Spondy Back Pain And Sleeping

I have heard time and time again that sleeping with a spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis can be very difficult mainly due to the inability to find a comfortable position.

I have personally struggled with this in the past during my worst flare ups and I have also talked to others who have run across the same problem.

If you are like me and spend most of your time sleeping on your stomach I ran across this helpful video on Bret Contreras’s website that may help you.  Bret is a very smart guy and contributes a ton of quality content on the lower body, hips, pelvis and especially the glutes.

Make sure to check out this blog post he has titled “A Simple Tip for Alleviating Low Back Pain While Sleeping on Your Stomach”.  He also shows a video of a simple movement that may help you before settling in for the night.

I encourage you to visit the link and check out this informative article and video. It may just be the tip you need to help find a restful night’s sleep.

While you are here, please chime in below and let me know if you sleep on your back or stomach? Also, does your spondy pain prevent you from getting a good night’s rest? I look forward to hearing your comments!

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Leave A Reply (8 comments so far)


  1. Martha
    3 years ago

    I have a grade 1 spondy at L3-L4; With bulging disc, a disc with annular tears, and a fully herniated disc. MRI’s used to diagnose. Not much in way of nerve symptoms from discs. I sleep on my stomach with one leg pulled up knee along side and the other leg stretched out behind. I have a hard time getting comfortable, and wake up due to pain through out the night . I have tried to else on back and can’t get comfortable that way due to pain also.


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Martha.

      Thank you for your story. It sounds like you have a lot more going on than just a spondy. The bulging disc, annualar tears and herniation is certainly contributing to your discomfort. Have you had a chance to go through any kind of rehab for help with this pain? It is hard to comment with any suggestions due to the multiple conditions you currently have. My one recommendation would be to discuss with a rehab professional (or your doctor) your specific conditions and try to target what is leading to the most pain. Then you can aim to improve what may be leading to the discomfort, thus allowing you a little comfort when you sleep. Thanks again and best of luck!


  2. Martha
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your response. I am working with a chiropractor and a PT. The PT believes that my pain and discomfort is due to the spondy. I have had a good response with PT work am back to crossfit training 4-5 days per week. I modify these workouts accordingly (work from positions of high stability, no cleans for example, front squats instead of back squats, working on good technique, movement, bracing, limit speed, etc) and do a lot of soft tissue mobilization work on butt/gut/QL/legs.
    I can typically fall asleep with a pillow under me, but usually move too much to keep in a good position. I have 9-10 pillows in a cage match with me at night…
    Thank you!


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      No problem Martha! I sent you an email with information that may help you. Thanks again and best of luck!


  3. Francois
    3 years ago

    Hi, i have also a grade 1 spondy on L4-L5 degenerative and L5 is spino-bifida, spondy caused by an accident. I never got an MRI and it’s very hard in my hometown to get some good advice on this subject, with a minimum of avrg 1 year to get to a specialist. I was a welder for 17 years until lately i had to quit my job, because my back is not strong enough anymore and i had to much pain.(Now i got to find a job that wont hurt to much…hard to do after 17 yrs in same domain). Very hard for me to sleep, best for me is to sleep on my left side, with my left leg strait and my right leg bend, with a pillow under my right knee to support the weight of the leg. But i still wake up every time i change position in my sleep, and i move i lot when i sleep….

    Have a good day


    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Francois. Thanks for commenting and I am sorry to hear about your accident. I hope our site can provide you with some quality spondy information to help you along the way. Thanks for sharing your story.


  4. Melinda Sablan
    1 year ago

    I was sleeping only 2 hr a night due to pain in both hips & lower back. On about night 4 I’d be so exhausted I’d sleep about 6 hrs & then back to my 2 hours of sleep. My doctor finally had me do a MRI & we found that L4 slipped off of L5. Grade 2/3. I’m finally sleeping. Lidocaine patches work great. Also, I lay on my back, legs elevated up on pillows, heating pad under my lower back, a pillow under each arm.


    • SpondyInfo
      1 year ago

      Thanks for sharing Melinda!

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