Researchers have long linked back pain and sleeping disorders. New data suggests a two-way relationship that can be mutually reinforcing. Pain can be a significant impediment that makes it difficult for many of us to relax, eventually resulting in sleepless nights.
Additionally, patients who have sleep issues are more likely to develop discomfort or experience worse pain. Sleep deprivation can inhibit healing, alter our mood in a way that increases pain sensitivity, or disrupt chemicals in the brain involved in how we feel pain.
Another link between sleep and lower back pain is the effect of sleeping posture on our spinal alignment. While posture is commonly associated with sitting and standing, it is also essential when lying down. A sleeping posture that twists, contorts, or puts pressure on the lumbar spine may cause pain and stiffness. This usually gets worse in the morning, and it can last all day.
If you are looking for ways to ease the curse of back pain, try some of these suggestions to make sleeping a tad better.
1. Find the proper sleeping position
Certain sleeping positions can put tremendous pressure on the spine, hips, and back, causing back pain. Luckily, finding the correct sleeping position will help relieve that, too.
It is essential to keep the standard curve of the spine. To do that, make sure that your head, shoulders, and hips are all coordinated and that your back is well supported.
- On your side: You can relieve back pain by making minor adjustments to your sleeping posture. For example, drawing your knees up gently against your shoulders and placing a pillow between your legs can give you more comfort while sleeping. The pad acts as a support to lift your upper leg, bringing the hips, pelvis, and spine to their normal alignment.
- On your back: Placing a cushion under your knees helps support the natural curve of your lower back. For added protection, place a thin, folded towel under the small of your back. Don’t forget to support your neck as well by placing a pillow under it. Sleeping on your back is the best position for your spine. However, it’s not recommended for those who snore a lot, are pregnant, and have sleep apnea.
- On your stomach: Sleeping on your stomach can be very taxing for your back. However, if you can’t sleep any other way, placing a pillow under your pelvis, lower abdomen, and under your chin can help relieve the pressure on your back. If that gives you trouble breathing, try sleeping without a pillow behind your cheek.
2. Mattress matters
A good mattress should be well constructed, safe, and secure. While some people agree that a solid bed is healthier for their backs, research has found that a medium-firm mattress is ideal for those who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Another factor that needs consideration is the person’s body shape and size. These will help you get the correct type of mattress you need. For example, if your hips are wider than your waist, a soft, comfortable mattress will be beneficial because it will keep your spine straight when you sleep. On the other hand, if they are aligned, a firmer mattress is better because it provides more protection.
3. Be gentle with your movements
It may seem self-evident, but being extra cautious when getting in and out of bed can prevent back pain. Making short, sudden, and jerky movements can exacerbate your back pain. Be more gentle with your body by carefully lifting yourself up with your arms and knees as you roll over onto one side.
4. Physical exercise
Increasing your physical activity regularly is an excellent way to boost the consistency of your sleep. Doing specific workouts to strengthen your core muscles will also help relieve back pain. Building muscle strength will help you from straining your back and having muscle spasms while sleeping. For example, planking and yoga help reduce back pain and stress, helping you sleep better.
Back pain can quickly turn a difficult day into a nightmare. Finding the best technique that works is anyone with back pain’s pot of gold. However, keep in mind that you can find ways to alleviate this discomfort. If your back pain is causing you sleepless nights and unbearable agony that may be a result of a fall, injury, or infection, it’s best to consult a professional, such as a scoliosis expert, an orthopedic doctor, or a therapist, to diagnose you properly, as it could be a sign of a more severe case.