Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for people who have severe back pain. Non-restorative sleep is typical when a person is in pain and prevents the relaxation of the muscles and impedes healing that normally occurs during sleep. Severe pain in the back can make it extremely difficult for a person to find a comfortable sleeping position which may eventually lead to a sleep disorder. Certain medications for back pain may also interfere with sleep. Lack of proper sleep can lead to losing conscious control over the body and cause twisting of the back or spine. Supported sleeping postures can keep the back relaxed and create a healing environment. Discussed below are the top best sleeping positions for back pain –
- Lying on the side in a fetal position – This sleeping position helps open the space between the spinal vertebrae, lessen tension on the discs, and prevent the spine from curving backwards.
- Lying on the back in a reclined position – Lying on the back is widely considered the best sleeping position for back pain. Reclining helps reduce pressure on the spine and provides support to the back by creating an angle between the trunk and thighs.
- Lying on the side with a pillow supporting the knees – Placing a pillow between the knees can reduce back pain and help keep proper spinal alignment. Placing a firm pillow between the knees helps maintain the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis and spine. A side sleeper should to try alternate sides. This will help to avoid muscle imbalance and perhaps even scoliosis.
- Lying on the stomach with a pillow support – Patients suffering from back pain may benefit best from this sleeping position as it can help reduce stress that rests on the space between the discs. If it is difficult to change sleeping positions, place a thin pillow underneath the hips and stomach to improve the alignment of the spine.
- Lying flat on the back with a pillow underneath the knees – This position helps the back maintain its natural curve, while distributing the body weight more evenly and reducing stress on the lumbar spine with the help of the pillow.
Severe back pain can take a heavy toll on the quality and duration of sleep. Following these postural tips while sleeping can help keep the spine and its surrounding tissues in alignment and in a relaxed state. It can also help improve cognitive performance, mood and energy levels, strengthen the immune system and reduce risk of chronic diseases. According The Sleep Foundation, the best sleep position for you is the one that allows you to enjoy restful and uninterrupted sleep at night and wake up feeling refreshed, without any aches and pains.