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Sleep Positions for Sleepers with Back Pain

Sleep Positions for Sleepers with Back Pain

If you are being troubled by frequent back pain, you must have experienced how hard getting through the day can be. Forget the day! Getting a good night’s sleep can be even harder! You may have found it incredibly tough to find a position comfortable enough to get at least some sleep.

Here we are to help you out! Go through this blog. We will discuss certain sleep positions you can ‘apply’ when you are going through back pain. We will discuss comfortable sleep positions for different types of sleepers with back pain issues.

Sleep positions if you are troubled by back pain

If you are a side sleeper

  • Whatever be your preferred side, make sure your shoulder is in contact with the mattress- in addition to the rest of your body on that side
  • Tuck a pillow in between your knees. It will lower stress on the lower back and help you maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
  • If there is a gap between the mattress and your waist, you may use a small pillow to cover that gap as well
  • Do not sleep always on one particular side. Sleeping on the same side too often may cause muscle imbalance and scoliosis as well.
  • You may use a head pillow to raise your head slightly , so that your shoulders are aligned properly.

If you are a back sleeper

  • Lie flat on the back.
  • Keep a pillow underneath your knees. The pillow would help you maintain the natural curvature of your lower back.
  • If you want extra support, you may opt to place a towel, rolled up under your back.
  • If you use the position mentioned above, it would help even distribution of your body weight across a wider area in your body. It would ensure less strain or stress on the pressure points on your back. In this position, your spine will also remain properly aligned with other parts of your back.

If you sleep on your stomach

Many people are of the opinion that ‘stomach sleeping’ aggravates back pain. Sleeping on the stomach is believed to put extra stress on your neck. But if you can’t resist the temptation to sleep on the stomach, try the following tips-

  • Place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. This will provide much-needed relief to the pressure points on your back.
  • If you are enjoying the comfort of this posture, you may even decide not to use a pillow beneath your head.

If you are troubled by a degenerative disc, using a pillow as told above would be helpful. It will help minimize the stress on the space between the discs.

Type of mattress and pillow to use

Have you ever thought your pillows and mattresses can be potential remedies to your back pain? Yes, by choosing your pillows and mattresses ‘judiciously’, you can stay away from back pain, irrespective of the type of sleeper you are.

Choose the perfect mattress

How to choose the perfect mattress?

Some people would recommend firm mattresses if you are troubled by back pain. However, recent studies have shown that if you use an extremely firm mattress, you may end up having the poorest sleep.

On the other hand, an extremely soft mattress is not considered good for alignment. You may sink deeper into soft mattresses, enough to twist your joints and cause more pain.

You should invest in a medium-firm mattress with good quality foam or innersprings. If you already have a good quality mattress and you want to further improve the innerspring, you can add a memory foam topping to it.

How to choose the perfect pillow?

You should opt for a pillow that should be able to cradle your neck and head and provide adequate support to your upper spine.

  • If you are a back sleeper
    • Make sure your mattress completely fills the gap between the mattress and your neck.
    • Use a thinner pillow. It should have additional padding at the bottom for supporting the neck better
    • A shredded memory foam pillow would serve you better. Due to the very nature of the memory foam, this pillow contours perfectly to pressure. It helps you maintain the natural curvature of your spine. It also provides adequate support to the pressure points on your back. As a result, the muscles around your back are able to relax more.
  • If you are a side sleeper
    The side-sleeping position is in fact recommended by the “Better Sleep Council” for people with bad backs. This position is believed to ease pain considerably in lower back and hips. Here is how you can choose the perfect pillow for yourself-
    • Use a thicker and farmer pillow. It will keep your head aligned with the rest of the body.
    • Opt for a pillow with an extra-wide gusset. It will fill the space between your shoulder and ear.
    • Specially designed cervical pillows such as memory foam pillows are useful for side sleepers.
  • If you are a stomach sleeper
    • Better not to use any pillow. But, if you are habituated to using a pillow, use the thinnest possible one
    • Another idea is to sleep on your side and hold a body pillow. This way, you will have a feeling that something is against your stomach. Also, your body parts will be better aligned to one another.
Choose the Perfect pillow

Research has said that our sleeping position has a ‘make or break’ effect with back pain. Pain on our back is aggravated by additional strain or stress arising from bad body posture, which, in turn, is a result of improper sleeping habits.

Hope from the above discussion, you have been able to gauge the correlation between sleep positions and back pain. ’Apply’ the sleeping positions and other tips we have discussed. Hopefully they will help you get a proper sleep.

Proper sleep can relieve us from stress and keeps us in a positive frame of mind. With a positive mind and a rejuvenated mental health at our disposal, we are better equipped to fight with the challenges thrown in by life.



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