Can’t Sleep Due to Lower Back Pain? Here’s What to Do

If you’re one of the 61% of Americans suffering from lower back pain, you know how impossible it is to fall asleep when your lower back hurts.

And, when you can’t get a good night’s rest, your back pain gets worse (and studies have shown that you become more sensitive to pain as well!).

This forms a vicious cycle of lower back pain and insomnia which can easily ruin your life.

how to sleep with lower back pain

In this post, you’ll find the 5 best solutions for falling asleep and staying asleep when you have lower back pain – that do not include sleeping pills or pain relief pills. 

The first step is, as always, finding the root cause of your low back pain.

Diagnosing your back pain is critical if you want to find a long-lasting solution. See a good doctor or a good chiropractor – if only to diagnose the problem accurately.

1. Sleep On Your Side

Worst sleeping position for lower back pain

Wouldn’t it be great to realize that the only cause of your back pain when sleeping is simply the position you sleep in?

According to research, the best sleeping position to reduce low back pain is on your side. If you sleep on your back or stomach the risk of developing back pain increases by 23 percent.

Most people sleep on their side, which is fine. However, this sleeping position leaves your upper leg unsupported, which causes your lower spine to rotate.

Many people are aware of this and use a medium-firm pillow between their knees and thighs. Back sleepers use a high loft pillow under their knees, and a thin head pillow to maintain the normal curve of their neck.

However, what happens when you turn over? and what if you sleep on your stomach?

The spinal alignment is off again.

The solution is right below.

2. Use a Full Body Pillow 

One of the best investments you can make to eliminate low back pain aggravated by your sleeping position is a full body pillow.

A body pillow is a game changer. No wonder all pregnant women want to have one.

It “forces” you to sleep in the right position – on your side with support between your knees – while you are enjoying the most comfortable and snuggled sleep you’ve ever had.

best value body pillow for lower back pain when sleeping
Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow – view on Amazon

A body pillow can help to keep the spine aligned by providing support to the neck, shoulders, and lower back. When you sleep on your side, a body pillow keeps your spine in a neutral position, which reduces tension in the muscles and joints.

It can also reduce the risk of developing a kink in your neck, which can happen when your head is not properly supported while you sleep.

2. Use a Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Sleeping on a sagging mattress can be a major contributor to back pain.

In a Journal of Applied Ergonomics study, nearly 63% reported significant improvements in low back pain after switching to a new sleep system.

Most people seem to sleep best on a Hybrid mattress for back pain,  but you should choose a mattress that’s most comfortable for you.

If buying a new mattress is not an option right now, get a 3-inch memory foam top, which is relatively cheap yet can be all you’ll need to stop your night-time back pain.


Because changing your mattress topper can help to reduce lower back pain by providing proper support to the spine, and reducing pressure on the joints and muscles.

best value memory foam mattress topper for lumbar pain
ViscoSoft 3-Inch Memory Foam Mattress Topper – view on Amazon

A good mattress topper should be able to conform to the shape of the body (this is why we recommend a memory foam one), which supports the natural curves of the spine and reduces pressure on the joints and muscles.

It is important to choose a topper that is specifically designed for back pain relief and that is made of high-quality materials.

3. Use an All-Natural Pain Relief Cream

Rubbing a 100% natural pain relief cream before going to bed can help prevent lower back pain when you sleep, and more importantly – help you fall asleep faster.

pain relief cream for lower back pain

When you feel that gentle tingling sensation you’ll know it’s working, and the soothing natural ingredients are kicking in.

Our favorite all-natural pain relief cream – Rub on Relief – has more than 15 safe and effective herbs and minerals, including MSM, white willow extract, arnica flower, Boswellia, curcumin, lemon oil, calendula, peppermint oil, and more.

You can also make your own pain relief cream at home!

4. Use an Infrared Heating Pad

Our infrared heating pad is nothing short of a personal doctor for my family.

Unlike regular electrical heating pads, which only heat the surface of your skin,  infrared heating pads are completely safe – without the danger of burning or drying your skin.

Far infrared rays, which are completely invisible to the naked eye, are capable of penetrating deep into your body (right down to your bones) where they gently elevate the body’s surface temperature, boost circulation and help speed up the healing of injured muscles, ligaments, and nerves.

infrared heating pad for lower back pain
My infrared heating pad – view on Amazon

The FIR heat pad provides a soothing warmth, which is hard to describe.

It is deep warmth, with no perceivable source, making the experience almost surreal. It dramatically reduces any ache or pain that I have, it is extremely relaxing and it helps me fall asleep – quickly and naturally.

5. Do Self Massage

Trigger point foam roller

A great way to relax your muscles and relieve lower back pain before you go to bed is self-massage.

I have a trigger point foam roller, which is extremely helpful, especially for trigger points and back pain from muscle knots.

Try rolling on a trigger point foam roller before bed; you may be surprised how this helper is all you need to fall asleep pain-free.

More Ways to Prevent Back Pain at Night

A few more effective “tricks” are:

1. A hot shower – heat relaxes muscles and improves blood circulation, thus relieving pain.

2. Stop working at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

3. Do not drink alcohol or caffeine 2 hours before bedtime.

4. Avoid sugar and heavy meals at least 2 hours before sleeping.

5. Your bedroom should be completely dark and a bit cool.

6. Don’t stay in bed too long, it may increase muscle stiffness and back pain in the morning. When you wake up, roll on your side to get out of bed.

👉 Here’s how to prevent lower back pain in the morning!

Is it Good to Sleep on a Hard Surface?

Some people think that the best mattress is no mattress at allThat sleeping on a hard surface can reshape the back and realign it.

Others think that sleeping on the floor is not a good idea. That it’s highly important to feel comfortable when you sleep to allow the healing effect of sleeping to occur.

There is no one answer that fits all. You should feel comfortable and relaxed when you sleep. So, if sleeping on a carpeted floor or a wooden floor feels comfortable – go for it.

If not – it’s probably not a good idea for you.

To your health and happiness,


5 thoughts on “Can’t Sleep Due to Lower Back Pain? Here’s What to Do”

  1. Hi
    I just found your article!
    I was diagnosed today after a month of excruciating back pain with two herniated disk
    I read carefully your articles and I am so ready to try everything that you have mentioned

    I said no to epidural injection today and I hope I made the right choice


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