Sleeping On Your Back And How To Effectively Do It

A lot of people have a hard time getting comfortable at night when it comes time to sleep and the thought of sleeping on your back may just make you feel sore. A lot of people prefer to sleep on their stomach or their sides because it is just more comfortable, but what most don’t know is that sleeping on your back have many benefits. There are ways you can do it so that you aren’t waking up sore and stiff and here’s how:

Quick Steps:

  1. Lay flat on your back
  2. Put a pillow under your knees
  3. Put your hands up by your pillow
  4. Spread your legs out a little
  5. Stay on your back

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Sleeping Positions

There are 3 main sleeping positions: back, side, and stomach. Most of the population favor sleeping on their sides because it has the most options for comfort.

Side position


Side sleeping can help with insomnia and sleep deprivation. This is also the best way to sleep if you are pregnant since sleeping on your back can cut off blood flow to the baby.
sleeping in your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is very unhealthy and is not recommended because it can cause strain on your lower back and possibly cause a bit of neck pain. Those who sleep on their stomachs tend to experience frequent tossing and turning to get comfortable.
back sleeping

Back sleeping is the healthiest because you aren’t altering the natural curve of your body this way. You aren’t contorting it by sleeping in strange positions on your side or stomach. If you are trying to become a back sleeper, there are a few things that can help make the experience easier and more comfortable.

Check our In-depth post on Best Sleep Positions and Which One Should You Use

Mattress Matters

It has been said that sleeping on your back is the best position you could possibly sleep in. How does this seem possible when so many of us wake up sore after unknowingly sleeping in that position all night? Well, your mattress could be a factor in this.

If your mattress is too firm, you may have an issue sleeping on your back because it may seem like you are just laying on a piece of wood. If you want to be a back sleeper because of the health benefits it comes with, invests in a back supporting mattress.
DreamFoam Mattress Ultimate Dreams Cushion Firm Latex Mattress

I used to be a stomach sleeper, but I had read that it was actually bad for you, so I started sleeping on my back. When I first started doing it, I just couldn’t get comfortable. I decided that I would try some different ways to sleep on my back by adding a few things.r

Back sleepers check out our Memory Foam vs Orthopedic Mattress post.

Alterations For Easier Back Sleeping

As said earlier, I had to make some alterations for when I first started back sleeping. Since it does tend to induce lower back pain in some people, it was recommended that placing a soft pillow or something else soft and rolled up under your knees to help go with the natural curve of your spine. Here are some other things that can be done to make this position even more comfortable:

buckwheat pillow

Elevate Your Head

Get yourself a positioning pillow. You are going to want to place one under each arm. If this is not comfortable for you, you can always use them in whatever way helps you the best. You will also want a pillow that is going to hold your head into place, like a buckwheat pillow. This type of pillow will keep your head from rolling from side to side.


Get A Humidifier

How is this relevant? Well, if the air is too dry, it can lead to nose and throat irritation which can lead to snoring. Laying on your back exposes your face even more to the dry air.

Be Persistent

The only way you are going to be comfortable on your back if this is new to you, is to be persistent while training yourself. If you find yourself in any other position, roll back over on to your back. Comfort won’t come long after that.


If you have lower back pain, you are going to want to stretch your hip flexors before bed. This will help to relax everything and make it easier on your back.

Fun fact, apparently the way you sleep tells a lot about who you are. If you sleep in the log position on your back, you are social, easy-going, frustrating, gullible and 15% of you sleep in this position. Does this sound anything like you?

Check our related article here

The Starfish Position

This position is the best one you could possibly sleep in while on your back. This position can prevent facial wrinkles and breakouts while fighting off acid reflux. You should have your head elevated and your stomach should be below the esophagus.

starfish position


The starfish also helps prevent neck and back pain. On the downside, this position has a big risk of snoring. Maybe this is why only 14% of Americans sleep on their backs?

Do not sleep on your back if you are pregnantThis can cause bad circulation and problems for you and baby. I just want to add this in here because since the starfish is a back position, pregnant women should not do it during the second and third trimester, no matter how uncomfortable they are.

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Steps To Sleeping On Your Back

Here I am going to give you a step by step list of how to properly and effectively sleep on your back and get optimal comfort.

Step 1

Lay flat on your back and use your positioning pillow to get comfortable.

Neck Position


Step 2

Place a pillow under your knees for proper spine alignment.

pillow under your knees


Step 3

Bring your arms up to the sides of your pillow.

starfish position 2

Step 4

Spread your legs out just a little bit.
On Your Back Arms Up


Step 5

Stay on your back.


Sleeping on your back may not be at the top of your sleeping agenda, but it is good for you. If you have chronic back pain, make sure your mattress is up to par. You can’t sleep well if you aren’t on a comfortable mattress, especially if you are doing it on your back. Make sure you have some kind of neck supporting pillow to ensure you are aligning everything properly and stay persistent. If you have any comments, questions, or a tip on how you sleep well on your back without pain, leave us a message below.

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