Top Sleep Positions for Back Pain Relief

Top Sleep Positions for Back Pain Relief

Written by

Fact checked

Last Updated on Jul 29, 2022

In this article:

    Nectar Sleep Fact-checking Process and Editorial Standards:

    At Nectar Sleep, our goal is to provide readers with information that not only meets the highest editorial standards but is also reliable, accurate, and free of bias. Our team of editors and sleep experts fact-check every article while ensuring that we only use reliable sources. We have zero-tolerance towards plagiarism and towards content written with the intent to mislead.

    1. We only use reputable sources like medical journals, government-backed research and reports, and academic sites while writing our guides and articles.
    2. Each article or guide that mentions a study or facts/figures has a bibliography of the citations and links to original articles that we have used. All scientific claims and information is backed by at least one reputable source.
    3. Some articles feature links to other articles within the Dreamcloud site. These links are provided to ease navigation and help you find relevant information about certain topics. These links are never cited as sources for scientific or medical data.
    4. All information that cannot be verified or is found to be inaccurate is removed by the editorial team or the medical experts who review each content piece before publishing.
    5. Plagiarism is against our policy and any writer or editor found violating the policy is terminated immediately, while we work to rectify the content at once.

    Is back pain bothering you? Well, you are not alone! One of the reasons why most of us suffer from back pain is because of stress or strain from an unhealthy lifestyle, improper postures, and even bad sleeping positions. So today, we bring you the best sleeping position for your back pain, so you enjoy a deep slumber and wake up refreshed, without any aches. Read on!

    33% OFF Everything

    SLEEP AWARENESS WEEK SALE

    Shop Mattress

    How Are Sleep and Lower Back Pain Related?

    If you are someone who wakes up every day with aches and pains in your lower back, your sleeping posture may be the one to blame. When the sleeping posture is inadequate, it can put pressure on the spine and cause them to flatten. 


    But, that being said, it was also seen that lower back pain was associated with disturbed sleep, poor sleep quality, and great sleep dissatisfaction. So, combating these could also help you overcome your back pain. However, one of the first things you must try if you can't sleep due to lower back pain is the right sleeping posture, so let’s take a look at them.

    Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees

    One of the best sleeping positions for back pain is lying on your side. This is especially true if you feel uncomfortable lying on your back or the pain increases. 

    • Turn towards your left so your left shoulder is on the mattress, and the rest of the body is also turned towards the left in a proper alignment. 
    • Now, take a pillow and place it between your knees. 
    • If you notice space between your waist and the mattress while sleeping on your side, you can use another small pillow to fill the gap. 

    However, ensure you don’t always sleep on the same side as this can lead to muscle imbalance and even conditions like scoliosis

    How Does This Position Help?

    When you sleep on your side and tuck the pillow between your knees, it helps position your hips, pelvis, and spine in a proper alignment. 

    Sleep on your side in the fetal position

    One of the best ways to sleep with lower back pain is to try the fetal position. This can also be beneficial for patients suffering from a herniated disc

    • First, sleep on your back and give it a minute. 
    • Then gently roll over to your preferred side. 
    • Now, pull your knees towards the chest and slowly bend the torso towards the knees. 
    • Again, just like we have mentioned in the above point, it is important to keep switching sides to prevent any muscle imbalance.

    How Does This Position Help?

    A herniated disc occurs when the disc moves away from its nominal position, which can lead to nerve pain, weakness, etc. However, when you try this position, the space between the vertebrae opens up, easing the pain.

    Sleep on your stomach with a pillow under your abdomen

    Sleep on your stomach with a pillow underneath is a good posture for lower back pain. 

    • First, place your pillow below the pelvis, just near the lower abdomen. Here, this trick takes off the pressure from your back. 
    • Now, see how the position feels and decide if you need a pillow underneath your head. That’s totally up to you and what makes you comfortable.

    How Does This Position Help?

    This sleeping position is extremely beneficial for people suffering from degenerative disc disease as it can reduce the pressure on the disc.

    Sleep on your back in a reclined position

    If you are still wondering what position should I sleep in with lower back pain? Then sleeping in a reclined position may be the best for you! But this position may only benefit people suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis.

