5 Best Positions To Sleep In For Lower Back Pain

You are dealing with back pain on a daily level? You’re not alone. According to the latest studies, data, and researches, lower back pain is more present than ever before.

Moreover, due to mostly sitting jobs, and long hours in front of the computer, people are making huge mistakes without knowing it.

Therefore, lower back pain is one of the rising health problems across the globe.

Interestingly, this pain is not caused by a serious medical condition, like nocturia, or restless leg syndrome.

Instead, in most cases, this pain is brought by wrong pressure, injury, or simply from bad posture. If you have ever experienced this condition you know how much it can affect your private and professional life.

Moreover, lower back pain can equally affect both your day and night hours. Naturally, it can significantly affect your sleep quality.

So, if you suffer from this modern state, you should know that next to lower back exercises, proper diet, and good posture, you can incorporate certain sleeping positions, so you can sleep better, and without pain.

Check the best sleeping positions to try if you suffer from annoying and unpleasant lower back pain.

5 Best Positions To Sleep In For Lower Back Pain

About any of this sleeping position and their benefits, you can talk with your doctor. So, let’s see the best sleeping positions for your back pain.

Sleeping On Side With A Pillow Between Knees

In general, if you suffer from lower back pain, you know how uncomfortable and difficult it can be to find the perfect sleeping position.

This is more challenging if you are custom to sleeping on the side. Of course, if you are expecting a baby, with lower back pain, this is even more challenging.

Sleeping in pregnancy and low back pain can work in ways together if you talk with your doctor about the best options.

But, if you are not expecting, but still suffer from lower back pain, you should know the following about sleeping on your side and pain.

  • With your right or left shoulder, have full contact with the mattress. The rest of your body should be aligned with that side.
    Place a pillow between your knees.
  • Mind the gap between your waist and mattress. If there is a gap place a small pillow for added support.
  • The idea is for the body side to be completely aligned with bed. Also, try to mix sleeping sides. Sleeping on the same side can lead to muscle imbalance and even scoliosis.

How sleeping on the side with a pillow between knees can help? Sleeping on your side will help you feel better only if you use the pillow.

The pillow will keep your hips, spine, and pelvis straight, and in better alignment.

Sleeping In The Fetal Position

Humans love everything that reminds them of the period before they were born. Actually, your body finds its happy sleeping in a fetus position.

This position for people means a safe place.

So, if you suffer from a herniated disc, you should try sleeping on your side curled as if you are sleeping in your mom’s belly.

  • Lay on your back
  • Roll over slowly onto your side
  • Tuck your knees to the direction of your chest
  • Slowly and gently curl your torso toward your knees

Of course, switch sides from time to time. The common switch will help you prevent any imbalances.

How sleeping in the fetal position can help? In general, discs are soft cushions places between the vertebrae in your spine.

When herniation happens it means that part of a disc was pushed out of its normal space.

That movement can cause weakness, nerve pain, and much more. So, when you put your body into a fetal position, you are actually opening the space between vertebrae.

Sleeping On Your Stomach With A Pillow Under Abdomen

Many claim that sleeping on the stomach is bad for your entire posture. But, many actually can’t fall asleep, unless they are facing their pillow.

Sleeping on your stomach is actually bad because it creates stress on your neck. But if you upgrade this position with a pillow under your abdomen, you should be fine. Just:

  • Place a comfortable pillow under your pelvis
  • Make sure that the pillow is placed under your pelvis and lower abdomen
  • The idea is for you to feel the pressure off your back
  • It’s optional whether you want to use a pillow under your head or not

How sleeping with a pillow under your stomach can help? People who suffer from the degenerative disc can benefit from sleeping on their stomach, only if they use a pillow under their abdomen.

This sleeping position can relieve any stress placed on the space between your discs.

Sleeping On Back With A Pillow Under Knees

According to many, sleeping on their back with a pillow under their knees did wonder for their back and their low back pain. So:

  • Lay on your back
  • Make sure that the sleeping background is flat and comfortable
  • Place a pillow under your knees
  • Keep your spine neutral
  • Keep your hands next to your body relaxed

If you feel that you need additional support, you can place a rolled-up towel under the small of your back for additional support.

