If there is anything that sets you right for your day, it is setting yourself right every night. Each night when you go to sleep, you always hope to wake up fresh and well-rested for a new day. However, this all crushes down the moment you wake up and realize that your whole body aches. Your lower back is hurting, your neck is stiff, and you feel more tired than you felt the night before. All of us have been there, and people usually get used to waking up in pain. However, things don’t have to remain that way. Here is an exclusive look at the best sleeping positions that will make sure you get a smooth night’s sleep to wake up pain-free.

Why Do We Wake Unrested, Sore, Tired, and In Pain?

Beforehand, let’s first comprehend why we wake up in pain. On this, there are several reasons why we wake up sore and stiff, including various body inflammations, illnesses, little or too much exercise, injuries, and others. All these factors, together with uncomfortable sleeping positions, can contribute to waking up feeling pain or affect the level of pain.

This means that changing your sleeping position alone might not help your body to get rid of morning stiffness and pain. It is hence crucial that you stretch your body in the morning and introduce healthy changes to your life alongside altering your sleeping positions. So, if you want to wake up pain-free, some of the sleeping positions that you should try out include;

1.  Sleeping on Your Stomach

Stomach sleeping is done by the fewest population percentage. But although rare, this sleeping position is not that bad. Sleeping on your stomach can surprisingly reduce morning back pain. Sleeping on this position lessens the pressure on your back.  In case you are still enduring some strain, you can place a cushion under your pelvis and lower abdomen and another pillow underneath your head. You will be amazed by how much this sleeping position will be useful in reducing your back pain. Sleeping on your stomach also helps to reduce snoring and, in some cases of sleep apnea.

2.  Sleeping on The Back

Sleeping on the back is one of the best sleeping positions to wake up pain free. Medical professionals recommend that people struggling with back and neck pain to sleep on the back to help place the pressure on other body areas and restore the pain. When sleeping on the back, you must get a firm pillow that can conform to the curve of your spine and neck. This ensures that the neck rests in line with the spine and the rest of the body.

3.  Sleeping on Your Back with a Pillow Under Your Legs

Based on research from Terry Cralle. Sleeping on your back with a pillow placed beneath your legs can help maintain your lower back curve. Although this might seem like little aid, it is very conducive for waking up pain-free. If you find it hard to maintain a position or your pillow deflates overnight, you can consider placing a small, rolled-up towel under the small of your back to hold your body in place. 

4.  Sleeping with a Support Below Your Neck

If you frequently experience neck aches when you wake up, it’s advisable that you consider using a head support. Neck pain primarily results from the weight of the skull during nighttime hours. However, you can roll up a small hand towel under your neck to offer extra support for your head and avert hourly stress. You can also alternatively use neck pillows if you are sleeping on your back. Nevertheless, if you are still having neck pain, you should try to adjust the pillow under your head or get rid of it.

5.  Sleeping on Your Back with Shoulder Support

Morning shoulder pain often results from the flatness of your body during sleeping hours. To evade this, you can sleep on your back with a pillow positioned between your shoulder blades for support. You might feel pain because of resting on your back alone, so you should remember to enforce the natural bends of your shoulders by keeping the area between them raised.

6.  Sleeping on The Side

The majority of people are side sleepers making an estimated sixty-three percent. Side sleeping is excellent for pillow talk and cuddling. Sleeping on the side ensures that the neck is in line with the spine and the rest of the body. But this can be disrupted when you use improper pillows and bad mattresses. It would help if you got a pillow that accurately conforms to the shape of your neck. Left-side sleepers are more likely to experience enhanced blood flow, improved digestion, and reduced heartburn.

7.  Sleeping on Your Side with Leg Support

For those people who continuously experience morning neck and lower back pain, you should try to sleep on your side. More fundamentally, you should deliberate on side sleeping with leg support. Rest on your side while keeping your knees slightly bent and maintain your hips straight. This way, you will keep your back curved in its natural position. By allowing your top hip to flop a little, you will prevent lumbar rotation hence preventing morning and nightly pain.

8.  Fetal Position

The fetal position is one of the favorite sleeping positions for most people and serves as a variation of the side-sleeping position except that your body is all curled up. Curling up tends to curve the neck as well, which might cause issues to some people. To ensure you get the best when sleeping on this position, you should rest your arms in front of your body to help the upper body to keep straight and avoid neck pain. This return-to-the-womb position transforms you into a small package and comes with several benefits for the side-sleepers.

If you experience lower-back pain due to herniated or degenerative disc, consider trying the fetal position. Injured discs grind or push on the system of sensitive nerves snaking between spinal column. The fetal position opens up those protruding or strained spots releasing pressure and helping you to wake up pain-free. “Pregnant women who experience lower back and neck pain should consider sleeping in the fetal position”. Said Michael J. Breus, Ph.D, Who is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  The position enhances blood flow to the fetus while also reducing the pressure from the neck and the lower or upper back.

9.  Using a Flat Pillow

When it comes to pillows, you can lessen the shoulder and neck strain by lowering the elevation of your head. If you often wake up with pain in your neck, upper back, collarbone, or shoulder area, you consider purchasing a flat or orthopedic pillow. Pillows that contain deeper depressions provide better head support. They also increase the neck support hence soothing persistent pain while preventing more stress.

10. Sleeping at an Incline

For people who have tried all these sleeping positions but are still experiencing morning pains and discomfort, they might consider sleeping at an incline. Majority of people choose to sit in a recliner or an adjustable bed for maintaining a healthy spine support while they ease the night stress. Sleeping at an incline may help you to sleep at your desired comfortable angle for a sweet night sleep. Don’t worry, you will get used to the slant just in time.

Other Sleeping Recommendation to Wake up Pain-Free

Changing your sleeping position might not be enough to adjust your sleeping position. It is hence vital to pay attention to the sleeping aid and environment including;

Body Pillows. “One of the best things for improving your health and sleep is using body pillows”. Said Terry Cralle, certified clinical sleep educator, RN, and sleep psychologist. The pillows are effective in keeping your body in control and reduce the pressure and pain as previously stated, placing pillows under the lower back, the neck and between or under the knees will help get rid of unnecessary pressure while providing extra support.

Proper Mattress. Investing in a great mattress is crucial to waking up pain-free. A good mattress is between soft and firm, for excellent support of your spine, pressure points, and body curvatures.

Right, Bedtime Routine. For the appropriate sleeping position to be effective in relieving morning stiffness and pain, you need to prepare appropriately for bedtime. During the daytime, ensure you stay active, eat, and hydrate adequately. Before going to bed, ensure you take a warm bath, a cup of tea, and keep away from the phones, TV, and other monitors. You need to relax both body and mind before getting into bed so that you wake up adequately rested, fresh, and ready for new adventures.


Waking up feeling pain is one of the worst experiences. You will have to deal with the pain the whole day, which can make you feel frustrated, nervous, tired, and even annoyed.  You hence need to ensure you change your sleeping position and find the one that works best for you. We hope that these suggested sleeping positions will help you to wake up pain-free. However, if these positions do not give you the expected effects, and you still wake up on pain, you should consider discussing the issue with a medical professional.


  • I am professional blogger/writer, and have been writing as a freelance writer for various websites. Now I have joined one of the most recognized platforms in the world.