Rest Easy, Wake Up Pain-Free: The Science Behind the 4 Best Sleeping Positions for Low Back Pain Relief.


Sleeping is a fundamental aspect of our lives. It allows our bodies and minds to recharge and rejuvenate.

Yet, for those who suffer from low back pain, achieving a good night’s sleep can be a daunting challenge. So, For them, my recommendations are:

The best sleeping position for lower back pain relief is on your back with a pillow under your knees. Side sleeping with a pillow between the knees or sleeping in the Fetal Position can also provide relief. Stomach sleeping with a pillow under the pelvis supports the lower back.

The positions in which we sleep play a crucial role. It can either exacerbate or ease low back pain.

Finding the right sleeping position is very important for individuals seeking relief.

Here is a table for a quick reference.

Sleeping PositionsRecommendations for Low back Pain Relief
Stomach Sleeping PositionBad
Recommendations for Low Back Pain ReliefGood
Side sleeping Not recommended
Side sleeping with Pillow between legsBest
Fetal PositionGood
Back Sleeping Position with a pillow under the kneeBest.
Back Sleeping PositionOk
Table: Recommendations of Sleeping Positions for Low Back Pain Relief

We are at the intersection of sleep and pain management. We have to understand the significance of a proper sleeping position.

Not only does it contribute to a restful slumber, but it also impacts well-being and the ability to effectively manage low back pain.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of finding the best sleeping position for low back pain relief.

This article includes extensive medical research and insights from healthcare professionals.

We will equip you with valuable information to optimize your sleep posture and improve your quality of life.

Our aim is twofold.


We explore the various sleeping positions that have proven to be beneficial for individuals suffering from low back pain.

By examining the advantages and drawbacks of each position.

We empower you to make an informed decision.

So that you choose the most suitable sleeping posture for your specific needs.


We provide natural remedies and techniques for fast pain relief.

For the second part of the remedy you will need to read our blog on: Tips to

The information will ensure that you gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

Also, you will find practical solutions to incorporate into your daily routine easily.

Let us embark on this journey together, where medical research meets practical insights.

So, let’s discover the best sleeping position for low back pain relief and unlock the potential for restful sleep and improved well-being.

Advantages of Sleeping on Your Back (Supine Position) for Low Back Pain Relief:

For individuals dealing with low back pain, a good night’s sleep can seem elusive.

Here, in this section of the article, we deal with the advantages of sleeping on your back, also known as the supine position, for low back pain relief.

Backed by medical research and expert advice,

We explore the significance of proper spinal alignment and provide practical tips for back sleepers.

Promotes Spinal Alignment:

It is seen that sleeping on your back helps maintain a neutral spinal alignment, which is crucial for individuals with low back pain.

When you sleep on your back your body weight gets evenly distributed. That is how it reduces pressure on the spine and minimizes strain on the lower back.

Eases Muscle Tension:

The supine position allows your muscles to relax more effectively compared to other sleeping positions.

It supports the natural curves of your spine.

The back sleeping position helps relieve muscle tension and promotes a state of relaxation.

In this way, the strained muscles will get some relaxation and thus decreases the pain.

How to Maintain Proper Spinal Alignment while Sleeping on Your Back?

Generally, sleeping on your back is good for maintaining spine alignment. But still, there can be some steps that you can take to keep proper alignment of the Spine.

The reason benign we humans are not robots, we change our sleeping position when we sleep.


At least I do.

So, let us check how can we do it.

Pillow or Rolled-Up Towel Under the Knees:

We aim to support the lower back and maintain a natural curvature of the spine.

To do that you need to place a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees.

This technique helps relieve pressure on the lower back and enhances spinal alignment.

It is easy,

If you don’t want to buy additional Pillow I understand. So in that case use the towel. But using a supportive pillow will make it very easy.

Choose a Supportive Pillow:

When you sleep more pillows mean more comfort.

At least for me, I know some people might not like this comment.

But do you agree with me or not?

Ok, you don’t have to answer that.

If you are suffering from Lower backaches, then use supportive pillows.

Investing in a supportive pillow that aligns your neck and spine is crucial for back sleepers.

Look for pillows specifically designed to support the natural curves of the neck and promote proper spinal alignment.

Mattress Support:

Here is another good and important product that you need to invest in.

You must ensure your mattress provides adequate support. This will maintain proper spinal alignment.

Consider a medium-firm mattress that offers a balance of comfort and support for your back. But whatever makes you comfortable.

You can choose a memory foam mattress.

It will give you medium firmness along with comfort.

Avoid Pillows that Elevate the Head Too Much:

Yes, I have mentioned multiple pillows will make sleep comfortable.

