Yes. You can lay on your stomach in a tanning bed. It’s very safe and it is more or less like lying on your back. Lying on your back is the most common tanning position as it is very comfortable; but when you lie flat on your back, you tend to lose your ability to get an even tan because it would be quite difficult to angle your body.

In addition, once your body tenses up in a tanning bed it makes your face puff up and your skin tingle and this could also irritate your back region. Note that attaining the perfect tan takes more than just laying back and relaxing in a tanning bed.

You have to put in some effort to ensure that you get an even tan all around. It is so common to leave the tanning bed with an uneven tan, so you should understand the correct positions to lie in a tanning bed to give your body a gorgeous tan.

When it comes to the best positions to lay in for the most even tan, have it in mind that there are only two positions. These two positions are lying on your back and lying on your stomach. While this might seem obvious, note that by switching between the two positions, you will be able to evenly tan your body, without pressure points or light patches.

Ensure to spend time on both your back and stomach and a little bit on either side, to give your skin an even tan all around. To ensure you get more comfortable while lying on your stomach, consider placing your hands under your chin and resting upon it. Note that this will also ensure that you tan your neck and your wrists properly.

Also, make sure you don’t arch your back too much as this can cause tan lines and not help create an even tan. Always have your feet resting on your toes to ensure that your feet get as many UV rays as possible. This will also guarantee that your knees have a more even tan too.

Side Effects of Lying on My Stomach in a Tanning Bed

Agreeably, there are little or no side effects when laying on your stomach in a tanning bed as long as you can protect your eyes and other body parts that don’t require tanning. However, if you prefer to lie on your stomach while tanning, here are possible side effects you might encounter.

  1. Strain On Your Spine

Generally, lying on your stomach can be problematic for your back as it places a certain amount of strain and pressure on your spine. According to experts, the middle part of your body is more or less where most of the weight is, and this can make it very challenging to maintain a neutral position of the spine while in the tanning bed.

Have it in mind that this constant stress on the spine will lead to increased stress on the rest of your body structure and also lead to pain in all parts of the body since the spine acts as a pipeline for the nerves. Also note that it may lead to sensations such as numbness and tingling, which are rather uncomfortable.

  1. Pain in Your Neck

Also, note that laying on your stomach in a tanning bed for a long time can cause neck problems. Unless you can find a way to breathe through the pillow, you have to turn your head to one side when lying on your stomach. Note that this can cause your neck to be twisted, putting your spine and head out of alignment, and leading to some kind of damage.

While you might not notice this damage after just one tanning session, the problems will unquestionably become evident over time. Note that one of the most notable neck problems you can have if you choose to lie in this way is the herniated disk.

Have it in mind that this issue occurs when the spinal vertebrae alter to cause a rupture of the gelatinous disk inside, giving room for the gel to leak out and irritate the nerves. This is very achy and will need professional treatment.

Precautions and Tips for Using a Tanning Bed

There are numerous concerns for people who use tanning beds since tanning beds are known to have potentially dangerous features that could damage your skin. However, to ensure you enjoy the process and also get the result you want, here are precautions and tips for using a tanning bed:

  1. Understand the tanning process

It is important to make your research or even ask friends and colleagues to ensure you understand the tanning process before going to your appointment. You should also discuss with the staff to ensure you understand the salon’s tanning procedure.

Have in mind that tanning beds have some switches that turn on and off the fan or even the lights, and you should know how to operate them before going inside. The beds themselves have FDA-recommended exposure times printed on them. It might be wise to check these.

  1. Start small

If you spend too much time in a tanning bed, you can end up with heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Some symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, and dizziness. It is recommended you speak with staff at the salon to find out how hot the lights operate and if they have decent air conditioning and ventilation at the salon.

Also, consider spending less time in the tanning bed. While 20 minutes is long enough, you should start with much shorter tanning periods and then grow with time.

  1. Understand Your Pressure Points

While it can be quite challenging for first-time bed users, you must understand your pressure points when using a tanning bed. Pressure points tend to happen when you do not change position in a tanning bed. At that point, the blood flow to these areas slows down and wouldn’t let the UV rays absorb into the skin properly.

Note that when the UV rays cannot be absorbed into the skin properly, those areas that are susceptible to pressure points will not tan properly and you will be left with an uneven tan and tan lines too. This is one of the primary reasons to change positions a few times when lying on a tanning bed.

  1. Change Your Positions a Few Times

Just as was noted above, changing positions in a tanning bed is very crucial as it gives all areas of your body the exposure they need to tan. Some tanning salons provide a timer that will be set to remind you when to tan. In some other salons, attendants will come to remind you to turn over after a certain amount of time.

However, always make sure to note your tanning session time before going in, and set the timer to change positions just before you are halfway through. After you change your position, ensure to have the timer go just before 2 minutes left. Within these last 2 minutes, lay on either side to finish off your even tan.

Also, when changing positions, it is recommended you keep moving your body around slightly and stretching so that tan lines aren’t formed and there are no creases. Don’t also forget to adjust your goggle every now and then to ensure you do not end up with white patches around your eyes.

  1. Avoid Pillows

Almost all tanning salons will provide a pillow for clients to use in the tanning bed, but you should avoid using them. In a tanning bed, the pillow will cover your neck and ensure that your neck does not tan. A pillow can also cause a white strip on your neck, and this could be dissatisfying.

Therefore, instead of using a pillow, consider using your hands to form a pillow under your head, whether you are on your back or stomach. This will ensure you tan them easier, and you can reposition yourself more to get a more even tan all over.

  1. Beware of Medications and Medical Conditions That Can Make You Sensitive to Light

Indeed some medications can make you more sensitive to light and could make you feel uneasy when you are tanning. Have it in mind that birth control, acne medications, and antihistamines can make you sensitive to light. There are also medical conditions that can make you more sensitive to light, like Lupus, for instance, therefore you may want to avoid a tanning bed if you have lupus.

Diabetes and herpes can also make you sensitive to light. People with low blood sugar are also known to feel faint when exposed to the heat of UV lamps for prolonged periods. Pregnancy can also make you oversensitive to light and you may not even want to get overheated when pregnant. It is recommended that you consult a doctor before using a tanning bed if you have any relevant medical issues.

  1. Use the Goggles

The face is one of the easiest places to tan in a tanning bed, but you have to be aware of possible damage to your eyes. It is vital to wear tanning goggles to prevent damage to your eyes. With a good goggle, you can keep your eyes safe from the harmful UV radiation.

Have in mind that UV rays can damage both your internal and external eye structures; therefore, you better wear goggles all the time. Howbeit, to avoid the goggles from giving you raccoon eyes, ensure to adjust them a few times during your tanning session, to prevent white areas around your eyes.

  1. Stay Hydrated and Moisturized

It is necessary to make sure you are hydrated by taking enough water before and after tanning. Note that this might help prevent heatstroke and heat exhaustion so that you are not sick after tanning. It is also recommended that you use moisturizers to replenish the fluid in your skin too.

Have in mind that a moisturizing lotion helps your skin to get back to the condition it was. Always go for a lotion that contains additional vitamins and other natural ingredients like coconut oil.


Truth be told, there is no one specific position to lie in a tanning bed that would guarantee you an even tan all over. Ensure to spend time on both your back and stomach and a bit on either side. Remember to adjust your position during the tanning session to ensure you do not form tan lines or tan patches.

It is also a good idea to adhere to the guidelines of exposure times that are recommended by the salon. If you are a first-time user or tend to experience issues after using a tanning bed, then it is recommended that you reduce the time you spend on the tanning bed.