Did you know that your sleeping posture can lead to back pain? Learning to sleep correctly does not necessarily improve your back in the long term, but can prevent back pain from getting worse. Read that again! Sleeping correctly will not improve your back long term, but can prevent it from getting worse. Sleeping can be a real challenge if you have back pain. Today we are going to review the six best ways to sleep!

Best Sleeping Positions to Reduce Back Pain

The Bed and Pillow Position

First, practice your proper sitting posture on the side of the bed. Next, hold that posture as you lay down on your side. Your pillows and bed should contour to the shape of “good sleeping posture”.

The Better Sleep Council is a good source for finding a decent mattress, and as far as pillows go, our personal all-around favorite is this Bamboo Pillow. We love this pillow because it’s adjustable.

Most people will benefit from using a yoga bolster while sleeping (we will go into more details about this below). Make sure to move around to find the most comfortable position! Move to the other side of the bed, turn your mattress, sleep with your head where your feet are supposed to be to see what works best for you.

Try each of the following sleeping positions for one week to find out which one is most ideal. If one of the positions makes your back pain worse, then switch to another position.

Side Sleeping Posture

Proper side sleeping requires at least three pillows: the head pillow, hugging pillow, and back pillow which take pressure off of your  back and shoulders. See the images below to learn more about proper side sleeping posture.

Pillow placement needed: head, hugging, and knee.

Curling Up Sleeping

Leaning Back Sleeping Posture

In this posture, you will lay back, turning your knees to the side of the room. Three pillows will be used to best support your head, neck, low back, and knees.

Pillow placement needed: head, knee, and back.


Back Sleeping Positions

Some people need more curve in their low back while asleep while others need less. Back sleeping can help promote this spinal curve a lot more than side sleeping can. Please note that using a head pillow is not necessary in this position. Here are some ways to sleep on your back: 

Directly on your back 

You can place a pillow under your head and neck if that feels okay for your body.

Straight Sleepin

Propped up

Pillow placement: knees propped up using a 10-12” Amazon Yoga Bolster.

Back Sleeping with Yoga Bolster

Stomach Sleeping Positions

There are various ways to sleep on your stomach as well. Just be sure to use pillows appropriately and determine which position is right for you. Here are some examples of stomach sleeping positions: 


Pillow placement: knee and hugging. Try using a king size pillow such as the Amazon Yoga Bolster.

Stomach Sleeping

Bottoms up

Pillow placement: Thick pillow under belly, such as this bolster.

Stomach Sleeping with Yoga Bolster

That’s it! Go work on your posture and movement therapies so you can sleep better than a baby tonight.

If you need additional assistance, contact us online to learn more about how we can help you reduce chronic pain and improve your sleeping habits.