You Can Absolutely Sleep Better Despite Back Pain

Do you have lower back pain?

Back pain can make it pretty hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially if you’re tossing and turning and unable to find a comfortable position. How you sleep can make a big difference- some positions can make your pain worse because they put a strain on your back. Other positions will actually make your pain better! According to the National Sleep Foundation, those who experience acute or chronic pain will have trouble sleeping, thus affecting their daily lives. In turn, this reduced amount of sleep affects their relationships, moods, and enjoyment of life.

Kristen Knutson, PhD states, “Sleep quality and duration should be considered a vital sign, as they are strong indicators of overall health and quality of life.” Just getting 18-23 minutes of extra sleep increased Americans’ feelings of increased health (Pain and Sleep 2018). At first, low back pain does not cause sleeplessness. However, as this pain continues it creates several disruptions in sleep each hour of sleep, leading to awakening. By not getting a continuous sleep cycle, the person never completely rests. Decreased sleep makes chronic low back pain worse.

What can you do at home?

  1. Limit caffeine consumption particularly in the evening.
  2. Limit alcohol.
  3. Utilize diaphragmatic breathing or other relaxation techniques. See diaphragmatic breathing here.
  4. Place a pillow under your knees and feet when lying on your back or mid-section.
  5. When lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees and feet to take the pressure off of your back.

These are suggestions to help alleviate low back pain when sleeping but they will not get rid of the pain altogether, as the primary cause still exists. Often low back pain is due to a structural shift. A structural chiropractor can help you get rid of the pain for good, instead of providing only temporary relief. Find out more how structural chiropractic can help you here: where a consultation is a conversation, not a commitment.

Pain and Sleep. Retrieved February 24, 2019, from:

Diaphragmatic/Abdominal Breathing. Retrieved February 24, 2019, from:

eHow. Masters, Elaine. How to Use a Knee Pillow for Back Pain: Knee Pillows & Travel. Retrieved February 24, 2019, from:


sleep better with back pain

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