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How to sleep with lower back pain

Getting through the day with back pain can be hard. But getting through the night? That’s even harder. Whether caused by sciatica, arthritis, pregnancy, an injury etc, 59% of people with lower back pain are said to experience a poor...

Woman suffering from back pain when sleeping

Getting through the day with back pain can be hard.

But getting through the night? That’s even harder.

Whether caused by sciatica, arthritis, pregnancy, an injury etc, 59% of people with lower back pain are said to experience a poor quality of sleep. Here we take a closer look at why back pain and sleep issues are so closely related and offer a few tips to help you get some much-needed shut-eye.


Back pain and sleeping – a two-way relationship

Researchers have long seen an association between back pain and sleeping issues. In fact, most evidence now suggests that it’s a two-way relationship – in which each problem reinforces the other.

Pain can make it very difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep. As a result, you wake up the next day feeling tired and unrefreshed – and that tiredness can make the pain worse.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Experts aren’t certain why it happens. Perhaps because sleep deprivation impairs healing? Or makes us more sensitive to pain? They don’t know for certain. But the good news is, you’re not doomed to a lifetime of tossing and turning. Whatever the cause or severity of your lower back pain, there are simple things you can do to make dozing off that little bit easier.


4 tips to reduce back pain whilst sleeping


1. Find the right position

Rule one – to limit pain levels, you need to keep your spine straight.

Lying completely flat is, by far, the best sleep position for lower back pain. It can also help to elevate your legs slightly, by placing a pillow under your knees. This will ensure your spine stays correctly aligned, reducing pressure and providing support where it’s needed.


Best sleeping position for lower back pain


For those who suffer from chronic back pain, it may even be worth investing in an adjustable bed.

Thanks to their ‘motion intelligent’ technology, such beds can make it a lot easier to find a comfortable position. The mattress contours to your body, elevating your head and/or feet at the simple touch of a button – and allowing the lumbar and lower back area to fully relax.


2. Get out of bed as carefully as possible

To avoid aggravating your back pain, take extra care when getting out of bed. Bending at the waist and quick, sudden movements are a big no-no. Instead, you should move your body ‘together’ – first rolling gently onto one side, before swinging your legs over the edge of the bed and sitting up slowly.

Again, an adjustable bed can help with this – allowing you to transition into a sitting position first, before you attempt to move and stand up.


Yoga stretch to help you sleep with back pain


3. Try gentle yoga stretches before bed

Studies have shown that gentle stretching before bed can boost the musculoskeletal restoration process that occurs during sleep – helping to reduce lower back pain.

It’s important to note, depending on the cause, certain stretches can make your pain worse – so it’s worth talking to your doctor first about which are the most suitable for you. But three of the most common include the cat-cow pose, knee-to-chest stretch and pelvic tilt exercise.

Before you hit the hay, why not grab the yoga mat and give them a try? It may also be worth taking a few classes with an instructor, just to make sure you’re doing the poses and breathing exercises correctly.


4. Improve your sleep hygiene

Don’t worry, there’s no need to grab the sanitiser. Sleep hygiene is about healthy sleeping habits (not cleanliness!) and it’s crucial for those who suffer from lower back pain.

You need to establish a good routine, both during the day and in the lead up to bedtime. Detailed advice on this topic can be found in our previous blog. But essentially, try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, do at least 30 minutes of exercise, avoid caffeinated drinks and ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.

The better your sleep hygiene, the better the quality of your sleep is likely to be. And in turn, that means you’re less likely to wake up due to a surge of pain.


Adjustable beds available at Dreamers Bed Centre


Don’t let lower back pain lead to nightmares


Unfortunately, lower back pain and sleeping issues do seem to go hand-in-hand – but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the cycle forever. Just make a few small changes to your sleeping position and lifestyle and, we guarantee, you’ll immediately start to feel the difference.

If you’ve suffered long-term, perhaps take a look at our online range of adjustable beds – here at Dreamers Bed Centre? We have a wide selection to choose from, including models by Mammoth Mattresses, Furmanac, and Hestia – all of which are available for a low price and could be the answer to your ongoing sleep deprivation.

For further advice on how to sleep with lower back pain – or to discuss the adjustable beds available in our store – you’re welcome to contact us at any time. Just give us a call on 01942 275 464. Or if you prefer, send an email to and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.




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