How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Here we are exploring the best sleeping positions for those with lower back pain. Learn how to get a good night's sleep from this guide!
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Medical Advisory Team
Medical Advisory Team
Includes well-known professionals, who together provide decades of sleep medicine experience that enables Talk About Sleep to fulfill its mission of creating access to high- read more
Last updated: August 09, 2023
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Sleeping positions are common reasons for lower back pain.

This kind of pain is complex as it features body structures that are often intertwined. It constitutes the vertebrae, which have shock absorbers and are firmly held into position by the body ligaments.

Muscles around the area support the spines as nerves transmit body signals to the brain. It is essential to note that the lower back is responsible for supporting the entire body.

Sleeping in bad positions can damage the ligaments found in the lower back, leading to serious pains that worsen if left unattended.

Thus, it is vital to learn how to sleep with lower back pain to mitigate the effects of these pains in your life. This article will enlighten you on the best sleeping positions and fundamental issues you must consider to have comfortable nights.

Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Some sleeping positions unnecessarily strain the back and contribute to lower back pains. The development of those pains is not overnight. Instead, repeatedly sleeping in poor positions ultimately leads to the onset of pains in the lower back, which might sometimes run down to the legs.

Thus, it is crucial to sleep in a natural curve, allowing your spine to relax. In the course of your learning how to sleep with severe lower back pain, you will realize that the first and most essential step is to ensure that your head, shoulders, and heads are properly aligned. Your ultimate goal is to support your back and your entire body.

Sleeping with your head faced upwards is a quick solution to this problem. There are several other ways of sleeping with back pains, as explained.

Sleep on the Back Placing the Pillow Under the Knees

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

This position minimizes body pressure and aligns the head, spine, and neck. It will be helpful if you place a pillow between your legs while sleeping.

Pillows offer extra support and help align the spine. First, lie on your back while facing up. Make sure you don’t tilt your head sideways when sleeping. After that, place a pillow to support your head and neck.

You should then take another pillow, preferably of a smaller size, and place it under your knees. This should sum it up.

If you require extra support, you can add pillows to cover the gaps between your body and the mattress. The type of mattress you are also using matters. Some mattresses don’t offer the comfort required by remedying lower back pain. According to most reviews, the best mattress is Bear Pro. The mattress is made of a unique quality that allows comfort.

Lie in the Fetal Position

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Sleeping in the fetal position is especially useful for people with herniated disks. This position involves lying on your side and tucking the knees on the chest.

It is helpful as it prevents the spine from bending and expands the joints. You should get in bed and lie on your side. Understanding how to sleep on your side with lower back pain is the first step to achieving the fetal position.

Once you lie on your side, use a pillow to support your head and neck. After that, pull your knees towards your chest until your back becomes straightened.

On the Side with a Pillow Between the Knees

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Some people may find lying on the side uncomfortable. However, this method helps in straightening the back. Get on the bed and lie on your side.

Use one pillow to support your head, and then pull your knees up. After that, place a pillow between your legs for support.

Place a Pillow Under Your Stomach

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

This position is a suitable alternative for those who find sleeping in other positions challenging. However, many people consider it the least healthy position.

Inserting a small pillow under the hips and stomach. This method also fits those with herniated disks. To achieve it, lie on your stomach, then place a small pillow below the hips and abdomen. You should also support your head with a pillow.

Sleep on Your Stomach Face Down

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

This position is tricky, considering that you might damage the spine if you continuously twist and turn your head. You should get on the bed and sleep on your stomach.

Again, use a pillow between your hips and abdomen. Position a pillow under your forehead to slightly lift the head and allow breathing.

How to Choose the Right Pillow

Pillows play a fundamental role in fixing back pains.

The type of pillow you use will either contribute to back pains or remedy the problem.

The position of your pillow should be strategic to deliver the utmost comfort. Therefore, ensure your pillow is in a natural position. This position should be one that provides support to the neck and spine.

