Are you often waking up with a sore back or feeling stiff in the morning? It might be all about how you’re sleeping. Finding the right position to sleep in can be a game-changer for your back’s health. Let’s dive into the world of sleep and figure out the best way to sleep and keep a healthy back

Why Your Sleeping Position Matters

When you sleep, your body gets a chance to rest and repair. But if you’re in a bad position, it can put strain on your back, neck, and spine. Over time, this can lead to pain and discomfort. So, picking a good sleeping position is like choosing a comfy pair of shoes – it can make a big difference in how you feel.

3 Best Sleeping Position for Your Back Pain

1. Sleeping on Your Back:

  • The Gold Standard: Lying on your back evenly distributes your weight across the widest part of your body. This helps reduce strain on your spine and neck.
  • How to Do It Right: Place a pillow under your knees to maintain the natural curve of your lower back. Use a supportive pillow for your head, but make sure it doesn’t prop your head up too much.

2. Sleeping on Your Side:

  • Great for Many: Sleeping on your side, especially in a fetal position, can be great for your back, especially if you have a herniated disc.
  • Making It Comfy: Put a pillow between your knees. This helps keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.

3. The Combo Position:

  • Best of Both Worlds: Some people find comfort in starting on their back and then switching to their side. This can help if staying in one position all night is uncomfortable.

Positions to Avoid or Modify

1. Stomach Sleeping:

Stomach Sleeping

  • Use with Caution: Sleeping on your stomach can put a lot of strain on your back and neck.
  • If You Must: If you can’t sleep any other way, try placing a thin pillow under your pelvis to lessen the strain on your back.

2. The Half-Turn:

2. The Half Turn

  • Semi-Side, Semi-Stomach: This position can sometimes put unnecessary pressure on the back.
  • Make it Better: Use a body pillow or a regular pillow to support your top leg and maintain spinal alignment.

Tips for Better Sleep

  • Choose the Right Mattress: Your mattress should support the natural curves of your body and be comfortable.
  • Pillows Matter: Use a pillow that keeps your head in line with your spine. Memory foam pillows can be a good choice.
  • Stay Active During the Day: Regular physical activity can help you sleep better and reduce back pain.
  • Relax Before Bed: Try reading or deep breathing to relax before sleeping.
  • Keep a Sleep Schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can improve your sleep quality.

Worst Sleeping Position for Your Back Pain

Just as there are good sleeping positions for your back, there are also some that can spell trouble, especially if you already struggle with back pain. Knowing which positions to avoid or modify is key to waking up feeling better, not worse. Let’s look at the sleeping positions that are generally not back-friendly.

1. The Full Stomach Position:

  • Why It’s Not Great: Lying flat on your stomach can put a lot of pressure on your back and neck. It forces your neck to turn to one side, which can strain the muscles and spinal alignment.
  • Possible Impact: This position can exacerbate lower back pain and cause discomfort in the neck and shoulders.

2. The Arched Back:

  • What It Is: Sometimes, when sleeping on your back without proper support, your lower back can arch too much.
  • Why It’s Problematic: Excessive arching can strain the lower back, especially if your mattress doesn’t provide adequate support.

3. Twisted Position:

  • Sleeping Tangled: Sleeping with your torso turned in one direction and your legs in another (like when you turn to the side but your legs are still straight) can put your spine in a twist.
  • The Downside: This can lead to muscle strain and discomfort in both the lower back and neck.

4. Legs Raised Too High:

  • Overdoing the Bend: Sleeping on your back with your legs raised too high (like on a big pile of pillows) can also put unnecessary strain on your back.
  • Possible Issues: This can disrupt the natural alignment of your spine and hips, leading to lower back pain.

How to Avoid These Positions

  • Awareness: Being aware of your sleeping position and how your body feels can help. If you wake up in a bad position, try to reposition yourself.
  • Pillow Support: Strategically placed pillows can prevent you from rolling into these positions.
  • Choose the Right Mattress: A mattress that is too soft or too hard can contribute to poor sleeping positions.


Finding the right sleeping position can take some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort for the sake of your back. Whether you’re a back sleeper, side sleeper, or somewhere in between, making small adjustments can lead to big improvements in how you feel each morning.