Back Pain? Sleeping terrible? Here are some tips!
Tips for Easing Back Pain and Improving Sleep Quality content provided by Cheryl Conklin at www.wellnesscentral.info
Although back pain is common, it can be extremely debilitating. In fact, back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Pain can impact your sleep in several ways, keeping you from falling asleep, waking you up in the middle of the night, and preventing you from reaching restorative levels of deep sleep. Check out these six simple ways to relieve back pain at night and enjoy the solid sleep that you’ve been dreaming of!
Look for Ways to Simplify Your Days
Although it’s not always possible, finding ways to ease your daily workload can do wonders for alleviating your back pain, which, in turn, will help you get the sleep you need. For instance, instead of doing your house cleaning in one day, try to spread it throughout the week so you’re not putting so much stress on your back at once. If necessary, and if you have the money, consider hiring a cleaning service to take this chore off your plate entirely. The key here is to know your limits; if your back can’t handle whatever it is you’re doing, don’t push it.
Take a Good Look at Your Mattress
A supportive mattress is essential for anyone suffering from back pain. If your mattress is old, sagging, or just plain uncomfortable, it could be making your back pain worse. A telltale sign that your mattress is exacerbating your pain is waking up in the morning with more pain than you felt the night before. If this sounds like you, consider buying a new mattress. Look for one that provides comfortable support to alleviate pressure points and keep strain off your back muscles. For example, memory foam mattresses provide contouring support to keep your spine aligned as you sleep. If you’re buying online (there are several mattresses priced below $500), look for a mattress with a good return policy just in case it doesn’t provide the support you need.
Try Switching Sleep Positions
Some sleep positions can actually make your back pain worse, whereas others may help you find relief. The worst position for your back is sleeping on your stomach, as this puts a lot of strain on your lower back muscles and can contribute to neck stiffness. If you can’t sleep any other way, a pillow under the pelvis can help relieve some of the pressure. If you sleep on your side, try putting a pillow between your knees. In the end, back sleeping is the best. You can support the natural curve of your spine in this position by placing a pillow under your knees.
Strengthen Your Core
Engaging in core-strengthening workouts has two major benefits for people with back pain. First of all, strong abdominal muscles will take the strain off your back as you go about your daily activities. Second, exercising can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply — just don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may be too stimulated to sleep! Check out this article by Advanced Pain Management for some low-impact back and core exercises to try at home.
Stretch Your Back Muscles Morning and Night
A stretching routine may be just what you need to reduce back pain before bed and after you get up in the morning. Over time, stretching will loosen up the tight muscles in your back and could even relieve you of pain in the long-term. Plus, many back stretches will also work to strengthen weak muscles and prevent further injury. Try to make stretching a regular part of your daily routine for the greatest benefits.
Improve Your Sleep Environment
Although you may not have much control over your back pain, at least you can make your bedroom more sleep-friendly. Don’t let noise, light, or heat wake you up in the night. Invest in blackout curtains, buy a comfortable face mask, flip on a white noise machine or fan, and turn your thermostat down. Another idea is to purchase a dehumidifier for the warmer months to remove extra moisture. A bedroom that’s too humid can have mold and dust issues which can negatively impact sleep. These changes will also help you fall asleep more quickly. Gentle music or a quiet guided meditation recording can be helpful to distract yourself from pain.
Don’t allow back pain to keep you awake at night. Studies show that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on our mental health and can even lower our pain tolerance, increasing our sensitivity to things like chronic back pain. If back pain continues to disrupt your sleep no matter what you do, it may be time to see a professional to learn about your options for physical therapy.