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Sleeping can Affect Your Back – See How These Positions Help or Hinder Your Back

Sleep is essential to everyday life. It allows your body to function properly, repair itself, and gives your brain some much-needed rest once the day winds down. However, many people in Webster, Texas, wake up every day wondering why sleep isn’t helping their back pain. Did you know that your sleep position may be to blame for your morning back pain? According to the British Medical Journal, an important factor in back pain is ergonomic exposure, such as sleeping a certain way (1). At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, we understand that it’s important to wake up and be able to get straight to your routine without pain, so we’ve listed the best and worst sleep positions for back pain:


Help: Sleep on Your Back with a Pillow Under your Knees

Sleeping on your back allows your weight to be evenly distributed. This weight is also being distributed along the widest part of your body, resulting in less strain on your back’s pressure points. Simply lay flat on your back and place a pillow under your knees. For extra support, place another small pillow under your lower back.


Hurt: Sleeping with a Rounded Back

Much like slouching, sleeping with a rounded back can actually increase back pain. This position prevents the spine from being in the natural upright position, which causes strain and leads to back pain. Try to ensure you are maintaining correct posture, even when you’re sleeping.


Help: Sleep on Your Side with a Pillow Between Your Knees

While simply sleeping on your side won’t necessarily reduce back pain, using the pillow between your knees will. This allows your spine to keep in alignment with your pelvis and hips, which reduces the stress on your back. Lay on your side, and place a comfortable pillow in between your knees. If you find that there is a gap in-between your waist and the mattress, you may want to add another small pillow in this space for increased support.


Hurt: Sleeping on Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach can increase pain in the neck and upper back. When you sleep on your stomach, you force your neck to remain in a rotated, tight position. This means that your neck is stationed in an unnatural position for an extended period of time, which can cause the dreaded “crick” in the neck and pain that can radiate to the upper back.


Help: Sleep on Your Back While Reclined

When reclined, an angle is created between your thighs and torso. In order to recline while enjoying the comforts of your bed, consider investing in an adjustable bed. This will allow you to recline to whatever angle you find the most comfortable.


Sleep should be relaxing and rejuvenating. However, when you sleep in certain positions, you may feel run-down as you wake up with back pain. These sleep positions can have you waking up in the morning feeling your best. For those whose spine pain interferes with their daily life, give Houston Physicians’ Hospital a call at 832-340-2134. Our Webster, Texas, Spine Solutions Center can get you back to a pain-free life in no time.