The #1 Worst Sleep Position for Lower Back Pain

If you have lower back pain, you’ll know firsthand how difficult it is to get good sleep. You end up tossing and turning to find the right position with no success. To make things worse, you wake up with throbbing lower back pain and exhaustion.

Lower back pain and sleep problems are linked, but studies haven’t shown the exact reason how or why. What we know for sure is pain can obviously distract you from sleep. Some positions can create added pressure on your lower back, neck, shoulders, hips and knees.

The worst position you can possibly sleep in with lower back pain is on your stomach. Countless studies have shown this position is a no-no at night. Not only does it distort the natural curve of your spine, it can impact your neck and lungs. Those who place their hands under their face or pillow while on their stomach can compress nerves in their shoulder, arm and even fingers.

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If you can’t help yourself and must sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow under your stomach to lift your abdomen and relieve pressure from the lower back. This simple tip can significantly reduce lower back pain.

What’s the best position to sleep in? Reportedly, it’s your back. For additional support, you can place a pillow under your knees to help with the curvature of your spine. If you have a mattress that molds to your body, the additional pillow may not be needed.

Sleeping on your side is also very common, but did you know it is best to sleep on your left side instead of your right? Sleeping on your left helps relieve heartburn while sleeping on your right makes it worse. Sleeping on your left also improves circulation to the heart. When sleeping on either your right or left, you can alleviate lower back pain by placing a pillow between your knees.

Whichever way you choose to sleep, make sure you’re comfortable and take into consideration the curvature of your spine and the position of the rest of your body. Remember to have an extra pillow for support. Taking measures to prevent lower back pain is important for lower back health in the future.  

Fun fact! Did you know people who sleep on their stomachs with their hands cradling their pillow is called a free-faller? When it comes to personality traits, free-fallers are typically extroverts, nervy, brash and can’t handle criticism. Can you relate?

For more sleep position personality traits, you can read about them here.

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