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Why Do You Have Lower Back Pain After Sleep

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 25, 2023
6 min read

Written by

Arun Das
Content Writer
Back Pain After Sleep

Do you frequently wake up with back pain after sleep? Well, you are not alone! It is a common condition that can sometimes occur first in the morning when you transition from lying down to standing up. It usually occurs because of the muscles’ stiffness and the decreased blood flow as you sleep. But the pain must subside once you wake up and get on with the day. 

While morning back pain after sleep is common, some people experience it more than others, which can occur due to stress, poor posture, and underlying medical conditions. We are here to give you all the necessary information in this article. Just keep reading!

What Causes Morning Back Pain?

Now, let’s dig deep and understand all the reasons behind the morning pain. 

Sleeping positions

Do you wake up almost twisted? With your pillow thrown below or waking up in a different sleep position altogether? Well, your sleeping position may be the culprit here. Back pain may become an issue when you opt for a poor sleep position. For instance, you may wake up with back pain after sleeping on your stomach because it causes the natural curve of your spine to flatten. Doctors usually recommend sleeping on the side or on your back. However, if sleeping on the stomach gives you a comfy sleep, try to place a thin pillow under the pelvis for some relief. And, if you are experiencing back pain after sleeping on your side, try to place a pillow between your knees. This will help take some pressure off the spine

Bad mattress

It is time to check your mattress if you have ruled out your sleeping position. If you are still using an old mattress, it could be why you are waking up with back pain. So, it may be your sign to look for a new mattress. In fact, a study published in 2009 showed how switching your nine-year-old mattress to a new one could significantly improve your sleep quality. You can also look for mattresses designed for extra back comfort or an orthopaedic mattress. 


For pregnant women, back pain is a common symptom. In fact, some women start experiencing back pain as early as eight weeks. But the severity goes up between the fifth and seventh month. This is because carrying your little one can strain the back because of the weight. And back pain after sleeping during pregnancy can be because of stiffness and muscle tightness. To combat this pain, try mild stretches and always use your leg to stand up rather than putting pressure on your back, as this can help you get rid of the discomfort

Disc degeneration

Disc degeneration disease is when one or more discs in your back become slightly weak. It is a condition that occurs as you age because of wear and tear on your body. Disc degeneration disease can cause extreme pain and discomfort. It can usually be worse in the morning. However, with the right treatment, it can be a manageable condition. Your doctor may prescribe steroid injections or pain medication. A brace for back support may also be prescribed if the pain worsens. Some of the symptoms of this condition include;

  • Affects the lower back 
  • It may come and go for a few months 
  • The pain can become worse when you bend or twist 
  • The pain can travel from the neck to the arms 
  • It can become worse from sitting 


It is a condition that causes extreme musculoskeletal pain. The pain occurs because your brain is unable to process the signals correctly. This condition is more common in women than in men. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition include;

  • Restless sleep 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Memory issues
  • Altered moods 
  • Tension headaches 

There is no cure for the condition. However, with the right treatment plan, you can manage the symptoms to a great extent

Medical Condition for Back Pain

Some of the medical conditions responsible for back pain include;

Herniated Disc

A herniated disk is a problem in one of the discs between the spine’s bones, leading to pain, numbness, and even weakness in one arm or leg. It can also lead to lower back pain. 

Inflammatory Back Pain

Inflammatory Back Pain is a condition where the pain becomes localised in the spinal area and sacroiliac joints. It can be why you feel upper back pain after sleeping. It is a chronic condition that can be rectified with the help of the right treatment. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis

It is an inflammatory condition that leads to the bone in the spine fusing together. This condition makes the spine less flexible and may result in a hunched posture. While there is no cure for this condition, with the right treatment, symptoms can be managed significantly. Some of the symptoms of this condition include; 

  • Pain between the pelvis and the spine 
  • The vertebrae in the lower back get affected 
  • Pain in hips and joints
  • Sometimes, there may be pain in the back of the heel

Spinal Stenosis

When the space inside the backbone becomes significantly less, it is known as spinal stenosis. It is a condition that can put extreme pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves that travel in the same route. While some people experience no symptoms, others go through extreme pain, tingling sensation, numbness, and even muscle weakness. The treatment for the condition can depend on the severity of the condition. It can include medication, physical therapy, and also surgery. 

