How to Sleep on Your Back

How to Sleep on Your Back

When it comes to sleeping at night, a lot of people have trouble getting comfortable.

For some especially, the thought of sleeping on their back is unpleasant. A lot of people prefer to sleep on their sides or stomach because they feel that it’s just more comfortable. However, what they may not know that there are many benefits to sleeping on your back. There are always ways that you can do it so that you don’t wake up stiff and sore.

Let’s take a look at some quick steps to get you started:

  1. Lie down flat on your back
  2. Place a pillow under your knees
  3. Place your hands up beside your pillow
  4. Spread your legs apart slightly
  5. Remain on your back

Sleeping Positions

As you may already know, there are three main sleeping positions that you can lie in. These are your stomach, side, and back. Most of the population opts for sleeping on their side because they find it to be the most comfortable.

Sleeping on your side does have its benefits. For example, it can help with sleep deprivation and complete insomnia. This also happens to be the safest way to sleep when you’re pregnant because if you sleep on your back, you risk your blood supply being cut off from the baby.

Sleeping on your stomach is the least beneficial way to sleep. This is because it can put unnecessary strain on your lower back, as well as your neck. People who often sleep on their stomachs tend to move around a lot in a bid to get more comfortable.

The only position that’s left is sleeping on your back. It’s touted as the healthiest way to lie because it allows your body to curve naturally, which is gentle on your muscles and bones. If you are someone who doesn’t usually sleep on their back but would like to for health reasons, there are a number of things you can try.

Your Type of Mattress

If you’re someone who has tried sleeping on their back and still wakes up sore and uncomfortable, it may not be the position to blame.

Your mattress could have a lot to do with this as well. If you have the type of bed that’s firm and doesn’t allow a lot of give, it may feel like you’re sleeping on a plank of wood.

If you want to sleep on your back for your health, it’s worth looking into a mattress for back pain that’s designed to support your back. If you can’t afford a new mattress, don’t despair, a mattress topper for back pain is exactly what you need.

Alterations for Back Sleepers

If you experience lower back pain when you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow underneath your knees. You can also use something else that’s just as soft by rolling it up. This will encourage your body to go with the natural curve of the spine, resulting in a much more comfortable night’s sleep.

Let’s take a look at some other things you can try to make back sleeping more comfortable:

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Elevating Your Head

when it comes to sleeping on your back, you don’t want your head to be moving around too much. Otherwise, you’ll start to feel the strain in your neck. This is why it’s important to find a pillow that contours with the shape of your head. This helps to prevent it from moving too much.

Invest in a Humidifier

if you live in a climate where the air is dry, then this may be interfering with your ability to sleep on your back. This is because dry air can lead to nose and throat irritation, which can also lead to snoring. When you lie on your back, you’re even more exposed to the dry air.

Don’t Back Down

while it may take a little bit of getting used to at first, it’s important to be persistent about sleeping on your back. This means that if you roll onto your side, roll yourself back again until your default position from the beginning is on your back.


if you suffer from lower back pain, then you’ll want to stretch your hips out before you go to bed. This will help your muscles to relax, reducing the chances of them tensing up overnight.

The Starfish Position

This particular position is the best one to adopt when you’re sleeping on your back. This position can even help to prevent wrinkles, blemish breakouts, and acid re-flux – that’s three more reasons to utilize it. For the starfish position, you should have your head elevated and your stomach lying so that it’s below your esophagus.

While this position lowers your chance of developing lower back and neck pain, it does increase your chances of snoring – so you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons.

As a general warning, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t sleep on your back while you’re pregnant. This is because sleeping on your back can cause circulation issues for you and the baby. While sleeping in this position is okay in the first trimester, it’s definitely not recommended in the second and third.

How to Sleep on Your Back

Let’s take a look at the five-step process of sleeping on your back:

  1. Lie flat on your back, using your pillow to get your positioning just right.
  2. If you need to, place a pillow or something else soft beneath your knees so that your spine is perfectly aligned.
  3. Bring both arms up so that they’re lying either side of your pillow.
  4. Spread your legs apart just slightly.
  5. Stay on your back. Even if you are tempted to roll or do so, bring yourself back.

Don’t worry, after a few nights of doing this your body will get used to this position, and it will become a force of habit.

While sleeping on your back may still be in the too hard basket, it’s proven to be good for you. If you experience chronic pain in your neck or lower back when you do so, check your mattress to make sure it’s the right kind for back sleepers.

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You can’t sleep well if you don’t have a comfortable mattress, and it’s even worse if you’re trying to sleep on your back regularly. Also, make sure that you get hold of a pillow that can support your neck and contour so that your head isn’t moving around too much.

References and Further Reading

1. Sleeping better on your back
2. The Best And Worst Ways To Sleep During The Night
3. What’s the Best Position to Sleep In?
4. Sleeping Positions During Pregnancy

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Thank you for your interest in Geek Health Journal. My name is Anne. Feel free to comment on any article and I will help if I can.

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