7 Ways To Sleep Better Even with Severe Lower Back Pain

Nothing on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only.

Lower back pain is very commonly seen in people who sit for long periods of time, lift heavy weights regularly or are heavy and inactive.

It could be a mild, dull, occasional ache or a constant nagging irritation. A sign of it getting worse is when the pain starts traveling down one or both legs (i.e. sciatica). Increased body fat, especially around the abdomen, makes the lower back more vulnerable because of increased mechanical pressure & lack of muscle support.

Once that happens, sleeping with back pain becomes difficult, but you still need to sleep, don’t you?

You know that getting the right amount of sleep is really important for several reasons… For example, after a long day at work, sleeping is the only time when your body can rest and relax.

So if you do not get the right amount of sleep, you can never expect yourself to be productive during the morning.

And worse, this may result in several health problems like weight gain, heart disease and much more (I know it sounds scary, but it’s true). Hence, you should always sleep properly and get the recommended hours of sleep to avoid such problems, but…

How do you do it with back pain? Here are the seven tips that can help you make your life better almost immediately.

image showing beige themed bedroom during daytime

1. Use a Firm Mattress

Check on the mattress that you are using and make sure that it is not very old. If you have been using the same mattress for about ten years or more, then it is time for you to replace it with a new one.

If you are suffering from lower back pain, a very soft mattress may not be the best option for you to take into consideration. A firm mattress (or mattress topper) is ideal for back pain relief. If you're having back issues then be sure to read our mattress topper for back pain guide.

Also, you should actually pay attention to this matter because a wrong mattress will just worsen your condition. Carefully consider your needs and personal preferences to pick the most appropriate mattress possible.

Pro Tip:

Even the very best mattress for sleep will not negate the damage you might be making to your back during the day. For example, if you spend a lot of time in the office sitting, then you should take the time to learn more about office ergonomics.

2. You Shouldn't Stay So Long In Bed As Well

Even if you feel severe pain and you really want to lie down, you should not be tempted to do so. The more time you spend lying in bed, the more the pain is likely to increase.

In other words, lying in bed for a long period of time will do nothing good to your condition – it will just make it worse because more pressure will be on your lower back (It gets even worse if you lie on your stomach).

You should not exceed about eight hours in bed, especially if you feel it gets worse, the more time you spend in bed.

Close-up of a woman with pink headphones listening music

3. Listen To Slow Music Before Sleeping Time

Human body is amazing at learning. In fact, it can learn anything, including pain! This is why quite a lot of pains and aches, even when they do not have organic origin anymore, continue.


This is because our body learned the pain and it continues to suffer. What can you do about it? Focus on something else of course.

This is when calm music that you truly enjoy comes into play. You might easily get caught up in the joy of listening to your favorite tunes and after a while notice that back pain is not there anymore.

It sounds too simple, but it simply works.

Pro Tip:

Guided meditation is becoming more and more popular. Apps like Headspace are quite remarkable at what they do and how they help people. For example, you can find meditations that help you with Anxiety (which can easily cause back and other types of pain).

Check it out.

4. Think Of Buying Sleeping Aids

You can also purchase some sleeping aids that are really intended for people like you, who are suffering from lower back pain. For instance, you can purchase a support wedge that you can place on your back while sleeping.

You can also choose the most appropriate position that would help reduce the pain like sleeping on your back. This position is recommended for people who are suffering from lower back pain.

image showing decorative and sleeping pillows with white bed linen

5. Use your pillows well

And lastly, you will need a pillow to be placed on your knees and another pillow that would provide proper support for your head and neck.

Mind you, pillows, just like mattresses, are quite different. In fact, an improper pillow can also cause your neck to hurt and that in itself can lead to headaches, muscle spasms and so on.

Here are 10 great cervical pillows that aim to reduce neck pain.

6. Avoid Electronics

You should think of turning off all the electronics in the house at least thirty minutes before you head for bed.

Your body can be confused as to what time of the day it is by the light emitted from your devices making, it difficult for you to fall sleep with or without back pain.

For example, we have a rule in our house – we never take phones to the bedroom with us (we leave them in the kitchen), so that there is zero screen light and electronics in there. Talking of screen light, remember that you should avoid blue light that comes out of every screen.