How does this position help? When you sleep on your back, your weight is evenly distributed. Did you know that you actually are losing weight while you sleep?

Regardless of weight loss, sleeping on your back can help you distribute the weight equally, meaning that you place less strain on your pressure points.

Moreover, with this sleeping position, you will be able to get better alignment of your spine and even your internal organs.

Sleeping On Your Back In A Reclined Position

As mentioned earlier, sleeping on your back is good as long as you have additional support, right?

Well, the truth is that there is one more sleeping position that can help you sleep better and with less pain – and that’s if you discipline yourself to sleep on your back in a reclined position.

Of course, sleeping in a chair is never a good choice for your back, but if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis that could easily be your best sleeping position.

Therefore, think about investing in an adjustable bed. This equipment could easily provide you the best alignment and support.

How does this position help?

Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a health condition where a vertebra slips over the one below it.

Therefore, reclining may be beneficial for your back, because it creates an angle between your trunk and thighs. Moreover, this angle can help you reduce the pressure on your spine.

But… How To Know What Position Will Help You The Most?

This will depend entirely on you. To know what’s the best sleeping position for you, you have to know to test them.

Try each position as explained and track how you felt the following day:

  • Did you wake up with the pain in the lower back?
  • Were you grumpy the following morning?
  • Was it easy for you to get out of the bed?
  • Were you feeling energized?
  • If you had pain, how strong was it?

Last, but not least, ask yourslef how did you do everything as advised? If not, make sure that the following night you follow instructions.

Don’t Forget: It’s All About The Alignment

Regardless of the position that you choose, keeping proper spine alignment is what matters. That’s the most important part.

Your responsibility is to lower the pressure on the spine as much as possible.

In addition, you must align your shoulders, ears, and hips. If you use any gaps between the bed and your body, you should place a pillow or rolled towel to fill the gaps.

Be extra careful while turning in bed. Hard twisting and turning can take additional damage.

Try to always move your body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in.

You may find it helpful to place your hands under your cheek after you turn on the side, and bring your knees toward your chest and then you push yourself from the bed using your elbow.

Your Best Sleeping Equipment: Pillow And Mattress

You will need a good pillow to heal you ease your back pain. Do your research and see what’s exactly available on the market, and which brands have specially designed pillow lines to help you with lower back pain. When you are shopping, make sure that you test everything.

Pillow For Lower Back Pain

Your pillow should fill the space between your neck and the mattress. If you choose to sleep on your side, try using a thicker pillow.

Always place your pillow under your shoulders. If you choose to sleep on your back, you should think about a water pillow or pillow with memory foam.

But, if you choose to sleep on your side, you will need a firm pillow, to help you keep the spine firm.

Don’t forget to place a firm pillow between your knees. In general, every pillow should be from identical material, both for your head and your legs or stomach. If the pillow doesn’t work for you, you may even substitute it with a rolled towel.

Last, but not least, make sure that you change your pillow every 18 months or so. Also, maintain good pillow hygiene.

Mattress For Lower Back Pain

Next adequate pillow, you will need a good mattress, that will serve your needs.

Your doctor will always recommend your orthopedic mattress when you suffer from lower back pain. But, this yet has to be proved, because the recent data showed that people sho sleep on firm mattress have poor sleep, constant pain, and bad dreams.

On the other hand, a too-soft mattress won’t either help you with needed spine alignment.

Test and try the mattress first. Think about testing a firm or medium-firm mattress first.

Of course, it is difficult to tell after only a few minutes if the tested mattress will serve you perfectly. Therefore, think about purchasing the mattress in stores with a testing period or similar solutions.


Help yourself by creating a proper sleep routine. Actually, put yourself on a sleep schedule, and try to wake up and get to bed and at the same time every day, including the weekends.

This way you will put your body into more natural sleeping patterns.

Know how much sleep you need per age, and be true to those hours.

A proper night routine will help you create a better sleep routine. So, choose at least two things that you will do every night before you go to bed.

These actions, whatever you choose, will send your brain signals that you are ready for sleep. Also, skip nightcap, caffeine, and heavy night exercise before your sleep.