overused and worn-out joints and pressure points. Good reclining chairs are designed ingeniously to target parts of your body that need effective massaging.

Although these can be pricier, they’re worth it. You can adjust the massages’ intensity, duration, and pressure according to your preference. A great massage therapy is guaranteed to give you an amazing sleeping experience.

Padded Head and Armrest

The best recliners for sleep have an inbuilt padded headrest. You will not need an additional pillow in these recliners, which are the best for a great sleep cycle! They’re also safer since there is no risk of suffocation as the padded headrest is fixed.

The padded armrest also gives the additional cushion required for a more comfortable experience.

Conditions in Which Sleeping on Reclining Chairs is better than Sleeping on the bed

A few health issues might hamper a good night’s sleep. These can be prevented by switching to a reclining chair for sleep instead of the bed.

See also  Black Friday Home and Garden Deals 2022

Some conditions include pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, back pain, orthostatic hypotension, and many more. Consult your doctor about using a reclining g chair for sleeping. Most of these conditions require you to sleep upright to prevent exacerbation of symptoms and get an uninterrupted sleep of at least six hours.

Quality of the Fabric Makes a Massive Difference

Most luxurious reclining chairs are made from faux leather. The fabric mimics real leather but does not trap heat nor make you sweaty like leather or recliner. A recliner made from good fabric prevents the need to use additional sheets for comfort.


In a nutshell, no, sleeping in reclining chairs is not bad for you. But it entirely depends on the type of reclining chair you are purchasing. As a matter of fact, sleeping on a reclining chair can be better than sleeping on a conventional mattress.

Additionally, it is recommended that you sleep on a recliner instead of a bed if you have certain health issues – especially if you cannot prop up your bed.

Hopefully, this piece gave you helpful insights on how to improve your sleep hygiene, but if you still have insomnia or have an inconsistent sleep cycle, then you must consult a specialist to find the underlying cause.

Photo of author
Aaron Green
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

Leave a Comment