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Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain

Best Sleeping Postions for Lower Back Pain

best sleeping position for lower back pIn
best sleeping position for lower back pIn

How did you sleep last night? This is something that I often ask my mother, a back pain sufferer. Now sometimes it depends on the weather. Damp cool nights, even with the heat on, can make her miserable. Still, taking the best scenario—a warm night without any windchill factor to speak off, isn’t always a guarantee of a good night’ s sleep. Unfortunately my mom isn’t alone.  Thousands of people  with lower back pain find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. If that’s not bad enough, they often wake  up several times in the night to change to a more comfortable position, trying to find the best sleeping position for their lower back pain.

Here’s what you need to think about. When a person doesn’t reach a deep enough sleep (REMs) their energy levels  will be permanently low during the day. This problem is a bigger deal if you suffer from back pain because the condition itself is already exhausting. Imagine if you had to walk a mile in sneakers. That’s no big deal, you say. What if instead of your walking sneakers, you had to walk the same mile wearing steel- tipped boots. You’d be tired long before you finished the walk. That feeling of exhaustion, like you are wearing steel- tipped boots all day  and every day, is something that a back pain sufferer has to deal with. In this post I will be looking at the best sleeping positions for lower back pain. My hope is that  they will help you finally get  a good night’s sleep.


Okay, let’s start

Sleeping on your side

This is now my favorite position, when done correctly. Besides  getting rid of my back aches it had the added benefit of  eliminating my snoring. Anyway, to sleep  on your side, draw your legs up a little and place a pillow between your knees.  Keeping your legs and hips aligned will help keep your spine in a neutral position and this will reduce the chances of your back straining in an uncomfortable position.  Don’t allow the top leg to fall over the bottom leg because  if you do that your hip will lean forward and twist your spine.  Twist your spine—ouch! Yeah, This spinal rotation will do a number on your back. So it’s important to do the position correctly. (1.)


Sleeping on your back

I hope that I’m not sounding like a broken record, but once again when lying on your bed it is most important to keep your spine in a neutral position.  By over arching your lower back or lying too flat on your bed it will put unwanted strain on your lumbar area and back muscles.   However, If you like sleeping on your back then place a pillow under your knees.  This will allow your spine to lay in a natural position. Some sleep specialists suggest that you support your neck with another pillow, but I think that depends on the size of the pillow. You’ll have to use your discretion. Also, I should mention that many sleep specialists think this is the best sleeping position, when done correctly–unless, of course, you have problem snoring  In that case stick to sleeping on your side.(2.)

Sleeping On Your Stomach

I have a confession. I used to sleep on my stomach, but I would never do that now. Why? Well sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your back because of the strain it puts on your back. It also puts pressure on your abdominal muscles and that could cause an issue when it comes to proper breathing.  I recognize , however, that some people just can’t fall asleep any other way. If that’s you, try this tip. Place a pillow under your pelvis and lower stomach area.  This should reduce the strain on your lower back. Sleeping with a neck pillow in this position may also add extra strain to your lower back so try resting your head with or without a pillow to see which feels better.(3.)

Getting out of bed

If you have read my previous posts about back pain, I mentioned how sudden, twisting movements, can lead to a jolt of pain. So after getting a good night’s sleep, or better sleep, it’s still important to get out of bed the correct way so you don’t strain your back. This is what you need to do when getting up in the morning.

First, did you sleep on your side?—my suggested position if you snore. If you did not sleep on your side, then roll over onto your side, knees bent.  Drop your legs over the side of the bed as you push yourself up to a sitting position.  Place your feet on the ground and stand up, keeping your back in a neutral position. (4.)


Back pain sucks! when you can’t sleep it can mess with your life big time. This is why I have the passion to help make the burden a little easier to deal with.  By using these techniques to keep your back in a natural position while you sleep, you will reduce your chances of waking up in the middle of the night due to aches and pains. I hope you finally have a good understanding of the best sleeping positions for lower back pain.

If you have tried any of these techniques, feel free to leave a comment. Let’s help people live with less pain.

Bonus Tips: When to See a Doctor

One of my favorite things to do, as some of you may know, is to read thrillers and on occasion write one. Among  the benefits of reading a good thriller is finding out the payoff. Well, in that spirit, I have given you bonus tips that I hope will help you even more in understanding the nature of back pain. Often people are confused as to when to try home remedies and when to see a doctor.  Here are tips as to when you should, without question, see a doctor.

When to visit your doctor: 

If you are in an accident or fall and cause injury, seek medical assistance instantly. Delaying the problem can lead to further complications. If you lift a heavy object and your back starts to ache, seek help. If the muscles in your legs cannot provide you support and stability to stand erect on your toes, seek help. If slapping of your feet start when you begin walking, you will need medical support also. At the lower trunk, legs, and back, if you feel weakness, tingling, or numbness you will need medical assistance. During sleep hours if your back gives you problems, you endure fevers, and if you experience chills, seek help. If you loose control of your bladder and bowels, medical treatment is needed.

If you notice pain traveling down your arm or leg, in addition to back pain, seek help. If you notice joint pain or swelling in all areas, including the back seek help. If you have back pain and perform home treatment, such as bed rest and taking over-the-counter meds, seek help.

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

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