5 Effective Tips for How to Sleep on Your Back

5 Effective Tips for How to Sleep on Your Back

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Aug 22, 2022

In this article:

    Only 8% of people prefer sleeping on their back. Each person has their favorite sleeping position, significantly affecting their sleep quality and health. While sleeping on the back is uncommon, it offers certain health benefits like less spinal pain, treating sinuses, and even increasing your beauty sleep. If you struggle with spinal pain, puffiness, wrinkles, and headaches, you might consider trying how to sleep on your back. 

    There are certain effective tips that will help a person sleep better on their back. Let us get going.

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    Place a Pillow Underneath Your Knees

    One of the effective ways to sleep on your back is by placing a pillow under your knees. The advantages of sleeping on your back with a pillow under the knees are, that it will help keep the spine in complete alignment. But how to understand which pillow will provide the best support and alignment? 

    • Start by lying flat on your back
    • Ask a friend or any family member to check the gap between your knees and the mattress
    • Check if you need one or two pillows for stacking the gap between your knees and the mattress

    The main aim of placing the pillow is to ensure the natural curvature of your body. This also assures that your joints and muscles are naturally positioned so that you don’t experience any stiffness after waking up.

    Place a Pillow Under Your Lower Back

    The other way to know how to sleep on your back properly is to place a pillow under your lower back. Plenty of people find sleeping on back increases their lower back pain, and this solution might help them. Check for pillows that are thin and not too heavy, a hand towel is another good option. Placing pillows under your lower back helps with additional support

    Surround Yourself With Pillows

    How to sleep on your back if you are a restless sleeper? Simply place pillows around your midsection and hips. Restless or active sleepers often toss and turn on their stomach or sides while sleeping. Therefore, placing pillows will provide support and comfort as well. Though this might not be a feasible option if you share the bed with someone, as the pillows will take up quite a bit of space.

    Choose a Supportive Mattress

    If you’re wondering how to sleep on your back properly? Opting for a medium-firm mattress might solve your issue. A medium-firm mattress is often a recommended choice for back sleepers and people experiencing back pain. If you don’t want to buy a new mattress, you can always buy a firm mattress topper instead. Keeping your spine in the most aligned position is necessary for back sleeping. A soft mattress might feel relaxing, but you might sink into it and wake up having a sore back.

    Stretch Before Bed

    Why can’t I fall asleep on my back? This is because you didn’t stretch before sleeping. Stretching before bed for around 20 minutes and focusing on the legs, back, and neck often results in a good night’s sleep. Stretching is one good way to help with lower back pain. There are certain yoga poses that help you learn to sleep on your back. All these exercises might help you relax and get a comfortable sleep.

    Benefits of Sleeping On Your Back

    There are numerous benefits of sleeping on the back, also called the supine position. While some people like sleeping with their arms by their side, others spread their arms and legs like the starfish position. Below are some benefits of sleeping on your back that might completely convince you to know more about how to sleep on your back. 

    Great for Spine Health

    If you’re experiencing lower back pain, you might consider knowing how to sleep on your back. This is because sleeping on the back offers a neutral balance of the whole spine, including the neck. When you are sleeping in a balanced posture, your head and neck will receive less pressure resulting in less soreness when you wake up. 

    Reduces Acid Reflux

    For someone suffering from chronic acid reflux issues, knowing how to sleep on your back will result in alleviation of the problem. The only alteration you need to ensure is placing your head in a slightly elevated position so that your esophagus is above your stomach.

    Avoids Wrinkles and Fine Lines

    Quite some studies have found a correlation between reduced face wrinkles and sleeping on the back. When we sleep on our stomach or sides, our faces tend to get smashed into the pillow and that results in wrinkles and fine lines. When you know how to sleep on your back, your face will not toss and turn.

    Less Puffy Eyes

    Learning how to sleep on your back will help you reduce puffy eyes. This happens because when you sleep on your back, blood doesn’t get pooled under your eye. Sleeping on the back with an extra pillow under the head is the way to reduce puffy eyes (if you have any). 

    Relieves Sinus Buildup

    If you are suffering from cold and cough, then practicing how to sleep on your back will be beneficial for your health. But how? Sleep by placing your head above your heart. When you sleep with your face directed upwards, it helps relieve congestion and sinus pain. When your head is above your heart, it prevents mucus formation and also a large amount of blood flow from gathering in your nose.

    When Not To Sleep On Your Back

    Sleeping on the back is not suitable for everyone. Let us look at the instances when sleeping on the back can be detrimental.

    Pregnancy

    Pregnant women need to dodge the idea of sleeping on their back, especially during their late pregnancy. According to research, sleeping on the back might reduce blood flow to the fetus and also lead to a rise in low birth weight. Side sleeping is most suited for pregnant women, and pregnancy pillows can be of good support.  

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder where the person undergoes disordered breathing induced by blockages - resulting in them waking up in the middle of their sleep. And research shows that sleeping on the back might aggravate sleep apnea symptomsSide sleeping is more recommended for people experiencing sleep apnea. 

    Chronic Snoring

    Though not a sleeping disorder, snoring is quite a disturbance while sleeping, leading to sleep disruption. Research states that sleeping on back is quite a common reason for snoring. You can try sleeping by placing another pillow and elevating while you sleep on your back.  And if that doesn’t work, side sleeping might be the best option.   

    Heartburn

    Sleeping on back might lead to increased heartburn. The research, therefore, recommends people experiencing heartburn sleep on their left side. If you like sleeping on back, try placing a pillow or a wedge pillow to heighten your upper body.

    What Is the Best Sleeping Position?

    There is no single best sleeping position. It all depends on the type of sleeper you are, and what you are looking out of the sleeping position. For instance, someone suffering from sleep apnea will not be benefitted from sleeping on back, and on the other hand, someone with neck and back pain will find sleeping on back quite helpful. 

    The main thing that matters is getting quality sleep. If you’ve found out how to sleep on your back, and the sleeping position is alleviating your sleep, then stick to it. If not, try different postures, or adapt the aforementioned ways in your sleeping style. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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