How to Sleep on your Back

How to Sleep on your Back

Sleep on your Back

The importance of sleeping in proper posture

Have you ever experienced the feeling of waking up after a good night’s sleep, ready to attack your day only to suddenly realize that your body is stiff, achy and not at all capable of doing all you wish you were going to do? Cases where you were supposed to wake up well rested, but instead you felt like a zombie?

Poor sleeping quality can mess up your everyday life, work, activity and energy levels as much as poor sleep quantity. There are many possible, likely culprits for it, like constantly overindulging in stimulants in your awake hours, but sleeping with improper posture is very high on that list. The problem is further magnified if you suffer from a chronic condition like neck or back aches. Sleeping improperly will exacerbate these problems and in all likelihood make you feel weak, tired and achy.

Sleeping Positions

Generally, people are divided in their sleeping patterns on the following broad categories. Each has its place and its assorted pros and cons and none is strictly better than the other:

  • Stomach sleepers: In cases of intense snoring and sleep apnea, sleeping on your stomach could prove to be a valuable tactic as it generally tends to diminish these issues. Other than that, stomach sleeping puts unnecessary stress on your body, as it flattens the spines natural curve. Moreover, as stomach sleeper’s usually keep their necks turned to one side, their neck conditions also tend to worsen. Recommended only if snore severely and suffer from sleep apnea. Try sticking a pillow under your hips and lower abdomen.
  • ​Side sleepers: The fetal position is good for people who suffer from lower back problems and gastrointestinal issues. Unfortunately, it is also a contributor in acne breakouts and a premature formation of wrinkles. Moreover, considering how your shoulders bear the brunt of your body-weight it is likely you will develop some sort of shoulder stiffness at one point or another.
  • ​Back sleepers: Sleeping on your back is, for most people, the safest sleeping position you can have. Your back is straight, the mattress can adequately do its job of supporting the spine and since you do not suffocate yourself up against a pillow, you will likely develop less facial wrinkles. The only real downside of sleeping on your back is that it is closely linked to sleep apnea.

Sleeping on your back made easy

Whether you wanna do it to save yourself some wrinkles or because your current sleeping habits have led you to trouble, starting to sleep on your back is not an easy thing to get into if you are not used to it. The concept is pretty easy: You just lay on your back. The hard part is sticking to it even if it feels uncomfortable. We will give you our best tips to make it go as smoothly as possible for you:

  • ​It all starts with your mattress. In order to make back sleeping as easy as possible, you will want to invest in a just firm enough mattress. Too soft a mattress and you are in danger of sinking down to the bottom. Likewise, too firm a mattress and you put too much pressure on the sacrum, shoulders and on the back of your head. Make sure you give it a try before buying a new one. You wouldn’t buy a new car without driving it, would you?
  • ​Even though skipping the pillow theoretically is healthier for you, as your neck stays in a neutral position, in practice, pillows are much, much more comfortable. Thus, make s16ure you get a good enough pillow to support your head. The neck should be in as neutral an alignment as possible – the pillow must not be too high, nor too low. Also, try keeping another one under your knees if you feel any back strain.
  • ​Lack of flexibility and tightness in the hips and hamstrings can lead to misalignment of your lower back when laying in back position. These conditions are the product of spending too much time sitting. If you have a desk job or for any other reason you spend a big chunk of your day sitting, make sure you do some hamstring and hip stretches each day. If you are serious about this, you might even want to invest in a foam roller.
  • ​Be persistent. You want to change your habitual position for a reason. Even if it seems uncomfortable at first, that feeling will soon lessen. Your body will thank you, eventually.

​The Starfish Position

The Starfish position is a sleeping on your back variation that does wonders for any neck or back pain you might experience. Basically, you lie on your back keeping your arms up your head. Alternatively, you put your hands behind your head, just under your pillow. This way your spine remains straight, free of any strain or contortion. If you are feeling even more adventurous, try sleeping like that without using a pillow. Even thought it might seem weird at first, if you sleep like that and skip the pillows, you maintain an ideal position for body composition.

Even though this stance swiftly deals with any body aches you have due to bad sleeping posture, it is not without its cons. Unfortunately, like all other back sleeping positions, the Starfish enhances the chances of snoring.


Your sleeping position matters a lot on how you feel when you wake up each morning. For the majority of people, sleeping on their backs is the preferred sleeping position and the Starfish variation in particular serves as an excellent tool in your arsenal for dealing with back and neck aches. Forming a new habit takes time. Even though sleeping like that might not feel natural for you at first, it is important that you stick to it if you are interested in reaping the many health benefits.

Make sure you have a good enough, relatively firm mattress and a quality neck-supporting pillow. Always try to stretch before going to bed. A quick routine will only take a few minutes. You can even experiment with a foam roller to really get the tight spots on your muscles. At the end of the day, keep in mind that learning how to sleep on your back with ease is a matter of persistence and commitment.