Sleeping Positions To Relieve Gas: Top 5 Effective Ones

Heather Freudenthal
Dr. Maya Frankfurt, PhD
Gas can be relieved by stretching, making dietary changes, and sleeping correctly. Learn the best sleeping positions to relieve gas.
sleeping positions to relieve gas
Uncover the best sleeping positions to reduce gas and bloating. Photo: Shutterstock

When gas strikes, it can be painful and uncomfortable, and it doesn’t always strike during the day. Having trapped gas at night can negatively impact health if it disrupts your sleep on a regular basis. To reduce gas pains at night, you can stretch before bed, drink bloat-reducing teas, such as fennel tea,[1] and position your body during sleep in a way that allows gas to pass more easily.

In this article, we cover five sleeping positions to relieve gas that you can try starting tonight! Experiment with each position to see if you notice a difference in the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you wake up in the morning.

5 Sleeping Positions To Relieve Gas

In addition to adjusting your diet and exercise routine, you can help relieve gas by changing the position you sleep in each night. Experiment with these five sleeping positions that can help alleviate bloating, gas, and discomfort:

  • On the left.
  • On the side with a pillow between your legs.
  • On the back.
  • On the back with a pillow under your knees.
  • On the back with your head and torso elevated.

Positions To Relieve Gas While Sleeping

sleeping positions to relieve gas
Position yourself so that gas moves out of your body. Photo: Shutterstock

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On The Left

One of the best sleeping positions to relieve gas is choosing your left side over your right. Laying on your left side with your legs slightly bent or stretched out can help digestion move in the correct direction (downward) smoothly, which can prevent gas from building up.

Sleeping on your left side may be particularly helpful to relieve symptoms of acid reflux.[2] This is due largely to gravity and the angle of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that separates the stomach and esophagus. By sleeping on your left side, you allow food to move downward through the digestive tract and decrease the chances of the stomach contents rising back up.

On The Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs

Adding a pillow between your legs while laying on your side can be an upgraded sleeping position for many individuals. When you sleep with a pillow between your legs, your hips and pelvis are more aligned, bringing better alignment to the body as a whole. When the body is better aligned, digestion can run more efficiently.

Sleeping with a pillow between your legs is also extremely comfortable and may be a great position to relieve gas for pregnant women who have trouble sleeping in other positions. This position may also be beneficial for postpartum gas relief.

On The Back

Though many people prefer sleeping on their stomachs, sleeping on your back is a tried and true sleeping position that can help alleviate gas.

Rather than sleeping in a fetal position in which your body is folded, or in a position in which you are face-down on the mattress, sleeping on your back allows your body to be fully stretched out while facing upwards, with a clear passageway for excess gas to escape through the mouth.

On The Back With A Pillow Under Your Knees

An even better version of sleeping on your back is placing a pillow under your knees to elevate your legs slightly. This position can offer gas relief for many individuals.

When your knees and legs are slightly elevated, you achieve better spinal alignment. With better spinal alignment comes better overall body alignment, and gas can move more easily out of the body.

On The Back With Your Head & Torso Elevated

One way to have freedom from gas pain is to sleep on your back but to keep your head and torso elevated. Similar to how sleeping on the left side can help reduce episodes of acid reflux, keeping your head elevated allows you to work with gravity so that food and stomach acid don’t rise back up. This can help reduce the incidence of gas pains that may be associated with reflux.

Use a pillow to prop your head and torso up six inches above the bed. This allows food and stomach acid to stay lower down and encourages better digestion flow.

Try to avoid laying down for several hours after eating. Undigested food is more likely to flow back up. If you must lay down right after eating, use a pillow to prop up your head and torso.

How Sleeping Positions Impact Gut Health & Digestion

Sleep is an integral component of gut health. It’s essential to find the best position to sleep in for your body so that you are getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Sleep impacts gut health, and gut health impacts sleep.

One way sleep impacts gut health is by increasing healthy gut microbial diversity,[3] which has positive impacts on overall well-being. Conversely, experiencing inconsistent sleeping patterns can lead to an imbalance of bacteria, in which bad bacteria[4] outnumber good bacteria.

Poor sleep can also contribute to gastrointestinal disorders,[5] such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The specific position you choose to sleep in makes a difference. If you choose a sleeping position in which your body is tight or closed off, you block off the ability of gas to pass out of the body. Trapped gas can cause interruptions in sleep which can disturb optimal gut function. Also, sleep deprivation[6] can worsen gastrointestinal symptoms.

If gas or bloating is keeping you awake or interfering with your ability to achieve restful sleep, it is important to address any underlying medical conditions, such as GERD, IBS, or IBD, or dietary imbalances that could be causing the gas. This will allow your digestive system to function better and for your sleep and overall health to improve.


Trapped gas can cause abdominal pain and discomfort and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. However, you can take back control by adjusting how you sleep so that intestinal gas can pass out of the body more easily and allow you to sleep better.

Sleeping on your back, with or without your legs propped up with pillows is one way to align the body so that it can rid itself of gas more easily. Sleeping on your left side is another way to decrease gas and reduce acid reflux. You may wish to add a pillow between your legs while sleeping or prop your head up. Experiment to find the best sleeping position for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you sleep to release trapped gas?

There are several sleep positions that help release trapped gas. placing the body in different positions, heights, and angles can encourage gas to move out of the body comfortably. Some of these positions include sleeping on your back, sleeping with your knees elevated, and placing a pillow in between your legs while laying on your left side.

How long can trapped gas last?

Trapped gas can remain in the body for a few hours. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the reason for the gas. For example, if you continually eat foods that give you gas, you may continue to feel gas for the duration of time you are consuming those foods. Adopting a debloating diet, sleeping in certain positions, and moving your body can help move gas out of the body faster.

How do you know if you have trapped gas?

Gas can feel like an aching or sharp stomach pain, a feeling of fullness, pressure, or “knots” in your stomach. Some people may also experience a protruded abdomen. All of these are all indications that you could have trapped gas that needs to be released. If you pass gas and feel better, that is also a good indicator that you had trapped gas.

Which side should I sleep to avoid gas?

Sleeping on your left side is the better side to sleep on to avoid not only gas, but symptoms of acid reflux, as well. Due to the angle of the lower esophageal sphincter, sleeping on the left side helps encourage digestion in the correct, downward direction.


  1. Soňa Škrovánková, Ladislava Mišurcová and Ludmila Machů (2012). Antioxidant Activity and Protecting Health Effects of Common Medicinal Plants. Advances in food and nutrition research, [online] pp.75–139. doi:
  2. Person, E., Rife, C., Freeman, J., Clark, A.J. and Castell, D.O. (2015). A Novel Sleep Positioning Device Reduces Gastroesophageal Reflux. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, [online] 49(8), pp.655–659. doi:
  3. Smith, R.P., Easson, C.G., Lyle, S.M., Kapoor, R., Donnelly, C.P., Davidson, E.J., Parikh, E., Lopez, J.V. and Tartar, J.L. (2019). Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans. PLOS ONE, [online] 14(10), pp.e0222394–e0222394. doi:
  4. ScienceDaily. (2023). Irregular sleep patterns associated with harmful gut bacteria. [online] Available at:
  5. Orr, W.C., Fass, R., Sundaram, S.S. and Scheimann, A.O. (2020). The effect of sleep on gastrointestinal functioning in common digestive diseases. The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, [online] 5(6), pp.616–624. doi:
  6. Anon, (2023). Sleep deprivation. [online] Available at:

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