Many a time, people drift off to sleep on the couch while watching TV or reading a book. Using the couch for sleeping seems to be a space-saving and inexpensive option, and soon, it becomes more of a habit. Some people get so habituated that they never sleep in their bedrooms at all. They are not even able to get proper sleep there, since they believe they have more of a comfort level on the couch. But this is only a myth. The fact is, making the couch your permanent sleeping place is a bad option. In the debate of sleeping on the couch vs. sleeping on the bed, the latter is likely to win hands-down.
Couches are meant for sitting and mattresses are meant for sleeping. A couch is usually made of a material like heavy polyurethane foam with support mechanisms. It is designed keeping in mind that heavy weights will be forced on a single spot for a longer while; it is made to resist those weights and the impressions they leave behind. Thus, sleeping on the couch provides less support and alignment when the weight is lying across a larger area.
The couch is where everybody sits and rests, most of the time, right after they enter the house. Kids and pets may sit on it, squash the material, and dirty the couch. Imagine having to sleep where your kid stomped around with dusty feet? You don't want to subject yourself to that, do you?
This is considered as one of the bad health effects of sleeping on a couch. Though there is no conclusive proof that it is the sole cause of back pain, it definitely acts as a trigger. Couches are normally smaller, so you may be in a cramped-up position that would be uncomfortable for the back. This is because of a number of reasons - incorrect posture, extra soft/hard material, surface heat level, etc.
Most couches are placed in the living room, and there is a lot of electronic disturbance all over. You have the TV, cell phones, tablet, laptop, etc. For most people, sleeping on the couch is an extension of chatting on the phone, watching TV, or working on the laptop. Health-wise, it is hellish for the individual.
One's sleeping position is very important, irrespective of a couch or bed. A bed is made to conform to our curves, while a couch is not. The couch material forces us to change sleeping positions often, makes us lie in a cramped space, and leads to incorrect spine alignment. Disturbed sleep patterns do not allow us to reach the period of restorative sleep, affecting our overall health.
What if I Can Only Get a Good Sleep While on The Couch?
Many people are accustomed to sleeping on the couch due to a variety of reasons. While the habit can be done away with regular practice, for most it is pure discomfort. Therefore, to get a good night's sleep on your bed, try natural sleep therapies. Invest in a comfortable mattress. You can also consider mild medication to get a good sleep, after consulting your physician of course.
To summarize on a positive note, let's say that occasional naps on the couch are fine, even a night, perhaps once a while. But making the couch your permanent sleeping area is a strict NO.