5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

  • By Jennifer Mulder
  • 19 November 2018
  • 3 minute read
5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

This article is written by Layla Parker from A Sleepy Wolf. 

Lower back pain does not only disturb you during your waking hours. It can also embarrass you on your bedtime, preventing you from having a peaceful evening repose.

I bet that many of us are no longer stranger to this condition. After all, multiple causes can mention it. Stress alone has been found out to contribute to the proliferation of back pain. It doesn’t require arthritis or other serious illness before you can sustain this strange predicament.

However, a person should know that lousy sleeping posture can further aggravate the ache in your back. On the other hand, sleeping correctly can also prevent it. Here are the 5 best sleeping positions for lower back pain.

1. Side Sleeping With Knee Support

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

In general, many people are very comfortable sleeping on their sides. It is relaxing and can easily cradle us to our sleep. Despite the comfort that it gives, doing it wrongly can strain your back. Side sleeping tends to cause spine misalignment.

Luckily, you don’t have to avoid this sleeping position. You just have to correct it so that your back wouldn’t suffer anymore. To do this, you have to place the pillow between your knees so that your upper legs would rise up.

Once the upper leg is elevated, the proper alignment of your spine, hips, and pelvis will soon follow. Pretty neat indeed!

2. Back Sleeping With Multiple Supports

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

You don’t have to stop sleeping on your back if you are suffering from lumbar pain. In fact, many therapists recommend that you should sleep on your back to prevent the latter from suffering to any complications.

When you sleep on your back, the weight of your body is delegated or distributed equally. Furthermore, it also stops the occurrence of pressure points. Another benefit of this posture is that it improves the overall alignment of your spine to your head and neck.

You need to place a pillow underneath your knees if you wish to sleep on your back. Aside from the support that it gives, the pillow also promotes the correct spinal curve. Ideally, you can also insert a small one under your neck to prevent it from falling to the gaps.

3. Front Sleeping With Stomach Support

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

I am entirely aware that sleeping on your stomach is bad. If people tell you that it is the worst sleeping position, then by all means, they are not exaggerating. It causes muscle sores and pressure points from bursting. Of course, it is not also suitable for the curvature of your spine.

However, I do know that some folks out there find this sleeping posture comfortable. If you are one of them and that you suffer from lower back pain, there’s still a solution for you.

The trick is straightforward. You just have to place a thin but firm pillow on your stomach. In this way, you can still preserve the proper alignment of your spine. You can optionally put a flat pillow on your head if you find it okay. But it is entirely alright if you don’t have it at all.

4. Reclined Position

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

Have you ever used a recliner? It felt good and comfortable, right? You see, sleeping on your back in a reclined position can actually benefit your lower back. Since there is lesser pressure being coerced on that part, pain and pressure points won’t be triggered.

However, ordinary beds and mattresses can’t fully support this position. You need to invest in an adjustable bed so that you can do try this posture. Of course, I would never recommend a reclining chair as your sleeping platform. That will not make you feel comfortable at all.

When you are reclined, your lower back receives full support and comfort. The pressure is also lessened dramatically.

5. Fetal Position

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

A good relief for back pain is for a person to sleep in a fetal position. The curled posture ensures that the spine of a person wouldn’t be bent too much. Of course, you can also feel utmost comfort while you are doing this.

But just like the rest of other sleeping positions I listed here, there’s a correct way of doing this. The first thing that you have to avoid is to curl your body too much. That will not do good to your spine and lower back. Second, you need to lie on your side, with your knees being pressed near your chest.

Take into account that you also need to place a pillow under your head and between your knees. These supportive amenities will ensure that your body is in the correct posture while lying like a baby.

In normal circumstances, any of these sleeping positions should curb down the pain that your lower back feels. However, if the symptoms persist, I do recommend that you should visit a doctor to get a full diagnosis of your condition.

You can also treat your lower back pain through these exercises:

Can These Sleeping Positions Work for Other Medical Conditions?

Treating lower back pain with the proper sleeping posture is genuinely possible. You can do them as a type of long-term solution to stop the pain from coming back. If the discomforts are not caused by other medical conditions, the correct sleeping position can address them.

But how about other health problems? Will issues like a headache, sleep apnea, and snoring disappear if I have the correct posture when I sleep?

Well, the answer is a big yes! For instance, various symptoms of arthritis can be relieved by having a quality sleep. If you have osteoarthritis, you can always try those recommended options that I have listed above. One of the manifestations of such condition is a throbbing and searing pain in your lower back.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

Different breathing disorders can happen while you are asleep. The first one is the sleep apnea, which is typically referred to as a severe condition. People with s sleep apnea have breathing irregularities.

You can alleviate this problem by sleeping on your side. In this position, your airways don’t have restrictions. They can function with stability and have lesser chances of being choked.

Apparently, side sleeping is also suggested for people who snore a lot. It prevents the collapse of the soft palate to the back of the throat, which causes unwanted noise and vibration from happening. If the cacophony doesn’t disappear, better try a snoring aid.


5 Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain | The Health Sessions

When you suffer for typical indigestion, you are susceptible to heartburn. Specifically, heartburns happen when there is acid reflux that occurs in the esophagus. The result of the regurgitation is the burning sensation that’s felt in the lower chest.

Sleeping on your side can prevent this thing from happening. However, you should do it on your left side. For some reason, sleeping on the right side of your body weakens the sphincter of the esophagus. Once the sphincter relaxes, the defense of your body against acid reflux lowers.

If you experience other inconveniences that affect your sleep, I suggest that you have them checked to your doctor. It is the safest way to treat whatever that is bothering your body.

Wrapping it Up

The correct posture in sleeping determines the overall comfort and support that you can feel throughout the night. If issues like lower back pains are troubling you, I do urge that you try those sleeping positions that I listed here. They are your cost-efficient and effective solution to relieve the pain while you are having your evening rest.

Author’s Bio: My name is Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf.com. I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they need to experience better sleep and maintain their health. Do check out my website to learn more how to improve it now!

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