Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Has your back pain ever kept you up at night? Do you find yourself tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position? With back pain affecting 540 million people globally,1 many of us have experienced disrupted and painful sleep. Although back pain can be frustrating, some sleeping positions can help reduce the strain on your back, giving you the uninterrupted sleep you deserve! Whether you sleep on your back, side or front, here are the best ways to adjust your sleeping position to reduce lower back pain

Sleeping on your Back

If you already sleep on your back, then it’s good news! The best position to avoid back pain is lying flat on your back.2 If you’re still experiencing discomfort in this position, try placing a pillow under your knees. This will help your back muscles to relax, maintaining the curve of your lower back.3 A healthy spine alignment is vital for a good night’s sleep; make sure your pillow adequately supports your head, neck and shoulders.4

Sleeping on your Side

Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, with around 54% of adults sleeping in this position.5 When done correctly, sleeping on your side can also help with lower back pain. Drawing your legs up slightly and placing a pillow between your knees will help align your spine and take the strain off your lower back.3 Try to avoid the common fetal position as it promotes an uneven distribution of weight, which can cause back pain.2

Sleeping on your Front

Despite being comfortable for many, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine2 and is likely to increase lower back pain. If this is your go-to sleeping position, try other positions if you can. If sleeping on your stomach is the only comfortable position for you, you can reduce strain by placing a pillow under your lower hips and stomach.3

Top Tips

Once you’ve adapted/changed your sleeping position to promote optimal spine alignment, you may want to incorporate some of these top tips into your sleep routine to help reduce lower back pain further.

  1. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed
  2. Try relaxation methods such as meditation
  3. Invest in a high-quality mattress: a medium-firm mattress can help with lower back pain
  4. Reduce sleep disruptions like noise or light
  5. Use over-the-counter pain relief to help manage your pain

Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for our overall health and well-being, but it can be challenging when you are suffering from lower back pain. By making simple changes to your sleeping position and implementing these top tips into your sleep routine, you can alleviate lower back pain and enjoy a restful night of sleep. So, try out these tips and see how much better you feel in the morning! If your pain is persistent or debilitating, consult your doctor.