how to sleep with back pain

How To Sleep With Back Pain

Lisa Middlebrooks

Back pain is a common thing many people suffer from and it can make it hard to get a great night’s sleep. The way you sleep can worsen the pain while others can help you to find relief. We have collated a list of methods and ways to help you, so read on and learn how to sleep with back pain.

If the very first sound you are making in the early morning is not a yawn but rather a groan, then it is very likely that you are not a stranger of back pain. The problem with back pain is not simply an uncomfortable nuisance that you’ve to contend with throughout the day. It can rob you of sleep. Individuals with lower back pain report that the uneasy feeling wakes them up as frequently as 5 times through the night.

What is all the more interesting is the fact that most back pain is not due to serious health conditions, like arthritis or cancer. Rather, it is frequently brought on by strain and stress caused by poor posture, uncomfortable sleeping positions, along with other lifestyle practices. More on these later.

The most effective methods to sleep with less back pain are listed here. Let’s start.

Sleep On Your Side With A Pillow In Between Your Knees

If lying flat on the back feels uncomfortable, try turning over to your side. Your left or right shoulder should come into contact with the mattress, together with the rest of that side of your body.

Then put a pillow between the knees. If there is a gap between your waist and the mattress, think about using a little pillow there for additional support.

Whether you make use of one or two pillow, you need to resist the urge to constantly sleep on the very same side. Failure to do so can cause problems like scoliosis or muscle imbalance.

Sleeping on the side by itself will not make you to feel good. The trick is because of the pillow between the knees. It helps to keep your spine, pelvis, and hips aligned in a better position.

sleep in fetal position helps back pain

Sleep On Your Side in a Fetal Position

This method is useful if you have a herniated disc. Sleeping on your edge curled in a fetal position might help you.

Start by laying on your back and then roll over carefully onto the side. Tuck your knees toward the chest and carefully curl your torso towards your knees.
Remember switching sides every once in awhile to prevent imbalances.

The discs are soft cushions in between the vertebrae in the spine. Herniation happens when a part of a disc moves out of the normal position and presses onto the soft spinal tissue, leading to nerve pain, weak point, and much more. To curl your torso into a fetal position opens the area between vertebrae.

Sleep On Your Stomach with a Pillow Under Your Abdomen

You might have found out that sleeping on your stomach is really not great for back pain. Well, this is partially correct because it might add stress to your neck.

Even if you find yourself sleeping on your stomach, you do not need to force into another position. Try this. You can relieve some of the pressure off your back by positioning a pillow under lower abdomen or pelvis. You might or might not decide to place another pillow under your head, depending on how you feel.

Individuals who have degenerative disc disease can gain the most from stomach sleeping with a pillow. It can reduce stress that has been burdened on the area between the discs.

Sleep On Your Back with a Pillow Under Your Knees

For many people, sleeping on the back could be the very best position to alleviate back pain.

Begin with laying flat on the back. Place a pillow beneath the knees and keep your spine of yours. The pillow works to maintain that curve in your smaller back and is an important item. You might also want to place a little, rolled up towel underneath the little of your back for additional support.

Whenever you sleep on the back, your weight is equally distributed and spread across the widest area of the body. This way you place less stress on the pressure points. You will also be able to get better alignment of the spine and your internal organs.

Sleep On Your Back In a Reclined Position

Though sleeping in a chair might not be the best option for back pain, this particular position may be helpful if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis.

Think about investing in an adjustable bed so that you are able to sleep this way with the very best support and alignment.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a medical condition in which a vertebra slips over the one beneath it. Reclining might be helpful for the back because it improves the angle between your trunk and thighs. This angle helps to decrease the pressure on the spine of yours.

back pain during sleep

Alignment is Key

Regardless of what position you adopt, keeping proper positioning of the spine would be the most crucial component. Focus especially on aligning your ears, hips, and shoulders.

You might notice gaps between your body and the bed which can strain your spine and muscles. You can lower this strain by making use of pillows to fill the spaces.

Exercise caution while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment when twisting as well as turning also. Remember to move your whole body together, to keep the core tight and pulled in. You may also consider bringing the knees towards the chest when you roll over.

Worst Sleep Positions for Back Pain

Some positions can place extra strain on the lower back, shoulders, neck, hips, knees as well as the heels, every one of that can result in pain. There is simply no one-size-fits-all position to cure back discomfort. However, you should try out a number of tricks to get it in check to ensure you are able to sleep a lot more soundly.

