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A good night’s sleep starts with a good mattress, but even the best mattress won’t do much good to relieve back pain if you’re sleeping in awkward positions. If we’re spending a good seven to eight hours a night in bed (or, we ought to) then it only makes sense that your sleeping position is optimal for your back and posture.

What’s the one sleep position to rule them all?’ Well, there isn’t any specific position that is better for everyone, so the answer really comes down to a simple ‘it depends.’ Speak with your chiropractor for a professional opinion if you’re experiencing back pain.


By far the most popular sleeping position, the foetal position is excellent for relieving lower back pain or for pregnant women. It’s also an excellent remedy for snoring, something your partner will surely be grateful for.

If it’s so easy and common to snuggle up into the foetal position, why do many continue to experience back pain, you may be asking? This position does have some downsides. Firstly, maintain a loose posture and ensure that you can achieve long, deep breaths that aren’t constricted. Secondly, if you’re experiencing joint pain or arthritis, the foetal position can leave you feeling sore come morning.

Get your hands (and head) on a comfy contoured pillow for added support and to promote good posture. Also consider placing a pillow between your knees for additional comfort and support.


Sleeping on your side does have some benefits, so it’s a good choice if you’re experiencing indigestion or heartburn. Studies have found that sleeping on your left side is better than on your right, so endeavour to try out sleeping on your left side for the best effect.

The downsides to sleeping on your side include the potential for shoulder stiffness, tight jaws, and potentially even the development of skin wrinkles. Try raising your knees to get into a foetal position if you find that sleeping on your side is uncomfortable.


At the bottom of the list, sleeping on your stomach is widely regarded as one of the worst sleeping positions for neck and back pain relief. This position can aggravate neck and back pain problems, so it stands to reason that we don’t recommend it.

One advantage that this position has, however, is that it does have benefits for snoring and sleep apnea. If you insist on sleeping on your stomach, try adding a thin head pillow and/or a pillow underneath the pelvis for reduced lower back pain.


Sleeping flat on your back has quite possibly the most benefits for back, hip, and knee pain. This position does not put additional stress on your spine nor does it put unnecessary stress on your knees or hips.

The downside to this position is that it can make snoring or sleep apnea worse, so it’s probably better to switch to the foetal position if snoring or sleep apnea are problems.

Add a pillow underneath your knees for superior back posture. Adding a bigger head pillow to slightly raise your head can also help reduce congestion and to assist breathing.


Get in touch with us at Better Backs if you’re dealing with back pain. Our team of Chiropractic professionals can help you get back in action and help you find a healthy sleeping position to reduce pain.

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