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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Back Safety: Sleeping PositionsCuidado de la espalda: Posturas para dormir

Back Safety: Sleeping Positions

Good posture protects your back when you sit, stand, and walk. It is also important while sleeping. Keep your ears, shoulders and hips in line. Try the tips below. Also, be sure to follow any guidelines from your health care provider.

If You Lie on Your Back

Image of woman
Place pillows under your legs from your thighs to your ankles.

Safe Sleeping

  • Ask your health care provider how firm your mattress should be.

  • Find a position that keeps your back aligned and comfortable.

  • Fill gaps between your body and the mattress with pillows.

  • Never sleep on your back without bending your legs.

  • Never sleep on your stomach.

If You Lie on Your Side

Imagee of woman
Support your upper body and top leg with pillows.

Turning in Bed

  • If you change positions, you will need to move your pillows. This can become so natural that you hardly wake up.

  • When you turn in bed, move your whole body as one unit.

  • Tighten your stomach muscles. Bend your knees slightly toward your chest.

  • Roll to one side, keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips in line.

  • Be careful not to bend or twist at the waist.

Publication Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Publication Source: SpineHealth.com

Online Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

Online Source: SpineHealth.com

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

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