Sleeping on your stomach is the most common offender. Typically, sleeping on the stomach flattens the natural curve of the spine, stressing the back muscles. Additionally, your neck is rotated during stomach sleeping, that can lead to neck soreness or even back ache in between the shoulders.

It is typical that you move about during sleep, and that is good because a bit of movement helps to relieve strain on your back. Any sleeping position has got the potential to increase back pain if you don’t move for too long. So do not worry about keeping your body in the same position throughout the night.

The true culprit might not be sleep position but rather your everyday activity or a shortage of it. For example, we might sit for a long time and we do not sit correctly and remain slouched with our backs rounded.

During the day, try to vary your posture as much as possible, and practice good posture when sitting and standing to help you relieve back pain at night.

mattress affects your back

Your Mattress is Important

Doctors used to recommend really firm orthopedic mattresses to individuals with lower back pain. But hang on just yet. Recent surveys have shown that individuals who use very firm mattresses may have probably the poorest sleep.

Having said that, a mattress that is extremely soft will not help a lot with alignment.

If you have the means, try to purchase something new, semi-firm to firm mattress made with high quality foam or innersprings. You might in addition enhance it by including a memory foam mattress topper.

It may be hard to tell that mattress at the shop truly feels comfortable after just a couple of minutes of testing. Some companies allow you to test out a mattress within a set time period and then return it in case it is not for you.

If you are not currently thinking of buying a new one, you can make a mattress firmer by placing a cheap plywood board under your current mattress. Try also to put your mattress on the floor to see if lessening the motion of the springs will help with the pain.

pillow helps with sleep with back pain

Your Pillow

The pillow should cradle your neck and head and help to support the upper spine. If you sleep on your back, your pillow should totally fill the area between the neck as well as the mattress. If you rest on the side, use a fuller pillow to keep the head in line with the remainder of your body in this position.

Do not put your pillow under your shoulders no matter what you do.

For Back Sleepers

You might get better results with thiner pillows and those which have additional cushioning of the bottom part to allow for the neck.

Memory foam is an excellent material that molds especially to your own neck.

A water pillow is an alternative choice that gives firm, all-over support.

Simple Tips That Help You Fall Asleep

For Stomach Sleepers

Go for the thinnest pillow possible or maybe no pillow at all. In reality, you might try sleeping on the side while hugging a body pillow. The body pillow is going to give you the sensation of something against the stomach while assisting to align the majority of your body.

For Side Sleepers

You might wish to search for a firm pillow. A better idea would be to try to locate one which has an extra wide gusset which is going to help with the area between your shoulder and ear. And do not forget to put a firm pillow between the knees. You may also substitute a rolled towel.

While you are at it, make sure to change your pillow every 15 months or so. Those pillow protectors are a great barrier, but pillows can hold a lot of allergy triggers as mold as well as dust mites.

Move Carefully

Focusing on the way you get in as well as out of bed might help defend against back pain. Stay away from abrupt, jerky motions as well as try not to bend forward from the waist when getting out of bed, as this could harm your back. Rather, roll over onto the side and using your elbows or hand and gently push up while maintaining a straight back. At the same time, lower your legs over the edge of the bed. The prevents any awkward twisting of the back and gracefully repositions your body from flat to sitting upright.

Get On A Sleep Routine

If you toss and turn through the night, it may be hard to sleep in. Nevertheless, setting regular bedtimes and wake times helps your body fall into an natural sleeping pattern. Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep every night.

Experiment with adhering to a nightly routine. Start this routine aproximatelly 30 to 60 minutes before your set bedtime. Choose two relaxing activities which help put your mind into a calming state.

Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight

Hit the Gym

Working out, generally speaking, helps you sleep much better. And a much stronger, more adaptable body helps lower the risk of back strains and muscle spasms while in the night. Exercise your abs as well as your own regular workout routine, as well as plank action. Start on your knees and hands, together with your hands directly under the shoulders. Stretch out your body until it is flat parallel to the floor from head to toe. Tighten up the abs and keep the position for 15 to 30 seconds.

Get On A Sleep Routine

If you toss and turn through the night, it may be hard to sleep in. Nevertheless, setting regular bedtimes and wake times helps your body fall into an natural sleeping pattern. Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep every night.

Experiment with adhering to a nightly routine. Start this routine aproximatelly 30 to 60 minutes before your set bedtime. Choose two relaxing activities which help put your mind into a calming state.


Following the above the methods should reduce your back pain, but see your doctor in case these tweaks do not result in any improvement, because chronic back pain may be connected to more grave problems like fractures, scoliosis or maybe spinal tumors.

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