Sleep Positions to Alleviate Back Pain

When you suffer from back pain, trying to catch some Zs can quickly turn into a nightmare. Pain and discomfort can keep you awake for hours, making it impossible to get a good night’s rest. And to make matters worse, sleep deprivation can actually increase pain sensitivity, creating an endless cycle of restless nights (Source: Everyday Health).

Back pain has a variety of causes, but it can often be alleviated by making adjustments to your sleep position. Try some of these minor adjustments to take the stress off your back and keep your spine in neutral alignment.

Sleeping on your side
If you’re a side-sleeper, slightly draw your legs forward and place a pillow between your knees. This will keep the top leg from dropping forward and twisting the
pelvis into an awkward position. The pillow should be large enough to prevent you from rolling onto your back or stomach, but it should be small enough to fit comfortably between your legs.

Back sleepers
Lying on your back flattens the natural curvature of the lower back and places stress on the lower discs. To remedy this, place a pillow below your knees to restore the natural curve of the spine. You may also want to add a rolled towel beneath the small of your back to offer additional back support.

Stomach sleepers
Sleeping on your stomach is generally not recommended for back pain because this position hyperextends the spine and places stress on the lower back. However, if this is your go-to position, you can make it easier on your spine by using a thin pillow for your head and rotating your body slightly to one side (Source: Lifehacker).

These sleep positions are known to reduce spinal stress and alleviate back pain, but the most important criteria is finding a position that works for you. If a sleep position becomes uncomfortable, painful or just doesn’t feel right, listen to your body. Finding a position that helps you feel comfortable and relaxed is the surest way to enjoy a good night’s rest.