Pros and Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner

Recliners are incredible armchairs that provide comfort for millions of Americans. Many people sleep in recliners every night. But is sleeping in a recliner will affect your health? If you have been searching for the answer to this question, you have come to the right place!

This article discusses whether it is a good idea to sleep in a recliner on a day-to-day basis. Besides, I will list a list of pros and cons of doing so.

Is It Allowed to Sleep in a Recliner Every Night?

Is it allowed to sleep in a recliner every night? The short answer is yes. If you are suffering from bad back or neck pain, you can go ahead and use your recliner as your bed now and then. This will give you enough time to recover without having to spend another cold night on the couch. Using your armchair as your temporary bed is entirely possible, but don’t sleep in an armchair daily.

Pros of Sleeping in a Recliner

I want to list the five positive effects of sleeping in a recliner. Don’t forget that it is not clinical advice, and it would help if you addressed your doctor before making any decision that can potentially affect your health.

1. Relieve Back Pain

Sleeping in an armchair can give you much-needed relief from back pain that usually occurs during the night or when you find yourself waking up. You can choose to prop your legs on the ottoman, making it easier to stretch out and relax your lower back. I don’t recommend sleeping upright because it will make your condition worse. If you are having trouble sleeping on your back due to the pressure, sleeping on a recliner offers more fantastic rest because of its gentle angle.

2. Good Choice for Workaholics

Working long hours day after day can be exhausting both physically and mentally. Still, recliners take away all the stress associated with work by giving you something comfortable to come home after a hard day at work. Your back will thank you for choosing a recliner to catch a quick nap or even to sleep overnight.

3. Improve Blood Circulation

There is an excellent chance that you will experience better blood circulation when you sleep in a recliner because it takes reduced pressure off your hips and legs. This can be very helpful for those who suffer from Ovarian Cysts, endometriosis, and other pelvic-area disorders. The gentle angled position lets you stretch out your back, making it easier to breathe deeper. This reduces the risk of waking up feeling tired. The pain associated with menstrual periods also decreases significantly by sleeping on a chair.

4. Promote Better Breathing

Sleeping on a recliner chair can be a very comfortable experience if you have breathing problems. If you are a smoker, your lungs will thank you for choosing a recliner to sleep in. Many doctors recommend avoiding sleeping with the head elevated. They say that it leads to shallow breathing during sleep and makes it more difficult for your body organs to function correctly. On the other hand, sleeping in a reclined position allows you to take full breaths, significantly increasing oxygen levels inside the body tissues and muscles, and helping them heal properly.

5. Boosts Better Digestion

Some people find it more comfortable to sleep in a reclined position because it makes digestion more accessible and reduces fermentation and pain. If you have problems with acid reflux, this is the best way to sleep at night. This position helps your stomach digest food properly by making the content of the stomach flow downward instead of going back up your esophagus which is common when sleeping on one’s back or standing up.

The nature of this topic forces me to research the recommendations of different doctors.

Cons of Sleeping in a Recliner

Everything in this world has its cons and pros and cons. In the earlier section, I listed several pros that make your recliner

1. Loss of Privacy

Sleeping in a recliner chair will make it harder for you to keep your bedroom private because anyone can see everything happening inside. You need to find some way to close the bedroom door if you don’t want anyone outside peeking in on what’s happening inside your bedroom. Additionally, sleeping with many pillows might lead to neck pain, making it more difficult to get restful sleep at night. Besides, having too many pillows may also put pressure on your bladder and cause frequent trips to the bathroom during the night, making it even less likely for you to get quality sleep every night.

2. Causes Shortness of Breath

Extended periods spent in a reclined position can cause shortness of breath. This is because the throat muscles relax, narrowing the airway. This puts strain on your lungs and makes breathing tough, especially if you already suffer from respiratory problems like asthma or bronchitis. At best, you will wake up feeling tired after just a few hours of sleep.

3. Causes Heartburn & Acid Reflux

This position makes it challenging to keep your head in an elevated place, leading to acid reflux during sleep. When you lie in this way for long periods, heartburn can develop, making it hard to get back to sleep when the symptoms become bothersome enough that they wake you up. If this happens often, sleeping in reclined position may be causing more harm than good in your body.

