What sleeping position is best for lower back pain

What sleeping position is best for lower back pain

Can’t sleep due to Lower Back Pain? I feel your pain. It is difficult it is to fall asleep with that condition. Lower back pain and sleeping posture are very much related.

Back pain affects sleep and you might find yourself awake longer hours in the night or waking up to painful muscles. But how can back pain affects sleep?

It is mostly due to your sleeping position and the kind of mattress you use. I’ll just break down how each one affects your sleep and how to manage the condition because sleeping is important to your health and you deserve it.

How sleeping positions affect lower back pain

Which position do you sleep in? Do you know that the position you sleep in can cause back pain. If you are a heavy sleeper or too tired, you might not even realize it until you wake up in the morning.

There are a lot of reason why your sleeping position will affect your sleep. We’ll see them later, but what are the best sleeping positions and what modification should you make to your sleeping position?

So what sleeping position is the best for lower back pain?

Best sleeping positions for lower back pain

How to relieve lower back pain while sleeping
Credit;Macrovector from Freepik

• When lying on the back, elevate your knees or legs with knee support

When lying facing upward, there is a lot of curving that you should support, which is why to avoid this pain you should do something about it! To reduce the pain and get a comfortable sleep, you have to keep your back straight.

How can you do this? Elevate the lower part of your body with a knee support.

Just a simple tip, place a pillow under your head and knees. This will help to elevate your legs while maintaining a neutral position. It will also put your body in comfort and remove curves that will later, cause pain.

If you can get the neck pillows, that would be a better choice. These pillows prevent you neck twisting to one side and it cradles in the neck.

• When sleeping on the side or in a fetal position, avoid excessive curling.

How can you do this? Just keep your knees bent and a pillow stacked in between them. You should also place a pillow under your head and rest your hands in front of you. Avoid laying your head under your hands to avoid pain in the shoulders and the elbows.

You have a thinner waist or hourglass body (mostly for women)?, you can stack a pillow or a folded towel for support in that area.

• Inclined back sleeping

If you love dozing off on your sofa or chair, be careful of your posture. Your lower back should at least be in contact with the chair support.

Have you ever asked yourself why massage chairs are reclined? That’s for support, friend.

You can’t get relaxed while in a massage and experience back pain. Nada. That is also why you should sleep on a reclined chair even when you are not getting a massage.

Sleeping positions that cause back pain

How should you sleep with lower back pain
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Sleeping on your stomach is among the worst sleeping positions that are prone to back pain and compresses some joints.

Remember your head can be turned to one side causing stretching of neck muscles and your spine can be totally arched at the waist.

What you should do….put a pillow under the stomach. this will raise the lower back and prevent spine curving.

How to sleep better with lower back pain

How should you sleep if you have lower back pain and neck pain
Credit; Macrovector from Freepik
  1. Keep your spine in a neutral position

By now you know that the spine is the center of coordination and balance for your body. So it should be maintained in a neutral position for your comfort and to avoid muscle and joint pain.

2. Don’t sleep on the same side for a long time

It is important that you change your sleeping position from time to time. Muscles have character of elasticity, so one position can cause numbness and fatigue which can sometime result to even pain.

3. Use a pillow or a support

You realize that your body is not exactly straight like a line, to maintain the straightness you need a support when you sleep. You can refer back to best sleeping positions to see how to fix the supports.

4. Stretching and exercise

Stretching has its own good feeling. If you stretch before bed, you are best. But that should not be a limit.

Stretch before and after bed and any other time of the day. This prevents rigidity and numbness in the muscles. It will also keep you refreshed.

5. Avoid laying on a hard surface for example the floor

Hard surfaces do not favor muscles. No! It is like a compression method that leaves them pressed. So there is no way you can avoid back and joint pain. Surfaces like rigid mattresses, sleeping on the floor you should avoid.

Can’t sleep due to lower back pain? You are sleeping in the wrong posture. Here are the best and worst sleeping positions for lower back pain.


If you are still thinking on how you should sleep with severe lower back pain because your lower back hurts so much after sleeping, I already told you why and how you can help yourself. That’s not hard, only if you are ready to make adjustments to your sleeping position and what you sleep on. You can also check out my other blog posts on back pain.


Which side should you sleep on if your back hurts?

You can either lie on the side or on your stomach, both these should be okay as long as you don’t put pressure on the back. Add the support on the knees and the head to reduce arching of the back on the upper and lower points.

Can your mattress cause lower back pain?

Yes, your mattress can cause lower back pain. Using a poorly put together mattress or an old mattress can cause lower back pain. Most form mattresses get plumped-up and lose the support they should provide. So it is better to change your mattress from time to time to avoid back pain.

Why should you see a doctor or a physiotherapist about lower back pain?

It is important to see a doctor or physiotherapist to see if there is any under lying problem than just pain. It is also important to avoid any new pain reliving program, if you suffer from severe back pain without seeking professional help.

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Hi, I am a radiation therapist who loves writing about health, beauty and fitness. I also like book reviewing and socializing with people. Hope to share ideas and experiences with you.

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