How Your Sleeping Position Leads To Back And Neck Pain

One of the worst sleeping positions is sleeping on your stomach, which you must avoid at all costs.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Feb 09, 2023 12:31 IST
How Your Sleeping Position Leads To Back And Neck Pain

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Have you experienced pain in your neck and back after you woke up? Most people complain of neck and back pain after waking up, which is primarily due to their sleeping position or the type of pillow they use. You might have trouble turning your head or bending, which can cause discomfort and hamper your daily activities. One of the worst sleeping positions is on your stomach, which you must avoid at all costs. Keep reading to learn about sleeping positions and how they can contribute to your body aches.

Sleeping On Your Back

Sleeping on your back is considered the best sleeping position to avoid back or neck pain. You should position your pillow in a way that you face the ceiling. In addition, use a firm pillow, and  you can even try putting a pillow under your knees for effective results. This ensures proper blood flow and helps prevent back pain. You can use a thin pillow, a cervical pillow, or a supportive mattress if you sleep on your back. However, if you frequently snore or have sleep apnoea you should try sleeping on your side rather than your back. 

Also Read: Why Does Your Body Pain After You Wake Up?

Sleeping On Your Side

Make sure your head and neck are in alignment with the rest of your body if you sleep on your side. You should avoid using a soft pillow and go for a firm one to prevent neck and back pain while sleeping on your side. This is because your pillow should fill the space between your head and the mattress. Avoid pillows that are very high, and try using a cervical pillow instead.

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach should be strictly prohibited as it can lead to back and neck pain. This sleeping position tilts your neck to one side for a prolonged period, and gravity causes your lower back to arch inward. Try sleeping on your side if you often sleep on your stomach. Keep pillows on both sides to prevent rolling on your stomach.

Other Reasons For Waking Up With Neck And Back Pain

There can be other causes of your back and neck pain apart from your sleeping position. Some of them are as follows:

  • Maintaining a poor posture throughout the day can cause pain in your neck and back. Avoid slouching and prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Working on computers for long hours or watching television in the same posture for an extended time. 
  • You may have neck pain if one of the upper spinal joints has osteoarthritis.


You should avoid using a mattress that is sagging in the middle, as it can contribute to back and neck pain. In addition, refrain from using a pillow that is too stiff or deep, as it can flex your neck muscles. You can also put pillows between your legs to ensure that your neck is aligned with your spine. Moreover, remember to exercise to stretch your muscles and relieve the tension in them. You should visit a doctor if the pain does not improve or persists for a longer time.