4. Slipped Discs

Sleeping in a recliner chair regularly can do a number on your back and neck as the pressure of the weight of your head, and upper torso can cause stress and pain after waking up. The slightest movement while sleeping, even turning over in bed, puts strain on the back muscles, which support more pressure than they are built for! Sleeping this way regularly will undoubtedly lead to slipped discs if you continue doing it over an extended period.

5. Risk of Blood Clots

Sleeping in a reclined chair can lead to deep vein thrombosis or blood clots that form when the lower legs are compressed against the back of your seat. These blockages cut off the circulation, which causes pain, inflammation, and swelling if they become severe enough, putting you at risk of heart attack or pulmonary embolism.

7. Back, Hip & Shoulder Pain

As you have read throughout this article, sleeping in a recliner chair can cause many issues to your body that result in pain and discomfort, negatively affecting your quality of life. No matter how much money you spend on buying the most comfortable reclined seat available, if you are not careful about how often you sleep in this position or for too long at one time, it will eventually take its toll on your body!

How Do You Sleep in a Reclined Position Properly?

Sleeping in a reclined chair is not bad for you if it’s done in moderation and when proper precautions are taken to avoid the many problems associated with this way of sleeping. First, make sure to sleep in the proper position by keeping an ergonomically correct posture which means that your head should be elevated about 6-8 inches higher than your heart. 

The seat needs to be at least 12 inches deep enough that your upper body is entirely supported while lying down. Your feet should be flat on the floor as well as tucked under your legs, so they don’t dangle from above, placing pressure on your lower back! Follow these simple guidelines, and you will reduce any risk of physical pain or discomfort due to improper positioning.

Be sure not to fall asleep directly after a large dinner. If you need to nap, do it in a recliner chair with the back support of your seat put up so that if you fall asleep, it won’t be in the reclined position. 

Finally, end each day by setting an alarm clock for 15 minutes instead of 30 or 45 minutes which is enough time for you to fall asleep but not long enough that your body will be completely relaxed when it goes off, waking you up!


Why do I need a recliner at home?

A recliner is a great way to relax at home. It can help you decompress after a long day at work or just provide a comfortable place to watch TV or take a nap. If you have back pain, a recliner can help alleviate some symptoms by providing support for your spine and neck. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you think a recliner is a necessity in your home – but I think it’s a pretty great comfortable piece of furniture to have around!

What are the dangers of sleeping in a recliner?

If you fall asleep in a recliner, rolling off and injuring yourself is dangerous. Additionally, if you have any medical conditions that make you lightheaded or dizzy, you should be cautious about reclining too far back as you could faint and hurt yourself. Finally, if you are pregnant, it’s best to consult with your doctor before using a recliner, as some positions could put unnecessary strain on your back or abdomen.

Can sleep in a recliner cause blood clots?

If you fall asleep in an upright recliner for several hours, it could increase the risk of deep-vein thrombosis. It’s a condition that causes blood clots in the limb if you sit still for an extended period of time with your legs or arms bent.

Why do I sleep better in my recliner than in my bed?

There are a few reasons why people find that they sleep better in their best recliners. First, the supportive and comfortable position of a recliner can help reduce tossing and turning throughout the night.

Additionally, if you suffer from conditions like sleep apnea or GERD, sleeping in a recliner can help keep your airway unobstructed and prevent stomach acid from refluxing into your throat. If you have trouble sleeping in a bed, it’s definitely worth giving a recliner a try! However, consider the cons of sleeping in a recliner I’ve mentioned above to make an informed decision.


This article discusses what can be good and bad about sleeping in a recliner, but I didn’t find anything helpful except what’s mentioned above. All the other stuff doesn’t mean much because it depends on how you use your recliner and whether you’re careful enough.

Last updated: 25/04/2023

About Karen Miller

Hello! I'm Karen Miller, an interior designer from Chicago with a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces. After leading designer at Chicago Interior LLC in 2010-2020, I started to share my expertise on home comfort. I'm excited to help you transform your home into a place of comfort and joy. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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