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Low back pain when sleeping: causes and how to avoid it

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Some people frequently complain of back pain only when sleeping. This low back pain occurs in the last hours of sleep, starting at 4 and 5 in the morning. On certain occasions, this pain may be related to daily work, but other times it is not related to activities carried out the day before.

The appearance of this ailment can be repetitive, becoming chronic, which is not easy to treat due to its multiple causes. However, this low back pain can be improved or avoided when sleeping by adopting better forms of rest and changing sleeping habits.

Next, in this FastlyHealarticle, you will find everything you need to know about why low back pain occurs when sleeping: causes and how to avoid it.

Causes of low back pain when sleeping.

Several causes can trigger the appearance of low back pain when sleeping. These range from poor posture when resting to the presence of certain diseases that you will learn about below.

Sleeping on a bad mattress

Using mattresses that are very hard or have deformities, as a result of use over the years, generates the appearance of low back pain when sleeping. That is why it is essential to sleep on a good mattress, as it improves rest habits and health on a day-to-day basis.

Inappropriate postures at work

This is one of the most common causes of low back pain when sleeping:

  • The trapezius affects people who work in front of a computer for many hours without taking adequate rest during the workday.
  • People who carry out their working hours on their feet may also have pain in the spinal muscles.

In both cases, it is at the time of night rest when pain in the lower back occurs as a result of poor work postures.

Spinal protrusions or herniated disc

The pressure exerted on the vertebral discs due to poor posture, overload during the day, or during the workday can cause pain in the lower back.

Low back pain is often evident at night or bedtime, with shooting pains.

Alteration of muscle tone

The presence of low muscle tone of the spinal deviation, known as scoliosis, facilitates the appearance of low back pain when sleeping.

See more information about scoliosis in the article Scoliosis: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment.


As age advances, our body increases the chances of suffering from inflammatory and painful processes in the lumbar region. Therefore, one of the most common symptoms of aging is witnessing that pain in the lower back, also known as lumbago.

How to avoid low back pain when sleeping

Now that you know the causes of lower back pain, you must improve your habits to avoid feeling lower back pain when sleeping and resting correctly. For this, some recommendations to prevent, improve or prevent back pain, depend on your situation:

Exercises to strengthen the back

Doing daily exercise allows you to develop a good muscle tone. In this way, you can avoid discomfort in the body, especially in the lumbar region, when you go to sleep.

You can perform the ones we propose in the article Exercises to strengthen the back and, if you need to relieve lower back pain, we recommend Exercises to ease low back pain.

Use a better mattress for back pain

If you use an excellent mattress accompanied by a good pillow, you can maintain the natural curvatures of the spine, especially the lumbar region. The softness and flexibility of both elements will allow you to improve your posture during sleep, thus avoiding sleeping with back pain.

Correct body posture

Maintain a correct body posture during the day. With this, you will avoid low back pain when sleeping. Low back pain can occur from maintaining a frequent position without rest, such as sitting for many hours in front of the computer or standing without alternating roles.

See Tricks to improve posture in your day-to-day and avoid sleeping with back pain.

Apply cold and heat

Applying cold and heat to the lumbar region causes dilation of the blood vessels. It relaxes the lumbar region muscles, which facilitates the arrival of oxygen and nutrients through the blood. This is a way to keep your low back pain under control while sleeping and relieve it.

One way to apply heat to your lower back is to take a hot shower before rest or place an electric blanket on the painful area. This will ease the pain in the lower back quickly.

Reduce stress

Likewise, reducing stress appropriately allows you to control your mood, which directly affects the appearance of muscle pain. Anxiety and even depression can condition our body, and we go to sleep with back pain.

You can find more information in Tips to reduce stress if this is your case.

Correct sleeping postures

At bedtime, it is necessary to adopt the best position for the body on a surface that provides the comfort and comfort required to have a good rest. It is essential, as your sleeping posture determines the quality of your sleep. We recommend some correct postures to sleep to avoid pain in the lower back:

Sleeping on your side

If you suffer from low back pain when sleeping, you should sleep on your side in a fetal position with both legs tucked up. Although it may not seem like it, it is an excellent posture for the back to release tension, especially in the lower back.

In this sense, it is recommended to place a pillow between the legs. In this way, you will achieve better rest for the spine.

Sleep on your back

This position is one of the correct postures for sleeping. When sleeping on your back, you rest on your back, and it is ideal to avoid low back pain. In this way, you will obtain a better alignment of the neck and prevent the appearance of discomfort in the region as mentioned above.

If you suffer from low back pain when sleeping, put these tips into practice and see excellent results. Otherwise, go to your trusted doctor to determine the cause of low back pain when sleeping.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Low back pain when sleeping: causes and how to avoid it, we recommend entering our Bones, Joints, and Muscles category.

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