Apps like f.lux are magnificent for that.

young woman doing yoga indoors

7. Follow A Nightly Routine

The first step in setting up a nightly routine is to pick the time, when you will be going to bed. Make sure it will be enough for you to fall asleep and sleep for, at least, 8 hours every night.

For example, if you know that it now takes you 30 minutes to fall asleep and you need to get up at 6.30am, then you should be in bed at 10pm – latest.

Then, pick at least two unwinding exercises to practice every night prior going to bed. Calm stretching is ideal for slowing down your Central Nervous System.

You can also use some heat, as it helps to make you feel sleepy.

After some time, following a steady nightly routine will flag to your mind that it's the ideal opportunity for sleep. This routine is based on the principle that falling asleep can be learned and made a habit.



So, these were our 7 tips on how to sleep at night even if you have back pain.

We also would like to remind you that, if you have back pain for a prolonged amount of time, you need to pass by a doctor to confirm there is nothing too serious there.

You should also know that, at times, fixing back pain is a matter of one visit to a knowledgeable, experienced chiropractor, so don’t despair!

Recommended Reading:

Author: Mark Reddick

When I’m not learning about sleep, you can find me hanging out with my wife and close friends.

I absolutely love entrepreneurship and learning how to improve yourself daily. We only get one life, and I want to make it the best one possible.

I hope that everyone that finds our site takes a new approach to sleep. The world needs to stop thinking about it as something “we just do,” but rather something that allows us “to do every day.”

  1. Reply
    Alexandria Martinez December 6, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    For a little while now, my fiance has been complaining of back pain and wants some relief. He is worried that it will get worse if he doesn’t get professional help. In the meantime, I will make sure he follows a nightly routine to get back on his feet.

  2. Reply
    Michael December 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I wanted to thank you for everything that you had to say here in regards to getting a better night rest with back pains. One thing that I think was really important was making sure to sleep with a firm mattress because it is ideal for back pain relief. My wife and I have been sleeping on our mattress for a couple of years now, and so I will look into replacing that and seeing if a clinic can help me straighten it out. Thanks again!

  3. Reply
    Deb Pearl December 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    My dad has a lot of lower back pain, and it is affecting his sleep now. I have been wondering what things he could do to help. I didn’t know that keeping a pillow between your knees can help provide support. I will have to let him know so he can try it. Thank you for the tips!

  4. Reply
    Jeremy Thompson December 28, 2017 at 1:24 am

    I like how you mentioned that it won’t be advisable to lie down in bed for so long as the back pain would just continue to increase which is why sticking to the normal 8 hours in bed routine should be a must. That is extremely helpful to learn as I have always been lying down when I feel any kind of pain in my lower back. I shall make sure to regulate my posture as much as I can and only lie on the bed for 8 hours a day. Hopefully, this would help remove the reoccurring back pain I am having recently. Thanks!

  5. Reply
    Agata W. January 6, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    My husband and I have bought a bed from Swiss Dream Beds. Our chiropractor has been very happy with the alignment in our spine since we have been sleeping on this new bed. We are very happy with the bed and it is very comfortable in addition to the benefits for our backs. I would recommend that it should be included in everybody’s research.

  6. Reply
    Ridley Fitzgerald February 20, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    You’ve got some helpful advice for getting rid of back pain. I really need to look at buying a new mattress. The one we have now is so soft and flexible, which is great, but it is probably what’s causing me back pain!

  7. Reply
    Kit Hannigan September 8, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for pointing out how people can purchase a support wedge that they can place on their back while sleeping to help relieve back pain. I am currently experiencing some pretty minor back pains, and I think sitting for hours on end in the office may have caused it. I’ll be sure to look for ergonomic pillow supports that can help me with my back issues.

  8. Reply
    Paige December 8, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Superior CBD hemp pain relief Oil was recommended to me by my roommate, who said it helps with sleeping issues, back pain, and general anxiety. It had come to a point where I couldn’t function at work without two naps because I was so tired and waking up so many times a night. I take this about an hour before I want to go to sleep, and my quality of life has just increased so much. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an extra boost of calm!

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