How to Sleep While Suffering From Lower Back Pain For the Most Relief

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An interlaced sequence of structures may be seen in the lower back. It consists of the lumbar spine’s five vertebrae supported by shock-absorbing discs and kept in place by ligaments. Tendons link the surrounding muscles to the spine, providing support. The spinal column contains nerves that carry impulses throughout the body.

The lower back supports the body’s weight and is required for all tasks. The lower back affects movement and comfort whether you’re standing, sitting, walking, or laying down.

Given the lower back’s complexity and our reliance on it, it’s no surprise that it causes pain. Lower back pain is one of the most frequent reasons people seek medical care.

What is Chronic Back Pain

While muscular strain, injury, or spinal deformity are the most common causes of back pain, they may also be caused by a systemic or rheumatic condition. When pain lasts more than three months, it is called chronic.

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Back discomfort may occur anywhere in the spine, from the neck to the lower back. The pain may be localized or widespread, radiating from a central location.

Because pain might originate in soft tissue, bone, discs, or nerves, determining the specific source of the pain can be challenging. Smokers are more prone to develop low back discomfort, as are those who work in occupations that demand repeated or heavy lifting or entail vibration from automobiles or industrial machines.

Pain in the lower back that lasts for three months or longer is considered chronic. Cross-country skiing and long-distance driving are two activities that might induce back discomfort. As soon as acute back pain subsides, there is no longer any negative impact on movement.

Pain may also be caused by diseases such as spinal osteoarthritis or spondylitis and compression fractures or sleeping position. These problems are more common among the elderly. As a result, elderly persons are more likely to have back discomfort.

It is possible that your doctor may recommend antidepressant pills as part of your therapy for chronic low back pain even if you are not depressed.

What Is the Link Between Sleep position and Lower Back Pain?

Lower back discomfort and sleeping issues have long been linked, and accumulating evidence suggests a two-way relationship in which the two might reinforce one other.

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Pain may be a huge stumbling block to sleeping. In extreme cases, lower back pain might keep you awake at night.

Sleep deprivation may slow healing, affect mood, or alter brain chemicals’ central pain perception. On the other hand, people with sleep disorders are more likely to develop discomfort or have their pain worsen. Although experts are unsure why this occurs, there are many options.

What can I do to help my back pain relief?

Do you have lower back pain that you have to cope with?

According to the Global Burden of Disease survey, lower back pain is the most common cause of disability worldwide.

And what’s even more surprising is that the vast majority of cases of back pain are not caused by significant medical illnesses such as cancer or arthritis. Instead, tension or strain from improper posture, inappropriate sleeping positions, and other lifestyle behaviors are often responsible for the condition.

In this article, you’ll learn about the best sleeping positions to attempt if you’re experiencing lower back discomfort and some additional tips for getting a better night’s sleep.

Back pain may be minor to severe, and it can linger for a short time or for a long time. It may be debilitating and interfere with practically every area of everyday living, including sleep, when it is severe.

The link between pain and sleep position is complicated. Pain may interrupt sleep, and poor sleep might increase the likelihood of experiencing pain. A sleeping posture or mattress that does not support the lumbar spine may also cause or worsen lower back discomfort.

Sleeping position to Get Rid of Lower Back Pain

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On your back, sleep

Back sleepers are available. If you’re one of them, you may want to consider sleeping on your back. Simply lie down flat on your back with a cushion under your legs. Keep your spine in a neutral position. Place a rolled towel beneath your lower back for increased support and comfort.

The advantage of sleeping on your back is that you gain better alignment and spread your weight evenly. This implies the pressure points will be less stressed. In the process, this delivers pain relief.

On your stomach, sleep

For stomach sleepers, this posture is ideal. Others, however, should avoid this sleeping posture since it might create neck tension. Place a cushion beneath your lower abdomen and pelvis to reduce strain on your back. You can sleep with or without a pillow on your head. If a degenerative disc condition causes discomfort, this posture is highly suggested.

