How To Sleep For A Healthy Back
We spend so much time sleeping that it’s important we take care of our body while doing so. Making small adjustments to how you sleep at night can be super helpful in preventing issues such as back pain. Keep reading to learn how to sleep for a healthy back!
Sleeping for back health
In this post, you’ll learn the best ways to position yourself while sleeping to keep your back healthy.
For the health of your neck, I suggest sleeping on your back or on your side as lying on your stomach can put excess strain on your neck. But…for those of you set on needing to sleep on your stomach, I will give you some tips for stomach sleeping in this post.
To learn how to best position your neck, don’t forget to read part one of this series: How To Sleep For A Healthy Neck
How to sleep for a healthy back:
To protect your lower spine while sleeping on your back, use pillows to prop up your legs. This helps to take some pressure off of the lower back.
What you’ll do is place one pillow under your knees and relax your legs on the pillow.
You can use two pillows under your knees if you feel like you need extra support.
For how you should position your head when sleeping on your back, click here to learn more in my sleeping for neck health post.
When sleeping on your side without support, the torso will often be twisted which could put excess strain on your lower back.
To prevent this, all you need to do is place one pillow between your knees. This pillow should be placed between both of your legs from your knees down to your ankles. I suggest using only one pillow as two pillows would likely be too high.
For how you should position your head when sleeping on your side, click here to learn more in my sleeping for neck health post.
Extra support when sleeping on your back or side:
The suggestions above should be enough support for most people when sleeping on their back or on their side.
If you do feel like you need some extra support, you can try adding an additional roll.
This roll is called the Mckenzie Night Roll and it will offer some additional support for your lower back.
When sleeping on your back, this roll would be placed right above your sacrum (this is basically where the natural arch is in your lower back). If using this extra support when sleeping on your back, you may want to place two pillows under your knees instead of one.
When sleeping on your side, this roll would go on the side of your torso that you’re laying on. The location of the roll should be between the top of your pelvis and the bottom of your ribcage. This will give your spine some extra support.
I don’t have photos for this, but for those interested in this option, you can find visual instructions in the video at the end of this post.
Again, it is better for your neck to sleep on your side or on your back, but if you must sleep on your stomach, here are some tips to make it better. If you actually have neck pain, I really suggest trying your best to sleep on your back or on your side.
Option 1: Quarter Prone
Quarter prone position basically is sleeping in between being on your side and on your stomach. What you’ll do is use pillows under one side of your body so you’re not fully on your stomach. It puts a little less strain on your neck as opposed to being fully on your stomach.
You’ll have one thin pillow at your head, one pillow at your torso, and one pillow under your leg. (So one leg is on the pillow and the leg behind is not.) You can see an example in the picture below.
Option 2: Full Prone
For those of you super set on sleeping totally on your stomach, you can provide your back with support by adding some pillows.
What you’ll do is place one thin pillow under your stomach & pelvis region and one pillow under your shins. This decreases strain on the lower back. You can see an example in the photo below.
Now you know how to sleep for a healthy back!
Don’t forget to check out part 1 of this series for the best ways to sleep for a healthy neck to get a full picture on how to position yourself while sleeping in the healthiest way possible: How To Sleep For A Healthy Neck.