Is back pain keeping you up at night? If so, you’re not alone.
Studies show that millions of Americans are missing out on a good night’s sleep due to chronic back pain.
Obviously, getting rid of chronic back pain is the best way to get back to normal sleep. However this is not always possible to do right away… especially when you can’t even get the rest you need!
If you can’t sleep because of back pain, it’s important to prevent a vicious cycle of insomnia that can cause your back pain to become worse.
You can help ease your back pain and prevent long term problems by making a few simple changes in your lifestyle to help ensure a good night’s sleep.
#1 Establish a bedtime routine for relaxation
Establish a bedtime routine and try to stick to it. Your routine could include the following: take a warm bath or shower, put on something comfortable, brush your teeth, set your alarm clock, and play soothing music.
Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation. Sleep with the lights off and eliminate as many other sources of light as possible. Avoid reading, working, and watching TV in bed. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature, not too warm and not too cold.
Eliminate caffeine and alcohol before bed. Even small amounts can cause insomnia or impair the quality of your sleep. A heavy meal or even a snack right before bed can cause indigestion or acid reflux, keeping you awake well into the night.
#2 Choose a comfortable sleep surface
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a mattress, but you should be selective. After all, you will spend a large portion on your life sleeping on it.
While a mattress can be too firm, sleeping on a sagging mattress is a big contributor to back pain. One simple and inexpensive fix until you can replace your mattress is to place a folded towel under your hips to give your body that needed extra support.
Studies show that most people sleep best on a medium-firm mattress. But it is most important that you choose a mattress that is comfortable for you.
Selecting the right pillow is also critically important to support your neck properly. Overstuffed or multiple pillows can aggravate back and neck pain and should be avoided. The goal is to pick a pillow that allows your neck to maintain a neutral posture while in your favored sleeping position.
#3 Find the right sleep position for you
Your main cause of back pain while sleeping could be your sleep position itself.
If you are like most people, you sleep on your side. However, this position can leave your upper leg unsupported causing your lower spine to rotate. You can prevent hip or back pain by placing a pillow between your knees and thighs.
When sleeping on your back place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back. Roll a small towel and place it under the small of your back for extra support. Use a thinner pillow to support your neck without pushing it too far forward.
Sleeping on your abdomen tend to be hardest on your back. You can reduce strain on your back by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen.
Your physical condition can determine the position that is best for you. Sleeping on your back with a pillow and rolled towel in place may be helpful if you have low back pain. You should sleep on your abdomen only if you can’t sleep any other way.
Also, for physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, you may find sleeping in an inclined position reduces back pain. An adjustable bed may be a solution for you.
Other pain and sleep related problems
When you experience fragmented sleep a vicious cycle can occur. Studies show that you may become even more sensitive to pain.
The following sleep disruptions are just a handful of those that can exacerbate pain further interrupt your sleep:
- Prescription medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, epilepsy, and ADHD can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
- Anxiety, depression, and stress can affect your ability to sleep at night, leading to insomnia and chronic back pain.
- Obesity can cause back pain and breathing-related sleep disorders that cause sleep disturbances and poor sleep quality.
- Fibromyalgia is a condition that can cause pain throughout your body and is associated with fatigue, anxiety, and insufficient sleep.
- Arthritis sufferers may experience a limb movement disorder such as restless leg syndrome which can further disrupt the normal sleep pattern.
Other solutions for sleeping with chronic pain
- Most back pain sufferers can find some relief by using a pain cream. Our Rub on Reliefcombines some of the world’s safest and most effective ingredients for helping relieve stiff joints, end muscle spasms, reduce swelling, and even fight pain caused by emotional distress.
- Try a natural sleep aid. We’ve formulated an excellent natural sleep aid, Sleepzyme, which can help you get the restful sleep you need without the dangers of addictive sleeping pills.
- Most importantly, take time to find out what is actually causing your pain and correct the real problem. Learn more by reading The 7-Day Back Pain Cure. You’ll find 7-Day Action Plans which show you step-by-step how to treat your specific back pain condition. Best of all… it’s free!
Don’t give up on finding a treatment
If chronic back pain prevents you or a family member from getting a good night’s sleep, you might feel like you’ll never get relief, but don’t give up on finding the right treatment.
Chances are great that with persistence and proper treatment, you can get relief from chronic back pain, develop normal sleep patterns, and enjoy quality sleep again.
Written By: Updated: July 5,2011