But I never stick them beneath my neck. Because that way my neck will not maintain proper alignment.

Elevating your head excessively will strain your neck and affect spinal alignment.

Opt for a pillow that keeps your head in line with your body, maintaining a neutral position.

Tip for Back SleepersDescription
Use a Supportive pillowChoose a pillow that supports the natural curves of your neck and spine.
Place a pillow or rolled-up towel under the kneesSupport your lower back by placing a pillow or towel under your knees.
Invest in a medium-firm mattressEnsure your mattress provides adequate support and spinal alignment.
Avoid pillows that elevate the head too much.Use pillows that keep your head aligned with your body, not elevated.
Table: Tips for Back Sleepers for Low Back Pain Relief.


Sleep on your back and place a pillow under your knees. You will get relief from your low back pain.

Now, let us move on to the next sleeping position.

Benefits of Side Sleeping for Individuals with Low Back Pain:

Side sleeping is one of the most common positions to sleep in. Here is how side sleeping will help those with low back pain.

Spinal Alignment:

Side sleeping can help maintain better spinal alignment compared to other sleeping positions, but for that, you will need to take some other precautions.

By lying on your side, your spine is naturally elongated, reducing the risk of straining the lower back and promoting a neutral posture.

Reduced Pressure on the Lower Back:

When you sleep on your side the pressure is shifted from your back to your shoulders and your hip.

So, yes your back will be saved. This can alleviate pain and discomfort caused by spinal compression.

But now you will need to support your Neck and Your Hip.

Read our Blog post on “ Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain Relief” Here you will understand how you can support your Neck.


You need to take care of your Hip.

So let us check how.

How to keep Proper Spinal Alignment while Sleeping on Your Side to relieve lower Back Aches!

Maintaining proper spinal alignment is key to maximizing the benefits of side sleeping for low back pain relief.

When the spine is properly aligned, it reduces stress on the muscles, ligaments, and discs of the lower back.

Here’s how you can achieve and maintain optimal spinal alignment while sleeping on your side:

Pillow Between the Knees:

Placing a pillow between your knees helps align your hips, pelvis, and spine, reducing pressure on the lower back.

This one simple technique will promote proper spinal alignment minimizing strain on the lumbar region.

Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees to get relief from low backache.

Choose a Supportive Pillow:

As always I like more pillows.

You can use more supportive pillows that will support your elbows.

Investing in a pillow specifically designed to support the neck and maintain alignment with the spine is not at all a bad idea.

Look for pillows that offer a balance of comfort and support, helping to keep your head in a neutral position.

Body Pillow for Added Support:

You can consider using a body pillow that extends along the length of your body.

This type of pillow provides additional support and helps maintain proper spinal alignment while you sleep on your side.

It is good but it is heavy and occupies a lot of space on your bed.

So, I will leave it up to you.

Use a pillow between the kneesPlace a pillow between your knees to align your hips and reduce strain.
Select a supportive pillow for the neckChoose a pillow that supports the neck and maintains spinal alignment.
Use a body pillow for added supportConsider using a body pillow to provide extra support along your side.
Maintain a neutral head and neck positionKeep your head aligned with your spine to prevent neck strain.
Table: Tips for Side Sleepers for Reducing Lower Back Aches.

Now, let us look at another version of Side sleeping that will be beneficial for low back pain

Effects of Fetal Position on low back pain.

It is a variant of side sleeping. In this position, you do not use a pillow between your knees.

Instead, you bring your knees close to your chest. Then slowly and gently bring your heel close to your pelvis.

Now relax. Remember it is not a medical procedure, you are just going to sleep. So relaxing is very important.

You must not try to hug your knees. You can.

But if is uncomfortable then just let it be.

The whole idea is that the in this position the Intervertebral Discs of your spine will be more open than in any other sleeping position.

Sometimes people with Herniated Discs or other Disc compressions. This disease results in stimulating the nerves along your spine. Which causes pain.

In this position, the compression can get relaxed resulting in an easing of pain.


Sleeping in the Fetal Position will give relief to low back pain if you are suffering from Herniated disc.

Now, let us move into the next sleeping Position.

Challenges of Sleeping on the Stomach for Individuals with Low Back Pain:

Sleeping on the back is not considered healthy. But people do sleep in this position. So, let us see how it will affect our back and how we can help it.

The strain on the Lower Back:

The stomach sleeping will place strain on the lower back. It is due to the exaggerated arch that occurs in the lumbar region.

Thus, the position will cause discomfort and exacerbate existing low back pain.

Neck Strain:

Sleeping on the stomach will require the head to be turned to one side.

