Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain and its Types

The lower back supports most of the body’s weight, which is also essential to all motions. The lower back contributes to comfort and movement, whether standing, sitting, walking, or lying down. Unsurprisingly, the lower back is a common site for pain, given its complexity and how much we rely on it. Most people will have back pain at some point, and lower back discomfort is one of the leading causes of doctor visits. Back pain can be minor to severe and can linger for a short while or a long time. When powerful, it can be crippling and impair almost every area of day-to-day living, including sleep.

Relationship of Lower Back Pain with Sleep

Sleeping through pain is complicated. Sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood that someone will suffer pain, and pain can disturb sleep. Additionally, a mattress, sleeping position, and alignment with each other that doesn’t support the lower spine can cause or worsen lower back pain. Knowing how sleep and lower back pain are related opens up new avenues for relief. Understanding how to sleep when you have problems with your back might help you manage pain and speed up recovery. Quality sleep can help prevent or lessen back pain. We will discuss types of lower back pain and best sleeping positions for lower back pain.

Types of Lower Back Pain

Types of Lower Back Pain

Acute and chronic lower back pains are the two main types.

Acute Lower Back Pain

Short-term, acute lower back pain can last a few days to weeks. It frequently has a link to a recognizable incident or harm. There is no lasting impact on mobility once an episode of acute back pain subsides.

Chronic Lower back Pain

Lower back pain that is chronic lasts three months or more. It frequently happens with no apparent connection to an original injury. Chronic lower back pain can develop from acute lower back pain. Approximately 20% of acute low back pain cases are thought to continue and become chronic.

Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Your sleeping position is frequently a factor in lower back pain. It may be helpful to alter your sleeping position to correct your spine. Additionally, the proper mattress and pillow can also aid in pain relief. The most common cause of disability worldwide is lower back pain. Even more intriguing is that life-threatening illnesses like cancer or arthritis don’t bring on most back pain. Instead, it is typically brought on by stress or strain from bad posture, uncomfortable sleeping positions, and other lifestyle choices.

Here are some other sleep-related activities and the ideal sleeping postures to attempt if you suffer from lower back pain.

The Best Position for Sleep is on your Back

Laying flat on your back is the best position to prevent back pain. For many, it remains the most challenging way to get a decent night’s sleep. Put a pillow under your head or neck and a second under your knees for the best spine alignment. However, because it reduces blood flow to the heart and the child, you should avoid this position if you’re pregnant.

Sleep on your Back and in a Reclining Position

Do you prefer to sleep in a reclining chair? Even while sleeping in a chair might not be the ideal option if you have back discomfort, if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis, this position may be helpful. Consider purchasing an adjustable bed to sleep in this position with the best alignment and support possible.

When one vertebra slides over the one below it, the condition known as isthmic spondylolisthesis develops. As your thighs and trunk are angled, reclining may benefit your back. Your spine will experience less pressure because of this angle.

A Strong Runner-up is Side Sleeping

The second-best position for preventing back and neck problems is to sleep on your side with your legs straight. It’s also a good position for people who snore or have sleep apnea because it keeps your airways open. To keep your spine in a neutral stance, stretch your legs out straight and tuck a cushion between your knees.

Sleep in the Fetal Position on your Side

Try sleeping on your side, curled up in the fetal position, if you have a herniated disc because it is the best sleep position for someone suffering from herniated disc problem. Turn over gently onto your side after lying on your back. Gently curl your upper body towards your knees while tucking your knees up to your chest. Keep in mind to occasionally switch sides to avoid any imbalances.

Discs are soft cushions that divide the vertebrae in your spine. Herniation occurs when a part of a disc pushes outside of its common space, causing nerve pain, weakness, and other symptoms. Curling your torso into the fetal position will allow you to access the spinal area.

Sleeping on your Stomach

Your back may suffer if you sleep on your stomach. If you can’t sleep any other way, tuck a pillow beneath your pelvis and lower abdomen to lessen the tension on your back. Lay a pillow beneath your head if it doesn’t put too much strain on your back. If it bothers you, try sleeping without a pillow under your head. The benefits of sleeping on your stomach with a pillow may be most significant for people with degenerative disc conditions. Any strain imposed on the area between your discs can be relieved by it.

Improved Sleep Techniques for Lower Back Pain

Improved Sleep Techniques for Lower Back Pain

Along with finding a comfortable sleeping position, practicing good “sleeping hygiene” might help prevent back pain while asleep.

Your Pillows and Bed should be Adjusted

Stock up on a few pillows in various thicknesses, styles, and dimensions to fill any gaps between your body and the mattress. Your spine will remain neutral thanks to the additional support, providing pain relief.

Lessen the Likelihood of Sleep Interruptions

Pain may make it more challenging to fall back asleep if you accidentally wake up at night. Because of this, please try to keep extra light and noise out of your bedroom or block them using a sleep mask or earplugs. A suitable temperature for the entire night should be set in your bedroom.

Use Relaxing Techniques

Finding ways to relax can help you fall asleep while paying less attention to your pain.


Finding the ideal sleeping posture for lower back pain can significantly enhance sleep quality and lessen daily discomfort. The professionals most frequently advise sleeping on one’s side with a pillow between the knees and sleeping on one’s back with a pillow beneath the knees. It is crucial to remember that every person’s physique and amount of pain differ, so it could take some trial and error to discover the most comfortable sleeping posture.

Lower back pain can be prevented and reduced by ensuring the mattress and pillow are supportive and have proper alignment. These adjustments can help people with lower back pain sleep better and have less pain, enhancing their quality of life overall. It’s also crucial to speak with a doctor if your back pain doesn’t go away because it can indicate a more severe problem that needs treatment.

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