Investigating sleeping positions for the lower back is crucial. Short and long term health and wellbeing depend on it. Back pain may disrupt valuable sleep time, robbing you of hours of sleep. Additionally, repetitive interruptions to your sleep cycles result in chronic health issues. Furthermore, constant pain is physically debilitating.

On the whole frequent pain can lower your general immunity leading to regular bouts of influenza. People that are sickly cannot be as productive and have to take time off work. Additionally, pain can trigger low levels of emotional wellbeing. Depression and anxiety are not uncommon in those who suffer from lower back pain on a regular basis. 

Moreover, over time, the entire back, shoulder and neck areas can become stiff and sore. Other muscles seek to overcompensate to protect the lower back.  Delaying the healing process can result in the need for many hours with physiotherapists. Research for The Global Burden of Disease showed that lower back pain is the chief source of disability worldwide.

Primarily, lower back problems arise as a result of over-taxed muscles, bad posture or awkward body positions while sleeping. Incorrect positioning can cause pressure on the neck and back. According to Jennifer Solomon MD at the Hospital for Special Surgery, spending six to ten hours a night in the incorrect position can only worsen the problem.

The National Institue of Health states that eighty per cent of adults experience some lower back pain during their lifetimes. Your sleeping position may or may not be the cause of your issue. Nevertheless, resting in the ideal position is beneficial regardless. Correct sleeping positions for the lower back can significantly ease or eliminate lower back pain irrespective of the original cause.P

Positions for the relief of lower back pain

lying on your back can protect the lower back

Andrew Gitkind, medical director of Montefiore Spine Centre, confirms the importance of the correct sleeping positions for those that suffer from lower back difficulties. When lying down, it is vital to sustain the natural curve of the spinal column. Maintaining the curve is a natural process when ensuring the head, shoulders and hips are in alignment during sleep.

Generally, people find specific positions more comfortable than others depending on their body fitness and flexibility. Health conditions may also play a role. However, habit is the main reason for adopting a specific position year after year.

There are a variety of sleeping positions available to choose from. Selecting the correct position leads to a  back that is well supported, regardless of the absence or presence of back pain. Lower back health impacts many other areas of life. Making a change to your sleeping position is undoubtedly worthwhile.

Lying Supine

Lying supine implies that you are laying on your back. Laying on your back can be very comfortable. Sleeping on the back distributes weight evenly. Spinal alignment is excellent, and there is practically no strain on the hip joints. Reducing pressure on specific points leads to an increase in comfort levels and longterm lower back health.

For extra support, a pillow under the knees disengages the spine relieving any possible lower back strain. Pillows ought to fill the space between your head and the mattress. Supporting excellent spinal curvature, this position is exceedingly comfortable for most.

Reclining at an angle for more extreme cases is another option. Sufferers of isthmic spondylolisthesis benefit enormously. When one vertebra has slipped over the one below, this condition is the result. Reclining reduces pressure on the spine, by forming the perfect tilt between the thighs and torso.

Spondylolisthesis sufferers require additional support to get sufficient sleep. Subsequently in cases such as these it certainly validate making investments in adjustable beds. The adjustable bed will relieve pain in the lumbar area during sleep.

Benefits of sleeping on your back

benefits of sleeping on your back for lower back pain

Resting in the supine position properly supports the entire torso. However, the difficulty with this position is the possibility of developing a snoring habit. When lying on the back during sleep, the base of the tongue can fall back into the airway. Obstruction of an airway may cause snoring. Snoring has further chronic health implications and can lead to sleep apnea.  For those with a tendency to snore, it is best to find a position that is more beneficial.

Furthermore, some contradictory findings came to light in a study of sleep positions in young adults. Those that slept mainly on their backs experienced a decrease in their quality of sleep. Reductions in sleep quality lead to increases in the risk of injury. You may decide to choose a different position to alleviate lower back pain. Unless you sleep well and find the supine position provides the perfect support for your lumbar region, choose another. 

Sleeping On Your Side

People most commonly sleep with the entire side of the body in contact with the mattress. Your pillow must be under your head and neck, not your shoulder. Organic memory foam moulds beautifully to the shape of your neck. Water pillows are firm and provide good support.

Placing a pillow between your knees will make this position even more comfortable for you. Pick a pillow to suit your preference whether you are inclined to choose a softer or firmer version. As long as it ensures that spinal alignment is in integrity, utilising a pillow will be advantageous. Pillows can make all the difference in this position for keeping spine, pelvis and hips in perfect alignment. Correct alignment is key to relieving lower back discomfort. Support any possible gap between waist and mattress with a small pillow. 

Back support in this position is ideal as long as mattress quality and pillow height are appropriate. Mattresses must ideally be sufficiently firm without being hard enough to cause pain on contact points. Head height on the pillow must be such that the neck aligns well with the spine. The neck should be neither lower than or higher than the spinal column. Different options for mattresses and pillows are abundantly available. Research your preferences thoroughly and select the ones that best fill your individual needs.

Once you have honed down your list to a few, test them out in store. While testing, try out all the sleep positions suggested in this article. In this manner, you can ascertain whether or not the mattress is right for you. Purchase your pillows after choosing your bed and test them out too. Your lower back comfort is worth it. 

sleeping on your side can be good for your lower back

Alternate Sides

Alternate sides during the course of the night. Alternating prevents pressure point strain on the shoulder leading to tense shoulder and neck muscles. Any further discomfort in the back area will be detrimental to the lower back. Additionally, switching sides prevents numbness in the arm which will disturb you with pins and needles in the middle of the night.

Laying on one side night after night can cause longterm issues. Muscular imbalance or scoliosis may result from favouring either only your left or only your right side. Readjusting your sleep position may appear to be a bit troublesome. Future disabilities are more so, and with persistence, you can form new, beneficial habits. Changing your sleep position may be just what your back requires.

The foetal position

Ideal for those with a herniated disc, this position may additionally feel quite comforting. Herniation occurs when extreme activities or repetitive harmful actions force a disc out of its usual position. Space between the vertebrae forms when sleeping in the foetal position. Therefore this sleeping position is one of the best positions to relieve back pain.

Move into this position from lying on your back by rolling over onto your side. Tuck both knees into the chest and curl the upper body as close as is comfortable to knees. Be sure to alternate sides a few times during the night. Slumbering in the foetal position brings excellent ease to the lumbar region.

Flat out on your stomach

Dozing on your stomach is not at all beneficial for the back. The head-position causes stress to your neck, simultaneously twisting the spine. Longterm back issues can be the disastrous consequence. Completely changing the habit of a lifetime may seem impossible. Stomach sleepers are damaging their backs. However, prolonging the situation can only increase the damaging effects. Changing your sleep position to address existing and longterm back problems may be your only option.

Best Beds For Back Sufferers

Firm beds are generally seen to be the best beds for those who suffer with common back injuries. These beds assist in spinal allignment and back support. For the best beds to support your back problems have a look at the Kooi’s range of firm beds by clicking HERE.


Regardless of the position you choose, alignment is the significant factor. Correct alignment can make all the difference. Turning over in bed can also dealign the body if you do not do it correctly. Keeping the body as fit as possible will provide the necessary core strength to support natural movement during the night. 

Medication can only provide temporary relief. Undue use of allopathic medicine is just a bandaid and leads to an increase in chronic disease. Start by addressing the cause of your lumbar issue. Changing your sleeping position is the wiser choice. Choosing pain-free living with easy mobility as opposed to a life of pain and disability is by far the better choice. Forming a new sleep habit that eliminates your lower back pain is worth it.