Rest Easy: Sleep Positions to Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Rest Easy: Sleep Positions to Alleviate Lower Back Pain


Lower back pain is a common problem. It can make it hard to sleep. This guide will discuss different types of sleep positions that may help with lower back pain.

The first step is to recognize the type of pain. Is it muscular, radiating from your spine, or constant? Knowing what type of back pain you have can help you pick a sleep position. If your doctor has prescribed a treatment plan, mention that too.

Here are some general rules to follow when looking for a comfortable and beneficial sleeping position:

  • Keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Sleep on your side with your knees bent.
  • Place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in line.
  • If you sleep on your back, use a pillow under your knees.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common issue. It can be caused by many things, such as:

  • bad posture
  • lack of exercise or stretching
  • a muscle strain

We can help fix these issues by changing our sleeping position and making some lifestyle changes. Let’s delve deeper into the causes of lower back pain and also find out how to treat them.

Poor Posture

Poor posture can lead to lower back pain. When the body is in a hunched or slumped position, it causes tightness, stiffness and pain due to decreased circulation and pressure to the spine. Even with seemingly harmless activities, such as sitting at the computer, your back may suffer.

The spine has a natural curve to absorb shock from activities like walking and running. The discs between each vertebrae allow movement in different directions and keep the spine intact. Poor posture habits can block this natural flow of movement, so the weakened back muscles take the strain, leading to pain and tension.

To improve posture, focus on the following:

  • Keep shoulders down and relaxed.
  • Lift items with proper form (close to your body).
  • Avoid twisting when lifting.
  • Work at a desk that has proper ergonomic design.
  • Adjust tables and chairs that fit you.

These tips can help improve posture and prevent lower back pain in the future!

Weak Core Muscles

Lower back pain is often caused by weak core muscles. Abdominal and back muscles support and stabilize the body and when they’re not strong, lower back pain can happen. Bad posture changes motion on the spine, straining ligaments and discs and raising pressure on a nerve root causing pain. Strengthening core muscles could reduce risk of back pain.

To strengthen these muscles, try planks, side planks, bridges and supermans. Make sure to do each exercise correctly, paying attention to any strain in the lower back. Aim to do strengthening exercises 2-3 times a week and include other physical fitness activities such as cardio and stretching. A physical therapist or exercise specialist can help create a workout plan tailored to your goals and lifestyle.


Inactivity can cause lower back pain. Long periods of sitting in an office chair or on a couch, can put extra pressure on the spine. This leads to muscle strain and tight muscles. People who are inactive, often lack strength in their core muscles. This weakens the spine and causes poor posture. This causes ache and pain in the lower back muscles and ligaments.

Regular physical activity can help ease back aches. After exercise, stretching helps loosen tight muscles that may be putting pressure on your lower back area. Yoga or tai chi can help strengthen abdominals and support the lower spinal stability. These activities can help limit strain from daily tasks and provide relief from chronic pain.

Sleep Positions to Alleviate Lower Back Pain

Ouch! Lower back pain can be so uncomfortable and it can ruin your sleep. To help you get better rest, and stop future pain, here are the best sleep positions that help relieve lower back pain. Each one is designed to target aches and promote better spinal alignment. Read on to learn more!

Back Sleeping

Back sleeping is a popular way to get restful sleep, as it lowers stress and keeps your spine healthy. Choose a mattress that is firm and has good quality layers. Use a supportive pillow that keeps your head and neck in line with your spine. Place a pillow or rolled-up blanket under your knees to reduce pressure. Put two small pillows or folded blankets underneath each arm, so your shoulder can relax and be parallel with the rest of your body.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is the go-to posture for people with lower back pain. It keeps the spine in the natural S-shape. Bending the knees and placing a pillow between them is recommended. For those who prefer sleeping on the back, thin pillows under the knees are suggested. It’s also smart to invest in a supportive mattress. And keep one or two pillows beneath your head, to avoid hyperextending your neck.

Fetal Position

The fetal position – curling up into a ball, knees close – can help with lower back pain. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs can reduce strain on back muscles. For extra lumbar support, try a cushioning system or an orthopedic mattress.

Some people find sleeping in the fetal position uncomfortable. To reduce joint compression and breathing passages, have space between your knees and chest. Keep your back from rounding too much and be able to move. Also adjust the size or firmness of support pillows for comfort.

Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Good sleep is a must for health and wellness. But if you suffer from lower back pain, you might find it hard to sleep at night. But don’t worry! There are tips to get better sleep. These include trying different sleep positions.

Here are some of the best sleep positions that can help ease your lower back pain:

Use a supportive mattress

Get a good night’s sleep and reduce lower back pain – use a supportive mattress! For best results, it should have firm support and be responsive to your movements whilst you sleep. Also, periodically rotate or flip the mattress, so comfort is spread out over time.

Investing in a high-quality mattress is worth it, as it can reduce pain and enhance sleep quality. Shop around for the right one – it should last for several years!

Place a pillow between your knees

To sleep on your side, keep your spine neutral. Put a pillow between your knees, and tuck it under your stomach. This will help align your hips, pelvis, and lower back.

  • Try using a body pillow for support, or prop yourself up with pillows if you experience discomfort.
  • Experiment to find the best position for your needs.
  • With practice, you’ll find the right one.

Invest in a body pillow

Investing in a body pillow can be great for your spine. It’s designed to curve around your body’s natural shape, supporting your back, hips, neck and head. Most body pillows are around 5 feet long, so you can comfortably lay on either side with the pillow wedged between your legs. It helps reduce tossing and turning at night, so you don’t have to keep shifting for comfort.


When it comes to sleeping with lower back pain, the key is to pick a position that doesn’t cause strain. This could vary for everyone, depending on how much pain you’re in. It’s best to experiment and find the one that’s most comfortable.

If none of these positions help, it could be from another medical problem. If that’s the case, it might be best to talk to your doctor or a spinal care specialist. They can give you the best advice on how to get relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best sleep position for lower back pain?

A: The best sleep position for lower back pain is sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to help align your hips and reduce pressure on your lower back.

Q: Can sleeping on your stomach cause lower back pain?

A: Yes, sleeping on your stomach can cause lower back pain because it puts pressure on your spine and can cause a misalignment of your spine.

Q: Is it okay to sleep on my back if I have lower back pain?

A: Sleeping on your back may not be the best position for those with lower back pain, but it can be helpful to place a pillow under your knees to help align your spine.

Q: Can using a firm mattress help alleviate lower back pain while sleeping?

A: Yes, a firm mattress can help alleviate lower back pain because it can provide more support and reduce pressure on your lower back.

Q: Is it better to sleep on a softer mattress if I have lower back pain?

A: It depends on your personal preference, but in general, a medium-firm mattress is recommended for those with lower back pain as it provides a balance of support and comfort.

Q: Can changing my sleep position reduce lower back pain over time?

A: Yes, changing your sleep position can help alleviate lower back pain over time as it can help improve your posture and reduce pressure on your lower back.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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