You should also be flexible and adapt to several positions. It will give you the comfort you require and maintain the shape of your spine. According to experts, the best pillow remains Nature’s Guest Cervical Support Pillow . This pillow is recommended as it fixes spine issues by aligning the cervical area to your spine. It also remedies different types of back pains.

Thin pillows are excellent for sleeping on the back. This is because raising the head far too high strains the back and the neck. These pillows are specifically designed to offer support to the neck.

Thin pillows are also perfect for those who prefer to sleep on their stomachs. Placing it under the hips offers ideal support to the spine.

Those who prefer sleeping on their backs should use thick pillows. Thick pillows fill all the spaces between the neck and the mattress.

For those who sleep on their stomachs, using a thin pillow or sleeping without one is ideal. This is because pushing the head far back strains the neck. You can also sleep facing down with a firm pillow that lifts the head slightly. You need enough breathing space while sleeping.

How to Choose the Right Mattress.

The type of mattress is also core to fixing back problems. You should thoroughly inspect the mattress and purchase one that offers support and is comfortable.

Furthermore, the best mattresses are made of quality material. Firm mattresses are the best for strengthening your back. However, some people prefer mattresses that are medium for fixing back pains that have lasted long.

It is vital to note that your body size and shape will determine the best mattress for you. Those with narrow hips should use firm mattresses, while those with broad hips should resort to soft mattresses.

However, soft mattresses are bound to offer less support. They might seem comfortable but do not work the same way as firm mattresses. These mattresses sink and may result in twisted joints and misalign the spine.

You can choose to use a plywood board to enhance the firmness of these mattresses. Ensure you have the best mattress to fix back pains after considering these factors.

Useful Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

You should also use some tips to reduce lower back pains. Follow these tips to enjoy sleep if you experience pains often while sleeping.

First, you should develop a sleep schedule. Enjoying sleep is not possible if you continuously toss and turn due to these pains. Therefore, it will be useful to set timelines for bedtime.

These schedules should include waking up to align your body to the most convenient sleeping positions regularly. Furthermore, you should take time and align your pillow to enjoy a natural pattern in your sleep. About eight hours of sleep a night is perfect.

You can also employ a nightly routine should you experience challenges with the sleep schedule. This routine should be around twenty-five to seventy minutes before your bedtime begins.

This process is vital in improving your sleep pattern; it also resolves back pains by using different sleeping techniques. It will be best if you engage yourself in activities that keep your mind off back pains during these routines. For instance, you can try yoga Trusted Source Yoga for Back Pain: 10 Poses to Try, Why It Works, and More Dealing with back pain? These simple yoga poses may help. Here’s how to get started at home. to reduce the pain that results from sciatica.

It would be best if you also avoided caffeine and stimulants when nearing your bedtime. You don’t want to have sleepless nights because of stimulants and back pain at the same time.


These are some of the most frequently asked questions on back pains.

How are sleeping problems and back pain related?

Sleeping problems and back pains are directly related. Back pains are major contributors to discomfort while sleeping. More so, those with sleeping problems have high chances of developing back pains.

When should I contact a doctor?

You should seek medical attention when your back pains persist after using the proper sleeping techniques meant to reduce these pains. Consult a doctor immediately if you feel fever, chest pain, or numbness in the body parts.

Final Thoughts

Fixing minor cases of back pains is possible through the right sleeping positions.

Don’t let back pains get in the way of peaceful nights. The best thing is that there are a variety of sleeping positions that you can use to remedy the problem.

Ensure you use the best mattresses for whichever sleeping positions you prefer. Remember, pillows come in different sizes, which fit specific positions.

It would help if you also acquired the right mattress to enhance your comfort. Learning how to sleep with lower back pain is a straightforward process. However, should your pain persist, seek medical attention immediately.


Yoga for Back Pain: 10 Poses to Try, Why It Works, and More
Dealing with back pain? These simple yoga poses may help. Here’s how to get started at home.
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