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Top Sleep Positions for Back Pain Relief


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December 6, 2022

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There’s no good time to have back pain, but there’s definitely a worst time to have it: when you’re trying to sleep. Living with back pain is rough, but when you finally get through a long day and are ready to curl up and sleep, almost nothing is more debilitating than being kept up by a bad back. It’s not only a physical feeling, it’s mental, taking a toll on your mental state, which in turn can have an even worse effect on your body. It’s a rough cycle that can be hell to break.

So what can you do? The first thing is to invest in a good mattress. Honestly, a mattress that supports you may make all the difference when dealing with chronic back pain. The second? Figure out a sleep position that alleviates your back pain naturally, that’s comfortable and will allow your body the gentle rest it deserves, free from back pain. With that in mind, we’re here to share which sleep positions are going to get you rested, refreshed, and ready for the day.

The Fetal Position (On Your Side and Curled Up)

There’s a reason that this position is so popular from the womb to the tomb. Sleeping curled up on your side could be a great way to relieve back pain, especially if you’re dealing with a herniated disk. Here’s why it works: Your disks are soft cushions in between your vertebrae. A herniated disk means that one of those cushions has been pushed out of its natural position and is pinched, causing nerve pain or even weakness in your extremities. When you curl into the fetal position, you’re opening up the space between the vertebrae and allowing your disks a chance to unfold back to their normal positions. This can help especially with the lower back.

On Your Side With a Pillow Between Your Legs

Similar to the fetal sleep position, this one may help with back pain by keeping a pillow between your legs while the rest of your body is in vertical alignment on its side. Start by lying down on your side, your spine basically straight, but with your knees pulled slightly up and together. Place a pillow between your thighs, and you may feel the pressure released and your back pain subside. Here’s why it works: the pillow is the key ingredient here. It keeps your spine, hips, pelvis in a good alignment that may become out of whack if your knees are pressed too close together

On Your Stomach With a Pillow Placed Under Your… Stomach

Popular wisdom states that sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleep position for back pain. This is partly true, but there are ways to deal with the misalignment that may happen from sleeping in this position. One way to potentially relieve these pressures and give your spine it’s most natural positioning is to place a pillow under your stomach/abdomen. This works by allowing the spine to keep its general shape, not bending inward. If you’re a stomach sleeper who doesn’t want to give up this sleep position, give it a try and see if it helps your stiffness in the morning.

On Your Back With a Pillow Under Your Knees

When you sleep like this, you even your weight distribution to all parts of your body, which lessens the pressure on your spine. This could alleviate some back pain by allowing that area to rest if it has become inflamed.

It’s vitally important info for getting a complete picture of sleep health. So what’s your favorite sleeping position? No matter what you’re doing, we hope you’re doing it on a mattress that supports your back the way it’s meant to be supported — fully, consistently, and most important — comfortably.

Now that you’ve identified more sleep positions, sleep better.

Note: Nectar Sleep does not provide medical advice or consultations. Individuals should contact proper health care providers if experiencing conditions or pain

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