Sleep in the position of a fetus

This is another method for reducing lower back discomfort when sleeping. Simply lay on your side, tuck your knees close to your chest, and curl into a fetal position. To avoid stiffness and asymmetries, it’s vital to swap sides now and again. This posture is highly suggested for those with a herniated disc in their lower back.

A herniated disc pushes the natural cushion out of its proper location, resulting in discomfort and weakness. Curling into a posture allows the area between your vertebrae to loosen up and relax, bringing comfort.

Sleep on your side if possible.

If lying on your back is uncomfortable for you, try this posture. Allow your shoulder and the remainder of the side of your body to lay comfortably on the soft mattress, depending on which side you sleep on. Between your knees, place a body pillow. Add a small cushion between the mattress and your waist for further support. Even though you like sleeping on one side, you should not sleep on the same side every night.

It is not the posture itself that brings relief in this situation. The cushion is effective. This is because the cushion helps straighten your spine, pelvis, and hips, providing comfort. To avoid muscular imbalance and other problems, try switching sides and avoid stomach sleeping.

In a reclining position, sleep

In most cases, sleeping in a chair is bad for your lower back. If you have a recliner, though, you may attempt this posture. A recliner helps you to align and support your back’s natural curvature. A recliner provides you with the ability to align and maintain the natural curve of your spine. This may be the ideal option if you just want to rest during the day, but not if you want to sleep all night.

When you sleep in a reclined posture, the trunk and thighs form a large angle, relieving strain on the spine. However, if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis, you should sleep in this posture. When one vertebra slides over the other, this is called a slipped vertebra.


It’s not so much the job title that makes a difference. The essential key to relieving lower back discomfort when sleeping is alignment.

Align your hips, shoulders, and ears to avoid imbalance and misalignment. You may sleep on your back, side, or any position that is most comfortable for you. What matters is that your spine remains in appropriate alignment.

When you align these three, you can never go wrong. When sleeping or resting in bed, you must remember to move your body appropriately. Avoid twisting and turning actions as much as possible.

Mattresses and Pillows

Pillows and mattresses are essential for offering pain relief. They aid in the alignment process and give relief. They function by alleviating strain on your spine and lowering tension. Simply change the size of the pillows you’re using. Depending on your preferences, you may also choose between a soft or firm mattress.

To correct this, raise the lower spine into a more neutral position concerning the upper spine and neck, and consider putting a pillow underneath your stomach while laying on your back or side.

You may have an adjustable bed created if you sleep in a reclined posture. You must also consider comfort in addition to alignment and sleeping posture.

Other sleep hygiene recommendations

Here are some more suggestions for improving your sleep and reducing your back pain:

Make a sleep routine for yourself

It may be difficult to resist sleeping in if you toss and turn all night. Setting consistent bedtimes and wake times, on the other hand, may assist your body in settling into a more natural sleeping pattern. Aim for an average of eight hours of sleep each night.

Do you have problems sticking to a sleep schedule?

Make a nighttime ritual for yourself. Begin this regimen 30-60 minutes before your scheduled bedtime. Choose two peaceful hobbies that will help you rest your thoughts.

Taking a bath, practicing some mild yoga, or participating in peaceful hobbies like reading or knitting are all good options.

Avoid stimulants like coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

If you just need to drink one cup, complete it before noon.

Hard exercise should be done in the morning or early afternoon.

If you do anything strenuous just before night, your adrenaline levels and body temperature may rise. These two elements make sleeping much more difficult.

In the case of lower back pain, when should you seek medical attention?

Back discomfort is common and usually goes away on its own, but it’s crucial to see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • The soreness began as a consequence of a specific injury that had occurred.
  • Pain may radiate to the legs or other parts of the body occasionally, although this is rare.
  • In your lower extremities, you are experiencing numbness or a feeling of weakness.
  • There are several signs and symptoms of infection, including redness, warmth, swelling, and fever, among other things, to watch for.
  • You have a family history of cancer – a cause for worry.
  • Your health is changing in ways that are not quite understandable, such as weight loss or urinary difficulties.

Based on them, a doctor may examine your symptoms and suggest the best course of action, including testing, diagnosis, and therapy.

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 

Do note that any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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