Talking about the best sleeping position for lower back pain, or any other kind of pain for that matter can quickly become quite a sensitive topic.
The truth is, most people associate their sleep time as that glorious 8 hours of the day when they get to free themselves from any form of work or responsibility and just slip into a short-lived coma.
It makes perfect sense too. Sleep is all about rest and recovery. That’s the whole idea.
BUT – And there’s always a but. If you’re a sufferer of chronic pain, there’s a good chance your sleep may hindering or even hurting your ability for recovery.
Best sleeping position for lower back pain ranking(from Best to Worst):
Sleep on your back with a pillow under your legs
If you are suffering from lower back pain, the absolute best thing sleeping position in our opinion is on your back.
Sleeping on your back allows your spine to stay in a fully neutral position throughout the night.
This will allow your spine to fully decompress and leave you feeling less stiff in the morning.
A tip for people(especially those suffering from a hyperlordosis or anterior pelvic tilt) is to add a pillow underneath your knees or under the the lower leg area.
Doing this be great for hollowing out the lumbar region of the spine which will ensure your lumbar spine is flatter against the ground and not in an overextended position all night.
Sleep on your side with a pillow between your leg
Sleeping on one’s side is by far the most popular style of sleeping in the world. However, the cold hard truth is that it simply isn’t as good for your posture as sleeping on your back.
When you sleep on your side, your spine is forced out of its natural alignment. The hip that is not resting on the mattress becomes elevated which can result in a hip height disparity that may lead to back pain over time. Furthermore, the side of your torso that is not resting on the mattress becomes depressed, shortening your external and internal oblique musculature, which can also lead to asymmetry in your body and a crooked spine.
If you are going to sleep on your side, one tip would be to sleep with a pillow between your legs. Doing this will help straighten out your pelvis and keep it level. It won’t be perfect or as good as sleeping on your back, but it may help.
Sleep on your stomach
Three words- Don’t do it.
Sleeping on your stomach may be natural to you. In fact it may be the only way you can fall asleep.
But the truth is it’s by far the worst position you can sleep in for your posture.
Sleeping on your stomach throws your whole spines alignment out of whack. Your neck is overextended and crooked to the side(so you can breathe), your lumbar spine is overextended, your shoulders are internally rotated, your ankles and feet are plantar flexed.
In short – it’s just not worth it.
If you are a stomach sleeper, you are going to have to make a real effort to change your sleeping position.
How to change your sleeping position:
I’m going to be honest with you. Changing your sleeping position isn’t going to be easy. And there’s no magic pill.
You’re going to have to make a conscious effort each night to correct your position – over and over again.
For the first few weeks, it’s going to take you much longer to fall asleep than it usually would, and you are going to wake up multiple times during the night feeling uncomfortable.
I know, this sounds horrible. But you have to keep the goal in mind.
If you spend between 7-9 hours of your day, everyday in the wrong position, you will pay the price.
Your faulty sleeping posture will leave you feeling tired and stiff in the morning, and it will also carry over into your everyday posture and create a perpetual downward spiral.
Having a lesser quality of sleep for the next month will suck. But if it can improve your posture and reduce your pain in the long term.
Well, I would say it’s a good trade-off.
We hope this information is helpful to you, and you can stay active when trying to fix your sleeping posture.