How to Sleep With a Herniated Disc

woman sleeping on bed

Having a herniated disc can cause slight disruptions in your sleeping patterns. The best way to manage those symptoms is to change up how you sleep to relieve any pain. 

Here at OrthoBethesda, we provide you with the solutions you need to have a comfortable slumber, even with a herniated disc. 

Best Sleeping Positions for Herniated Discs

Some resting body positions are better than others when you’re contending with a herniated disc. Try these suggestions to find the posture that provides you with the most relaxation. 

1. Side Sleeping With a Pillow Between Your Knees

You can adjust your pillow and your knees in a couple of ways to bring relief. Gently move to your right or left side, and place a pillow between your legs. You can also roll on your back and put a soft cushion underneath your knees. Either choice works to help keep the curve of your spine in a natural position. 

2. Stomach Sleepers

While stomach sleeping is generally less than optimal for back pain sufferers, there are ways to make it work if you find that lying on your stomach is more comfortable for you. Place a pillow beneath you and move it until it supports your abdomen. Depending on how you feel, you may not need to add a cushion for your head. 

3. Fetal Position

The fetal position opens up the vertebrae on your back and allows you to fall asleep more easily. Do this by lying on either side, curling your body and tucking your knees closer to your chest. 

4. Reclining Your Back

Try resting on your bed as you would in a reclining chair. Maintaining this posture creates an angle between your trunk and your legs. 

Herniated disc pain is often worse at night, but with the right knowledge, you can choose sleeping positions that soothe your symptoms.

Why Your Pillow and Mattress Matters

Many people wonder if sleeping on the floor is good for a herniated disc. Luckily, thanks to today’s treatment options, this extreme is unnecessary. There are many other selections for comfy mattresses and pillows that can minimize herniated disc pain:

  • Wedge cushions: This shape is perfect when you need to lie in a reclining posture. 
  • Adjustable mattresses: Some beds have remotes that let you move portions of the mattress up and down. This tool can be helpful if you have a specific point on your body that needs attention.
  • Body pillows: If you’re a stomach sleeper, hugging a body pillow against you as you rest on your side can replicate having pressure on your front without causing back pain.
  • Firm mattresses: Proper spine alignment is crucial as you heal, and having a medium-firm mattress gives you a sturdy surface to help promote good sleep positions.

Having a herniated disc doesn’t mean sleeping on the floor. Talk with the team at OrthoBethesda to create a sleep plan that gives you relief. 

Treat Your Herniated Disc Pain With Help From OrthoBethesda

If you’re wondering how to sleep with a herniated disc in your neck or further down your back, OrthoBethesda can help. We treat you like family by giving you the attention and care you deserve. Reach out today to schedule an appointment with our orthopedic professionals!