    While sleeping on a recliner chair is not the right way to go about it, you can always invest in an adjustable bed to combat the condition and help you sleep well. With an adjustable bed, you will be able to set the position according to your preference and comfort. 

    How Does This Position Help?

    When you recline, a proper angle is created between the thighs and trunk and reduces any pressure on the spine. 

    Tips to Reduce Lower Back Pain

    Some of the tips to reduce lower back pain include; 

    • Choose the right mattress according to your preferences and comfort. 
    • While we don’t prioritize pillows a lot, it is important as the right neck alignment can keep away any back pain. 
    • Be active. If you cannot do much, at least walk for 30 minutes every day. 
    • Stretch your muscles. This will help keep your muscles flexible, strong, and without pain. You can try yoga or pilates. 
    • Always maintain a good posture. 
    • Maintain a healthy weight as obesity can lead to lower back pain. 
    • If you are someone who smokes, it is important to quit as tobacco can weaken the spine. 
    • Talk to your doctor for some medicine. 
    • For chronic pain, you can try physical therapy.
    • Try the ice and heat method, where you regularly apply ice in case of inflammation and switch to heat to help the muscles relax.

    Back pain can occur due to several reasons including sleep posture or any other medical condition. If your back pain doesn’t get better even after switching your sleep posture, it is always best to consult your doctor.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
    {"faq":[{"_id":"48c7b06","title":"How should I sleep to relieve lower back pain? ","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ETake a look at the above article where we walk you through all the postures in detail to help get rid of your lower back pain. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"8aac1ad","title":"What position is best for lower back pain? ","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EFor most, lying on your side with a pillow supporting the knees can be the best sleeping position for lower back pain as it helps maintain the alignment of the spine.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"b556740","title":"What is the most efficient position to sleep for back pain? ","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ESleeping on the side with a pillow between the knees is an efficient position. The complete method is mentioned in the above article. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"6635767","title":"Is it better for your back to sleep on the side or back?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EGenerally, sleeping on your back can be the best as it maintains proper spinal alignment and helps distribute your weight. But, it depends on what keeps you comfortable. \u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}],"main_title_typography_typography":"","main_title_typography_font_family":null,"main_title_typography_font_size":null,"main_title_typography_font_weight":null,"main_title_typography_text_transform":null,"main_title_typography_font_style":null,"main_title_typography_text_decoration":null,"main_title_typography_line_height":null,"main_title_typography_letter_spacing":null,"main_title_typography_word_spacing":null,"main_title_color":"","question_typography_typography":"","question_typography_font_family":null,"question_typography_font_size":null,"question_typography_font_weight":null,"question_typography_text_transform":null,"question_typography_font_style":null,"question_typography_text_decoration":null,"question_typography_line_height":null,"question_typography_letter_spacing":null,"question_typography_word_spacing":null,"question_color":"","answer_typography_typography":"","answer_typography_font_family":null,"answer_typography_font_size":null,"answer_typography_font_weight":null,"answer_typography_text_transform":null,"answer_typography_font_style":null,"answer_typography_text_decoration":null,"answer_typography_line_height":null,"answer_typography_letter_spacing":null,"answer_typography_word_spacing":null,"answer_color":"","_title":"","_margin":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_padding":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_element_width":"","_element_width_tablet":"","_element_width_mobile":"","_element_custom_width":null,"_element_vertical_align":null,"_position":"","_offset_orientation_h":null,"_offset_x":null,"_offset_x_end":null,"_offset_orientation_v":null,"_offset_y":null,"_offset_y_end":null,"_z_index":"","_element_id":"","_css_classes":"","e_display_conditions":"","motion_fx_motion_fx_scrolling":"","motion_fx_translateY_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateY_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateY_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateY_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_translateX_effect":null,"motion_fx_translateX_direction":null,"motion_fx_translateX_speed":null,"motion_fx_translateX_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_opacity_effect":null,"motion_fx_opacity_direction":null,"motion_fx_opacity_level":null,"motion_fx_opacity_range":null,"motion_fx_blur_effect":null,"motion_fx_blur_direction":null,"motion_fx_blur_level":null,"motion_fx_blur_range":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_effect":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_direction":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_speed":null,"motion_fx_rotateZ_affectedRange":null,"motion_fx_scale_effect":null,"motion_fx_scale_direction":null,"motion_fx_scale_speed":null,"motion_fx_scale_range":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_x":null,"motion_fx_transform_origin_y":null,"motion_fx_devices":null,"motion_fx_range":null,"motion_fx_motion_fx_mouse":"","motion_fx_mouseTrack_effect":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_direction":null,"motion_fx_mouseTrack_speed":null,"motion_fx_tilt_effect":null,"motion_fx_tilt_direction":null,"motion_fx_tilt_speed":null,"sticky":"","sticky_on":null,"sticky_offset":null,"sticky_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_effects_offset":null,"sticky_effects_offset_tablet":null,"sticky_effects_offset_mobile":null,"sticky_parent":null,"_animation":"","_animation_tablet":"","_animation_mobile":"","animation_duration":null,"_animation_delay":null,"_transform_rotate_popover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover":"","_transform_translateX_effect":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover":"","_transform_keep_proportions":"yes","_transform_scale_effect":null,"_transform_scale_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover":"","_transform_skewX_effect":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect":"","_transform_flipY_effect":"","_transform_rotate_popover_hover":"","_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateZ_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotate_3d_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_rotateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_perspective_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translate_popover_hover":"","_transform_translateX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_translateY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scale_popover_hover":"","_transform_keep_proportions_hover":"yes","_transform_scale_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scale_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_scaleY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skew_popover_hover":"","_transform_skewX_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewX_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_tablet":null,"_transform_skewY_effect_hover_mobile":null,"_transform_flipX_effect_hover":"","_transform_flipY_effect_hover":"","_transform_transition_hover":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"motion_fx_transform_x_anchor_point":null,"motion_fx_transform_y_anchor_point":null,"_background_background":"","_background_color":null,"_background_color_stop":null,"_background_color_b":null,"_background_color_b_stop":null,"_background_gradient_type":null,"_background_gradient_angle":null,"_background_gradient_position":null,"_background_image":null,"_background_position":null,"_background_xpos":null,"_background_ypos":null,"_background_attachment":null,"_background_repeat":null,"_background_size":null,"_background_bg_width":null,"_background_video_link":null,"_background_video_start":null,"_background_video_end":null,"_background_play_once":null,"_background_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_privacy_mode":null,"_background_video_fallback":null,"_background_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_slideshow_lazyload":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_background":"","_background_hover_color":null,"_background_hover_color_stop":null,"_background_hover_color_b":null,"_background_hover_color_b_stop":null,"_background_hover_gradient_type":null,"_background_hover_gradient_angle":null,"_background_hover_gradient_position":null,"_background_hover_image":null,"_background_hover_position":null,"_background_hover_xpos":null,"_background_hover_ypos":null,"_background_hover_attachment":null,"_background_hover_repeat":null,"_background_hover_size":null,"_background_hover_bg_width":null,"_background_hover_video_link":null,"_background_hover_video_start":null,"_background_hover_video_end":null,"_background_hover_play_once":null,"_background_hover_play_on_mobile":null,"_background_hover_privacy_mode":null,"_background_hover_video_fallback":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_gallery":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_loop":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_slide_transition":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_transition_duration":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_size":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_background_position":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_lazyload":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns":null,"_background_hover_slideshow_ken_burns_zoom_direction":null,"_background_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_border_border":"","_border_width":null,"_border_color":null,"_border_radius":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_border":"","_border_hover_width":null,"_border_hover_color":null,"_border_radius_hover":{"unit":"px","top":"","right":"","bottom":"","left":"","isLinked":true},"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_type":"","_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow":null,"_box_shadow_hover_box_shadow_position":null,"_border_hover_transition":{"unit":"px","size":"","sizes":[]},"_mask_switch":"","_mask_shape":null,"_mask_image":null,"_mask_notice":null,"_mask_size":null,"_mask_size_scale":null,"_mask_position":null,"_mask_position_x":null,"_mask_position_y":null,"_mask_repeat":null,"hide_desktop":"","hide_tablet":"","hide_mobile":"","_attributes":"","custom_css":""}
    ×