Sleeping on the ground (yes really!)

in sleep •  last year

Hello fellow Steemians. I came across this post a while ago and found it very interesting. I re-posted it from Reddit and adopted what it proposed for myself. I will make the results available to you soon, so stick around if you are interested.

Throwing Out My Bed Woke Me Up

Last year I threw out my bed in favor of sleeping on the ground, and it was one of the most important changes in making my life better. I received a lot of criticism and odd looks from just about everybody I told or showed. No one understood why a person would throw out their bed and decide to sleep on the ground. No one understood the huge benefits I would gain, and how I would begin waking up to many other hidden inhibitions dwelling in me. Let me share with you how a nice mattress found its way on the curb waiting for garbage pick up, and how my life vastly improved.

→Unhappy and Pained For a solid three years, an increasing unhappiness overwhelmed me every time I woke up, and I had to fight it with the strength of a thousand King Leonidus’s each morning (Spartan king Gerard Butler from “300”). Not understanding why I felt this way, I tried all manner of tricks: not eating before bed, blackout curtains, no electronics before sleep, special diets, white noise machines, but nothing worked.

Honestly I was becoming depressed, because I had no clue why a good mattress, regular workouts, solid diet, and good desk job were making me have dull upper back pain and hate my life every morning! After I visited Thailand and South Africa, reality punched me harder than Mike Tyson in his prime. On both trips I met and saw many 60+ year olds sleeping on the ground and able to wake up early, get in a better squat than me, and fix motorcycles with glee. They appeared to have more motivation and energy than my 27 year old body had felt in forever. Something had to be done… … so I threw out my bed. It wasn’t easy. I mean, physically carrying it out to the curb was, but swapping it for a smaller futon and deciding to sleep on the ground at least 5 days out of each week certainly was a rough adjustment. When people questioned my choice of a thin yoga mat covered with sheets to sleep on, I felt strong knowing my core motivation and reasons.

→Why? I’ve always held the value that desiring to “toughen up” is a much needed trait, and I’ve always aspired to harden myself when possible to build confidence and be self-reliant. Along with this core belief came a lot of other odd connections I began to make about the weird, modern world around me. Little did I know that when I read Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, it would resonate volumes with truths I always held but couldn’t express as lucid.

“The best way to verify that you are alive is by checking if you like variations. Remember that food would not have a taste if it weren’t for hunger; results are meaningless without effort, joy without sadness, convictions without uncertainty, and an ethical life isn’t so when stripped of personal risks.” ― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile

Things That Gain from Disorder

Many points from that book impacted me, but nothing drove home my motivation to toss out my bed more than the belief of allowing my body more increased personal risk and to learn from difficulty and experiences. Here’s why I did it: -My back was hurting- similar to constant sitting, your body is designed to adapt to chronic negative postures and reinforce them. Mattresses and soft, sinkable materials do that. -To gain the ability to be comfortable sleeping anywhere. -To increase the optionality of saving money when traveling: sleeping in airports, crashing on friends’ floors to save on accommodations, etc. -The “tough” factor -To increase the optionality of space in my apartment (no bed = more space for other things)

→ My Life Now Sleeping Most Nights on the Floor One year went awesome with only a futon folded up as a couch and doing five nights a week on the ground. I now have picked up a bed for “romantic” reasons, but still do five nights on the ground most of the time. All of my goals above were satisfied. My back never had pain when waking up, I could sleep on the ground even when traveling, and I definitely had more space in my apartment for working out. Other huge benefits joined these: -I woke up very alert and more ready for the day (probably from wanting to get off the floor and not lay around in a cushy bed) -I actually felt physically better over time, noticeably in the morning -Couches, beds, and even carpets began to feel like heaven (hunger creates taste)

A final massive benefit is that this was a gate-way drug for me. It woke me up as an individual who could do powerful things with the way I choose to live my life. I took for granted that everyone around me and my experience through life until then had me believing I “needed” air conditioning or “required” a bed. What other firm lines have we drawn in our lives that can instead be more artful doodles? Travel inspired me to throw out my bed, and experiencing the bizarre journey of discomfort slowly turn into very cool and unique benefits gave me a confidence and brazenness to continue taking risks and try all other manner of “weird” things that excite me.

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I really appreciate your decision. More power to you. Thanks for sharing!


Just a small update: I have only done it for a few days now, but my back already feels a lot better.

You get used to sleeping on the ground (and on the back) a lot faster than I thought.
It is really good for your posture and you feel really mobile when you wake up.

I will make a longer post in a few weeks where I include the pictures from my doctor so we can compare if it helped or not.

I enjoy sleeping on the floor. I wake up with a boost of energy without a hint of pain. Has sleeping on the floor provided you with relief from pain?


Me too. I have been doing it for four months now and I swear to you my back has gotten so much better.

I have an appointment with a doctor next week to make new scans of my back.
I will make another post with the results.

I got the last scan just prior to sleeping on the floor and I wanted to start sleeping on the floor because I thought it would help me build up back muscles.

I think I have been successful in this undertaking.
So, if you follow me you'll be able to see the new post that I will make in about a week with the results.
Including pictures from my Doctor and everything (she mails them to me via mail).