Five Simple Positions to Lay in to Relieve Stomach Pain

Five Simple Positions to Lay in to Relieve Stomach Pain

Digestive issues and stomach pain are unfortunately too common, and they interfere with your daily life much more than you’d want. Knowing the perfect positions to lay in to relieve stomach pain, among other things, could be helpful. Here’s everything you need to know about how to sleep with stomach pain and digestive issues!

Sleep and Gut Health

Sleep makes everything better. Getting enough good rest will affect your overall health, including your gut. Skipping on a good night’s rest will push your body to produce more inflammatory hormones, increase your cravings for sugary and fast foods, and slow you down. All this, in return, can harm your digestive system and cause pain, bloating, gas, and even constipation. And even if sleep isn’t the leading cause of your gut issues, it can make everything better or worse.

Left-Side Sleeping and Digestion Benefits

Currently, there isn’t any clinical evidence highlighting which side to sleep on for digestion. However, where your stomach is located may provide some helpful hints. Since your stomach is located on your left-hand side, it’s suggested this is the best side to sleep on for digestion. Gravity will also play a role in this and help the waste travel out of your intestines much more effectively.

Sleeping on Your Left Side With a Pillow Between Your Legs

Trying to find a sleeping position for stomach pain can seem difficult, and it’s been shown that sleeping on your left side with a pillow between your legs could be helpful. Alongside possibly being the best sleeping position for stomach pain, there can be several benefits to this. The pillow will keep your spine better aligned, which will ease the weight on your knees and other joints, resulting in more comfort when you’re sleeping.

Side Sleeping Benefits

Alongside possibly being the best sleeping position for digestion, there can be multiple benefits to sleeping on your side. The most notable include:

Side Sleeping Cons

While sleeping on your side can be recommended for alleviating digestive issues, it does come with some negative points, the most severe of them being the misalignment of the spine and other areas. You’ll need to have a firm and responsive pillow to combat this. It’s also recommended that you have a pillow placed between your legs to align your spine better.

Another negative, though it’s relatively minor, is that sleeping on your side could cause wrinkles. As parts of your face will be pressed against the pillow, the pressure may end up forming wrinkles and fine lines.

Sleeping on the Back

If you don’t know how to sleep with a stomach ache, then you could miss out on a lot of sleep, and sleeping on the back could be another good position for this problem. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping on the back is the best position for almost any type of pain. This is because your weight distributes evenly when you lay on your back, thus alleviating pressure from your shoulders and hips. Combined with a high-quality mattress, this position provides maximum relaxation. And, the more relaxed you are, the lower your chances of inflammation and pain.

Sleeping on Your Back With a Pillow Under Your Knees

When you’re figuring out how to lay when your stomach hurts, you might assume that sleeping on your back would be the best option since it’ll flatten out the curve in your back and relax you. And as we mentioned, the more relaxed you are, the more rest you’ll get. However, if your mattress doesn’t provide enough support for your back, you could put a pillow under your knees to raise your legs just slightly and achieve the best position for stomach pain.

Sleeping on Your Back With Your Head Raised

While sleeping on the back is one of the top positions to lay in to relieve stomach pain, it could do more harm than good if you have acid reflux or snore. Getting acid reflux while sleeping on your back can be beyond unpleasant since the acid can go up to your throat very easily. In the same way, sleeping flat on your back with snoring and sinus conditions can do more harm than good.

Luckily, pillows are again the solution. Elevating your head with pillows will clear your sinuses and reduce the snoring, and the acid can’t move against gravity.

Sleeping on the Back Benefits

Sleeping on your back also offers several benefits, including:

  • taking the pressure off of your shoulder and hips
  • keeping your back in a stable position
  • lowering your chances of experiencing pain
  • preventing wrinkles
  • reducing teeth grinding and jaw clenching

If you’re still wondering what side do you lay on when your stomach hurts, you may want to think about laying on your back.

Sleeping on the Back Cons

As we mentioned, sleeping on the back could be unpleasant if you have acid reflux, snoring, and sinus conditions, but you can easily fix the issue with a couple of pillows.

Avoid Sleeping on the Stomach

It may not come as a surprise, but sleeping on your stomach is not the best position for digestion issues or stomach pain. There are multiple reasons sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended, and the most common ones include:

  • It’s challenging to keep your spine aligned, which may cause back and neck pain.
  • Placing your head to one side could strain your neck and lead to even more pain and issues.
  • If you keep them under your pillow, you can develop numbness, tingling, pain, and even long-term issues in your arms.

That’s why when you’re figuring out how to sleep with an upset stomach, it’s recommended that you avoid laying on your stomach.

The Bottom Line

Digestion and stomach problems are never easy to deal with. Knowing what side to lay on when your stomach hurts will help you avoid further issues. Depending on the issue itself, that could be either your back or your left-hand side. Which side you’ll lay on depends on your needs and habits. Just remember that strategically placed pillows can make almost any position more comfortable.


Does lying on your right side help digestion?

While your right-hand side could offer benefits, it doesn’t seem to be the better option. Your left-hand side could be the best position to relieve gas and help with any other gut issues. Making sure you have high-quality pillows for this is recommended, and they’ll make a huge difference.

Does lying on your left side help relieve gas?

Lying on your left-hand side is one of the best sleeping positions to relieve gas and stomach pain. It lets waste and other materials travel through your digestive system much more effectively, and that alone makes it one of the better positions to relieve gas and digestive issues. You might want to place a pillow between your knees to make sure that your spine is aligned.

How can I improve my digestion while sleeping?

The easiest way to tackle this is to know the perfect positions to lay in to relieve stomach pain. That could depend significantly on what kind of discomfort you suffer from, but sleeping on your side or back seems to be the best option.

Table of Contents
Sleep and Gut Health Left-Side Sleeping and Digestion Benefits Sleeping on the Back Avoid Sleeping on the Stomach The Bottom Line
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