Sleep is critical to your health and overall sense of wellbeing. But getting enough sleep may be easier said than done if you are experiencing nocturnal back pain. Chronic middle back pain while sleeping can disrupt your sleep enough to affect not just your nights, but your days as well. Keep reading for tips on how to manage or even eliminate middle back pain while sleeping.

What causes middle back pain while sleeping?

Your middle back is also referred to as the thoracic region. It roughly encompasses the area from the base of your neck to just below your ribcage, and includes the space between your shoulder blades.

Middle back pain at night is sometimes caused by something simple, such as bad posture or twisting too quickly. In these cases, the pain is usually temporary and you’ll find relief fairly easily with proper care and patience. In other cases, however, back pain has a more serious cause that will require professional intervention.

Middle back pain while sleeping may not be as widely discussed as other kinds of nocturnal back pain, but it can be just as distressing and must be taken just as seriously. Here are the major causes of middle back pain while sleeping.

Poor posture during the day

Much has been made about the amount of time people spend sitting — whether in the car, at work, or in front of a screen — and the effects this can have on your health and lifespan. But it’s not just sitting itself that can impact your life; it’s also the way you sit.

Spending prolonged periods of time leaning forward or hunching over can strain your back, leading to pain throughout your neck, shoulders, and back.


Arthritis is a very common cause of joint pain. Mostly affecting older individuals, it is characterized by:

  • Joint swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Loss of range of motion

In addition to the pain and discomfort caused by the arthritis itself, arthritis can make you more susceptible to injury as well.


Back injuries run the gamut from minor to life-changing.

In cases of minor injuries, such as those caused by improper lifting technique or turning the wrong way, your pain will likely go away by itself within days or weeks. But if the injury is serious enough, it can lead to long-term problems, including chronic pain.

Herniated or bulging disc

You have discs all along your spine in between each pair of vertebrae. Each disc is filled with a jelly-like substance that keeps your backbones from grinding against each other when you move.

A herniated disc occurs when one of the discs breaks open. A