Why We Sleep

How to Fall Asleep On Your Back

How to Fall Asleep On Your Back

Many people struggle with falling asleep, and while there are numerous factors that can contribute to this, perhaps one of the most overlooked is sleep position. While sleeping on your back may not be the most popular sleep position, it can provide many benefits, including reducing back and neck pain and minimizing wrinkles. However, it can be challenging to transition to sleeping on your back, especially if you are accustomed to sleeping in other positions. Lets discuss the reasons and benefits of sleeping on your back and how to do so comfortably.

Benefits of Sleeping on Your Back

  1. Spinal Alignment

Sleeping on your back helps keep your spine in a neutral position, which promotes proper alignment and can reduce back and neck pain. When you sleep on your side, your spine can twist, which can cause discomfort and affect your posture.

2. Reducing Wrinkles and Acne

Sleeping on your back can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and acne, especially on the face. When you sleep on your side or stomach, the skin can be pushed and pulled, leading to the formation of wrinkles and breakouts. By sleeping on your back, you are minimizing this pressure and preserving your skin health.

3. Reducing Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Acid reflux and heartburn can be uncomfortable and disruptive to your sleep. Sleeping on your back can help reduce the symptoms by allowing gravity to keep stomach acid down and away from your esophagus. If you frequently experience acid reflux or heartburn, sleeping on your back could be beneficial.

4. Minimizes Snoring

Snoring can be a nuisance for both you and your partner. Sleeping on your back can help reduce snoring by allowing air to move freely through your airways. When you sleep on your side or stomach, your airways can collapse, leading to snoring.

5. Promotes Better Breathing and Circulation

Sleeping on your back can promote better breathing and circulation. By sleeping with your head and neck elevated, you allow more oxygen to flow through your body, which promotes better circulation and improved breathing.

6. Facilitates Digestion

When you sleep on your back, your stomach is positioned below your esophagus, allowing gravity to help move food through your digestive system more efficiently. This can help improve digestion and prevent discomfort.

7. Reduces Pressure Points

Sleeping on your back can help reduce pressure points on your body, including your shoulders, hips, and back. By distributing your weight evenly on your mattress, you can reduce discomfort and pressure on these points.

However, despite the many benefits of sleeping on your back, some people find it challenging to fall asleep in this position. If you are one of them, don't worry; the following tips can help you train your body to sleep on your back.

Tip #1: Invest in the Right Pillow

Having the right pillow can make a world of difference in your ability to fall asleep on your back. A pillow that is too flat or too high can cause neck pain, making it difficult to get comfortable in this position. The ideal pillow should provide adequate support to your neck and head, keeping them aligned with your spine.

Consider investing in a pillow specifically designed for back sleepers. These pillows are often contoured to fit the natural curve of your neck and head and offer additional support to keep you comfortable throughout the night.

Tip #2: Use a Supportive Mattress

Similar to having the right pillow, having a supportive mattress is also crucial when it comes to sleeping on your back. A mattress that is too soft or too firm can cause back pain, making it difficult to get comfortable in this position.

Consider investing in a medium-firm mattress that can provide the right amount of support to your back and keep your spine aligned. Additionally, if you have a partner who prefers a different sleeping position, consider purchasing a mattress with adjustable firmness on each side to keep you both comfortable.

Tip #3: Start Small

If you are used to sleeping on your side or stomach, it may take some time to train your body to sleep on your back. Instead of trying to switch to this position all at once, start small by spending a few minutes each night lying on your back.

Gradually increase the amount of time you spend in this position each night, giving your body time to adjust to the new sleeping position. This will help make the transition to sleeping on your back easier and more comfortable.

Tip #4: Elevate Your Head

If you are finding it difficult to fall asleep on your back, try elevating your head slightly. This can help prevent snoring and reduce the chances of developing acid reflux, making it easier to fall asleep.

You can achieve this by using a wedge pillow or propping up your head with additional pillows. However, it is important not to elevate your head too much, as this can cause neck pain and discomfort.

Tip #5: Practice Relaxation Techniques

If you are finding it difficult to fall asleep on your back due to stress or anxiety, practicing relaxation techniques can help.

Mindfulness meditation, a technique that involves focusing on the present moment and your thoughts and feelings without judgment, can help you transition to sleeping on your back. This practice helps reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, making sleeping on your back more comfortable.

Yoga and stretching before bed can help relax your body and mind. Progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises can also aid in reducing muscle tension and help you feel more relaxed and at peace.

Try incorporating these techniques into your bedtime routine, allowing your mind and body to relax and prepare for a peaceful night's sleep on your back.

Tip #6: Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Consuming caffeine or alcohol before bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep on your back. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake, while alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns, making it difficult to get comfortable in any position.

Caffeine can be found in many different drinks and foods, including coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate. It is important to avoid consuming caffeine at least a few hours before bedtime to allow your body to relax and prepare for sleep.

Alcohol, on the other hand, may initially make you feel drowsy, but it can cause disruptions in your sleep patterns. These disruptions can prevent you from falling into a deep, restful sleep and may cause you to wake up frequently throughout the night. It is best to avoid consuming alcohol before bed to ensure a restful night's sleep.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep on your back, avoiding caffeine and alcohol may be the solution you need. By eliminating these substances from your bedtime routine, you can prepare your body for a peaceful night's sleep on your back.

Tip #7: Sleep routine and environment

Establishing a sleep schedule and sticking to it can help train your body to fall asleep on its back. Develop a routine you can follow every night, which signals to your body that it's time to wind down and relax.

Ensure that your sleep environment is conducive to good sleep hygiene. It should be dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature so that your body can stay relaxed throughout the night.


Transitioning to a new sleep position can take time and patience. Sleeping on your back is an excellent way to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. Don't give up if you find yourself unable to fall asleep on your back the first few nights. Keep working on developing the habit. Using the tips mentioned, developing healthy sleep habits, investing in proper sleep equipment can help you achieve better sleep on your back.

If you're still struggling with falling asleep, you may need to seek advice from a medical professional who can offer more specific solutions tailored to your unique situation. Never hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Why We Sleep.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.