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How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Posted By: Layla

Many people experience back pain from time to time, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Of course, your body needs rest and sleep to heal, but if you're in pain, getting the sleep you need can be a challenge, which means a constant cycle of lack of sleep and more pain. Ultimately, pain disrupts sleep, and bad sleep can result in more pain. Additionally, a good mattress can help relieve pain, while a bad one can cause pain. Pain and sleep have a complicated relationship, but everyone deserves quality sleep.

How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Back pain makes it difficult to get through the day, especially if it’s preventing you from falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. If you’ve been suffering from lower back pain and finding it difficult to get comfortable at night and fall asleep, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss how to sleep with lower back pain, including the causes, the best sleeping positions to reduce pain, and tips to help you get a better night’s sleep. Let’s get started.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?

There are many causes of lower back pain, but the most common that can affect anyone is muscle, tendon, or ligament strain. Anything from your job that includes lifting to carrying your backpack the wrong way can cause lower back pain. Of course, you can also get muscle strain from working out too vigorously. Other common causes of back pain include:

  • Poor posture: People who are sedentary may be more likely to get back pain due to poor posture at work. If you work a desk job, it’s easy to forget about your posture and become slumped over your desk, especially if you don’t have the right chair. The back supports your weight better when you sit up straight, so lumbar support is necessary.
  • Chronic pain conditions: Many chronic conditions may lead to pain in the lower back, including fibromyalgia. Any pain condition that causes pressure on the nerves, muscle aches, or inflammation of the joints can result in lower back pain.
  • Sciatica: Sciatica occurs when part of the nerve is compressed, which can cause lower back pain that extends down the buttock and through the legs. Many people with sciatica experience pain and numbness. Sciatica can be caused by prolonged sitting.
  • Disk Problems: A herniated disk could also be responsible for lower back pain. The disks in your back can bulge or rupture, which can put pressure on the nerves in the lower back.

Individuals that spend most of their days sitting or are considered sedentary and those who lift heavy objects for work are more likely to experience back pain. Many forms of back pain can be relieved with proper rest and care, but chronic conditions may only be treated and not cured, so people might have to live with back pain for life.

What Are the Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain?

Many people have their ideal sleep positions, and falling asleep any other way is difficult. However, you can train yourself to start sleeping differently, especially if it can help relieve sciatic pain or any other type of lower back pain. The best way to sleep with lower back pain will depend on your preferences. For example, some people can’t sleep on their backs comfortably. Luckily, there are many options to help relieve pain to allow you to get the sleep you deserve each night. Check out the best sleeping positions for lower back pain below.

1. In a fetal position

Fetal position

Sleeping on your side in the fetal position can help relieve pain in the lower back, especially if you have a herniated disk. Tucking your knees into your chest and curling your body toward your knees can help take the strain off of your back and curl your torso to open up the vertebrae in your spine.

2. On your stomach with a pillow underneath

Sleeping with a pillow underneath your stomach

If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, you might not have to change your position too much when sleeping with lower back pain. Sleeping on your stomach is typically considered bad for your back because it takes your spine and neck out of alignment, which can cause neck pain. However, if you prefer to sleep on your stomach, you can still put your spine into alignment to help alleviate pain by placing a pillow under your lower abdomen to take pressure off the lower back. It’s also ideal to sleep with a thin pillow or no pillow at all to avoid neck strain.

3. On your side with a pillow between your legs

Side sleeping with a pillow between the knees

Many people suffering from lower back pain can find relief by sleeping on their side with a pillow between their knees because it can help reduce pressure throughout the spine. Adding a pillow between the knees can make sleeping on your side more comfortable while keeping your hips and spine in better alignment to relieve pain.

4. On your back with a pillow underneath your knees

Back sleeping with a pillow underneath the knees

Sleeping on your back is typically considered the healthiest sleeping position because it keeps your body in a more proper alignment. However, not everyone likes to sleep on their back. If you enjoy sleeping on your back or want to try it, add a pillow under your knees for additional comfort. The pillow will help to keep your natural curve in your back to help prevent stress. In addition, with a pillow under your knees, you can relieve strain on the lower back and improve spine alignment for additional comfort.

5. In a reclined position

If you’ve recently noticed that your reclining chair provides comfort and relief from back pain, you may want to try to find a similar position when you go to bed. Reclining can help reduce the pressure on your back and provide additional support. The Layla® adjustable bed base allows you to recline comfortably at night to reduce back pain without the need to try to make additional pillows more comfortable.

Additional Tips to Relieve Lower Back Pain While Sleeping

Your sleeping position can help you relieve lower back pain. However, there are additional ways to help reduce pain to help you sleep better, including:

  • Sleeping on a comfortable mattress: Your mattress can either help or hurt your back. If you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable, lumpy mattress, your spine can’t be properly supported no matter which position you sleep in. On the other hand, sleeping on a comfortable mattress, such as the Layla® Hybrid or Memory Foam mattress, can help you relieve pain by keeping your body in alignment. With Layla’s Flippable Firmness™, you can have the best mattress for back pain, allowing you to choose the firmness that provides you with the most relief. When picking a mattress for back pain relief, it’s always best to choose something that will provide you with enough room for a sleeping position to effectively reduce your pain while you sleep.
  • Stretching: Stretching before bed can help relieve back pain because it reduces muscle tension that can cause pain. Additionally, stretching can help strengthen the back and abdominal muscles to improve back pain caused by strain from poor posture.
  • Using a heating pad: A heating pad can help relax tense muscles and boost circulation to help joints and muscles get the oxygen they need to reduce inflammation and stiffness. Heat therapy of all types can help, including taking a bath before bed.
  • Improving posture: Improving your posture can help alleviate back pain caused by sitting at a desk all day. You can improve your posture by strengthening your back and abdominal muscles or being more mindful of your posture throughout the day.
  • Try OTC medications: Depending on the cause of your pain, a simple OTC pain medication like ibuprofen may help alleviate pain to help you fall asleep at night by reducing inflammation. Visit your doctor if you’re unsure what type of OTC medication to take for your pain.
  • Know when to see your doctor: If your back pain doesn’t get better with time and rest, consider visiting your doctor to determine what’s causing your pain and devise a treatment plan that will allow you to sleep better at night with less pain.

Wrapping Up: How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Sleeping with lower back pain is difficult because pain can keep you up at night, especially if you sleep in the wrong position. Of course, the right position for you will depend on your type of pain. If you’re unsure which position you should sleep in, consider testing all of them until you can find one that will help relieve your pain and allow you to get a full night’s rest.

No matter which position you sleep in, you should always be comfortable, which is why we recommend having a mattress that can support your body to keep it in proper alignment all night long. Layla® mattresses are designed to provide comfortable support for your body, which can help reduce pain and keep you comfortable while you sleep.