If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer back pain while you sleep, some tips might be worth thinking about. For many, it could be your mattress, so check out a list of the best mattresses for back pain according to Health.com.
However, for many others, the problem may also stem from other sources. While ensuring you have the mattress appropriate for you is important, there are other considerations too.
Pain and Sleep
When it comes to back pain, the most common area is the lower back. The lumbar region of the spine is extremely complicated, with musculature and tendons running everywhere. It’s also the part of the back which carries the most load in our daily lives.
Sleep and pain can become a kind of dual problem. The lack of sleep can lead to heightened sensitivity to pain, which then leads to further sleeplessness. It’s a feedback loop of the worst kind and a plague on many lives.
To gain the right amount of comfortable sleep, it’s clear that this pernicious cycle must be broken somehow. The way to do this is to change the patterns in your evenings, both leading up to it and during sleep itself.
For the more serious cases of pain, there are painkilling medications that ought to be used correctly. But, for mild and moderate sleep and pain problems, you can ease the symptoms without these.
What to Avoid
It’s more important than we normally think to set up a good winding-down routine in the evenings. People differ, and thus the specifics will differ, but setting aside time before bed to let go of the day’s anxieties and stresses is crucial.
Avoiding stimulation is key here. As you approach bedtime, try to create a sense of calm around you. This means not taking in substances like alcohol and caffeine and not getting physically or emotionally hyped up.
Similarly, eating large meals comprising of heavy spices in an hour or two before bed can be a real problem. Not only will this belabor your spine with additional weight and volume, but it will also excite the digestive system right before you want to nod off.
Engaging in restful activities such as reading or listening to calming music is a winner. Taking a nice, hot bath has also been shown to provide benefits to sleep. Some blend of these kinds of practices is bound to improve your night’s rest.
The fact is, not everyone can take the time to relax every night, but getting into the habit a few nights per week can make that difference. It’s running day after day without adequate rest that causes the most serious problems.
Best Positions for Sleep
There are back sleepers, tummy sleepers, and side sleepers. By far, the majority of us prefer to sleep on our sides, with relatively fewer opting for the alternatives. Whichever way you sleep, the trick is to try to keep your spine straight wherever possible.
This is usually very easy to do. Simply using a cushion or small pillow strategically can really help here. For back sleepers, place a pillow directly behind your knees. For side sleepers, placing a pillow between the knees will do the trick.
You may have to experiment a little with the size and feel of your pillow, but an ordinary pillow will generally work very well. If you combine this habit with a good medium to firm mattress, you should experience a lessening of lumbar pain right away.
Some Final Thoughts
As with so much of human wellbeing, back pain is an issue with many sources. For those who have a severe injury, the solution is sure to require medical intervention. However, in most cases, the problem has both psychological and physical roots.
Getting enough sleep is vital, so arranging your sleep in a way that lets you overcome the pain is pivotal. It may come as a surprise to some just how effective these minor changes in routine and behavior can be.
With just minor alterations in our habits, we can gradually overcome the problem of pain and sleeplessness. On occasions where the pain or lack of sleep becomes more serious, medical options should be sought out.