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Is Sleeping in a Recliner Unhealthy?

By Haden Peterson ; Updated July 27, 2017

People who can’t sleep in a conventional bed have turned to recliners as a solution. The fact that doctors sometimes suggest recliners to patients and do not report health concerns indicates that it not unhealthy.

Post-Operative Patients

Heart bypass patients have reported that they have been unable to sleep on their sides for many weeks after their operation. Sleeping on a recliner has allowed them to get restful sleep.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disruption in the breath during sleep resulting in oxygen deprivation. Some people suffering from sleep apnea report positive outcomes when sleeping in a recliner, which they attribute to sleeping in an upright position.


It’s quite common for pregnant women to find sleeping in bed uncomfortable--especially as they approach their due date. Moving to a recliner has allowed many women to sleep much easier.

Back Pain and Sciatica

Those suffering from osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis were advised by a doctor that sleeping on a recliner might enable them to sleep. The reason given was the ability of the recliner to elevate the head and knees.


People with various health conditions have found success at getting restful sleep on recliners. There were no reports from them that sleeping on a recliner had an adverse effect on their health.

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