Sleep Tips and Treatment for Back Pain Relief

Sometimes, with the help of some tips and home treatment plans, managing your back pain can become easier. So, let’s take a look at them.

Change the way you sleep

As mentioned earlier, your sleeping position can be the main culprit here. So, try to change the way you sleep and see if it works for you. Sleeping on your side with a thin pillow tucked between your legs can help you. 

Align your spine with a pillow

You can place a pillow under the stomach, or your pelvis to maintain better spine alignment. And if you are a stomach sleeper, try sleeping without a pillow for better sleep

Get treatment for sleep disorders

Sometimes, lower back pain can be because of sleep disorders. Therefore, it is best to identify the disorder and seek the right treatment as sleep disorders can cause underlying medical conditions

Get help from a chiropractor

A chiropractor can help you make the necessary spine and joint adjustments to get the required relief. They can also help you with back pain after sleeping on the floor. So, don’t hesitate to visit a chiropractor.

Stretches in bed

Instead of getting out of bed as soon as you wake up, try stretching to help prevent any morning lower back pain. For example, you can simply lie on your back and do a full-body stretch as soon as you are up. 


Planks can help build your core strength and toughen up the spine. You can do them during your workouts or in the morning. Here, 

  • First, lie down on the floor on your stomach
  • Push yourself on your toes and forearms 
  • Don’t let your stomach sink and maintain a straight elevated line between your toes, hips, back and neck. 
  • Hold it for a few seconds 


Yoga can be super beneficial to manage your lower back pain, and for back pain, you can always try the mini-cobra pose. For this,

  • Lie down on your stomach 
  • Keep your palms under the shoulders
  • Your elbows and forearms should be close to your body 
  • Slowly push yourself up with a straight neck
  • Hold it for a few seconds 

This can also help you relieve back pain after sleeping on a couch.

Knee bends

A simple knee-to-chest exercise is all you need to get rid of that lower back pain. Here,

  • Lie on your back
  • Now, push your one knee towards the chest and, using both hands, pull it gently towards the chest
  • Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Repeat it with the other knee 
  • Do it three times for each leg

Get exercise throughout the day

Regular exercises, such as walking, swimming or biking, can treat your lower back pain. However, it is always better to consult your doctor if the pain is too severe. 

OTC medications

Over-the-counter medications are available to provide relief from pain. However, speaking with your doctor before administering any medication is important. 

Choosing a Mattress That Can Help With Back Pain

According to research, sleeping on a medium-firm mattress can be beneficial for lower back pain. Therefore, try investing in a new mattress to relieve lower back pain.

When to See A Doctor?

You must visit a doctor if your back pain doesn’t go down even after trying all the tips and treatment methods. Back pain can be a symptom of other health conditions. Therefore, one must not neglect recurrent pain. 


How do I know if my mattress is causing my back pain?

If your mattress is too soft or older than nine years, it can be the reason for your back pain. 

How do I know if my back pain is serious?

If you don’t see a change in the condition or it is deteriorating even after trying any home remedies, speaking to your doctor is necessary. 

What disease causes back pain?

You can take a look at all the medical conditions that lead to back pain in the above article. 

How can I tell if my back pain is kidney related?

It can be related to kidneys if you notice;

  • Constant dull back ache 
  • Pain in your sides, near the rib cage or abdomen 
  • Sharp and severe pain 
  • Nausea or vomiting

How do you know if back pain is muscular or spinal?

Muscle pain will feel like soreness that you experience after a workout, whereas spinal pain may feel tingly


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Written by

Arun Das
Content Writer
With a Master's Degree in Mass Communication and nearly two decades of professional expertise in crafting healthcare articles, he possesses a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field.

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