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4 Incredible Tips For Sleeping With Back Pain

What are the Best Positions for Sleeping With Back Pain?


Woman Side sleeping

Back pain, also identified as a ‘backache’, is pain felt in your back. The back is typically includes neck pain, middle back pain, lower back pain based on the part of your back that is affected. The lower back is the most common area affected. This type of pain may be acute, sub-acute, or chronic, depending on the duration.

The pain may also be characterized as a dull, shooting, stabbing pain, or burning pain or sensation. Pain can also expand into the arms, hands, legs, and feet and may include weakness. Back pain is considered one of the leading causes of disability. Approximately 80% of adults will experience back pain at some point. While back pain is usually a short-term impairment, if the problem isn’t dealt with properly, it may lead to chronic issues, including chronic pain.

If you find yourself stiff and sore when you get out of the bed every morning, this shouldn’t be taken too lightly. It’s essential to understand when something may be wrong and how you should troubleshoot in this circumstance. In the following, I will focus on how to sleep with back pain and give you some simple tips that may help resolve bedtime discomfort.

Saying this, if you have a persistent back condition, it’s always a good idea to get a proper evaluation from your doctor.

How Does Back Pain Affect Sleep?

Chronic or acute back pain may cause insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder identified by difficulty falling and staying asleep at night. The reason for sleep disruptions is that back pain interferes with your natural sleep cycles and hinders you from attaining REM sleep (rapid eye movement) which is the most profound stage of sleep. Missing a couple of hours of quality sleep sends you into ‘sleep deprivation’ and can influence your brain function, mood and overall awareness during the day.

If chronic back pain is hindering your sleep, you may not discern sleep deprivation in the first half of the day while taking your fourth cup of coffee, fighting work deadlines, and balancing your family life. However, as the day moves on and the lack of sleep settles in, the body starts to slow down. The longer you deal with insomnia, the more serious its side effects become (including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, and obesity, to name a few!).


What are the Best Positions for Sleeping With Back Pain

During the day we practice healthy posture while walking and sitting. Good sleeping posture is no different. To find comfort and keep the muscles and joints healthy, it’s recommended to keep the ears, neck, spine and hips in proper alignment. This will help prevent low back pressure and could provide pain relief.

Best Side Sleeping for Back Pain

Side sleepers should find relief by simply placing a pillow between your knees. This practice is an excellent technique because it could help with good sleeping posture, while keeping the spine aligned and lessening back pain. This type of sleep posture also tilts the pelvis and reduces neck and lower back pressure points. It’s always a good idea to occasionally switch sides to balance out your body.

Best Stomach Sleeping Position For Back Pain

Sleeping on your stomach is never a good idea when it comes to sleeping positions, but it sometimes may help you relax your back pain. Simply place a pillow under your stomach and away from internal organs, but above your upper thighs. Putting a pillow under your pelvis moves your spine into a ‘neutral’ position which can take the stress off of pressure points.


Best Back Sleeping Position For Back Pain

Sleeping on your back is deemed one of the best sleeping positions because it eliminates tension in the back part of the body. However, if you have issues such as snoring or sleep apnea, this sleep position may not be ideal because it may cause a restriction in your airways and could make your body to work much harder to breathe. A proper technique for back sleepers is to place a pillow beneath your knees and try to elevate them a few inches above your mattress. By raising your knees legs relaxes the pelvis and releases tension from the lower back.


Best Position Sleeping Face Down for Back Pain

Sleeping face down has similar disadvantages to sleeping on your stomach. However, if you add two pillows, it may help you get a good night’s sleep and decrease back pain at the same time.

Put a small pillow under the forehead and larger pillow below your stomach. By sleeping face down and using both pillows, you will raise the upper body equally, while displacing stress from the neck, spine and hips.



Your sleep shouldn’t cause stress due to your back pain.

By executing these simple tips, you should experience some nighttime relief.

Sometimes tackling a new sleeping position isn’t always easy; however, most of you eventually will enjoy bedtime again when your pain subsides

For extra comfort, you can always upgrade to a new great pillow or an excellent mattress that provide targeted support for spinal alignment and comfort.

About Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality mattresses and pillows for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned that many peoples problems are avoidable with expert design.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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