This will be leading to strain in the neck and potential misalignment of the spine.

This can contribute to neck pain and stiffness, Thus intern affecting the alignment of the entire spine.

Potential for Spinal Misalignment:

Stomach sleeping will disrupt the natural alignment of the spine, affecting the curves of the neck and lower back.

This misalignment can lead to muscle imbalances, pain, and discomfort.

3 Tips for Stomach Sleepers to Reduce Strain and Discomfort of Lower Back.

While it is generally recommended to avoid sleeping on the stomach for individuals with low back pain.

Tips for Stomach Sleepers for Reducing Lower Back Pain.

  • Use a pillow under the lower abdomen and Pelvis
  • Opt for a thin pillow or no pillow
  • Consider transitioning to a new sleep position

But some adjustments can help minimize strain and discomfort. Here are some tips for stomach sleepers:

Use a Pillow under the Lower Abdomen and Pelvis:

You can place a thin pillow or a rolled-up towel under the lower abdomen and pelvis.

This simple technique helps minimize the exaggerated arch in the lower back, reducing strain on the lumbar region.

Opt for a Thin Pillow or No Pillow for the Head:

A stomach sleeper must use a thin pillow for proper head support and neck support.

Using a thin pillow or no pillow for the head helps maintain a more neutral position for the neck.

This will reduce strain and potential misalignment of the spine.

Consider Transitioning to a New Sleep Position:

Are you finding it challenging to maintain proper alignment and comfort while sleeping on your stomach?

Then it is beneficial to gradually transition to a different sleep position.

You can choose to a side sleeping. This can help alleviate strain on the lower back and neck.

Stomach Sleeping with a pillow beneath the pelvis to support your lower back will help you in relieving low back pain.

Let us check some Frequently Asked questions.

Is it good to sleep without a pillow?

Sleeping without a pillow for low back aches is not recommended as it can disrupt spinal alignment, increase strain on back muscles, and potentially worsen low back aches.

Using a pillow that provides adequate support can help maintain proper spinal alignment and relieve pressure on the lower back.

Here’s why:

Spinal Alignment:

Sleeping without a pillow can disrupt the natural curvature of the spine.  Especially in the neck and lower back regions.

It can lead to misalignment and strain on the back muscles, exacerbating low back pain.

Support for the Lower Back:

Sleeping without a pillow will not support your lumbar region. This will result in excessive straining of the muscles leading to pain.

Comfort and Relaxation:

If you are comfortable then it is ok for you.

But you will need medium firm support for your back when you are in pain.

But by sleeping on the floor, you will sleep on a very firm surface. That will increase more pain.

So I will not recommend sleeping on the floor.

Why is back pain worse at night?

You might realize that your back pain has severely increased at night.

Poor sleeping positions, muscle stiffness, inflammatory process of diseases can cause increase in lower back pain at night.

Have you ever you felt that?

Back pain can be worse at night due to several reasons supported by medical facts:

Here is some of the reasons that will increase the pain.

Poor Sleeping Positions:

Certain sleeping positions can put strain on the back. This will lead to increased pain.

For example, sleeping on the stomach can overextend the spine, while inadequate support for the lower back or neck can result in misalignment and discomfort.

Muscle Stiffness:

Prolonged periods of inactivity during sleep can contribute to muscle stiffness and tightness.

As a result, when waking up in the morning or throughout the night, the back muscles may feel more tense and painful.

Inflammatory Processes:

In some cases, back pain at night may be associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or certain types of spondyloarthritis.

These conditions often exhibit increased pain and stiffness during periods of rest or inactivity, including at night.

In fact it can be a sign of Ankylosing Spondylitis. So if it does not resolve then you must get checked by  a physician.

Psychological Factors:

It is a well-known fact that , pain perception can be influenced by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, or depression.

During nighttime, when there are fewer distractions and increased focus on the pain, psychological factors may intensify the perception of back pain.

Also research suggests that poor sleep quality will lead to increase in pain.

It’s important to note that back pain at night can have various underlying causes, and consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

In Conclusion

Finding the best sleeping position for low back pain relief can make a world of difference in your overall comfort and well-being.

Whether you prefer sleeping on your back, side, or stomach, it’s important to prioritize proper spinal alignment and support.

Remember to listen to your body and make adjustments that work best for you.

Don’t hesitate to explore additional remedies like heat therapy, stretching exercises, and stress management techniques to complement your sleeping position and enhance pain relief.

By taking proactive steps to improve your sleep posture, you’ll be on your way to waking up refreshed, rejuvenated, and free from nagging back pain.

Sleep tight and enjoy the benefits of a pain-free slumber!