How to Sleep When You Have Back Pain

At the Spine Institute of North America, we specialize in eliminating back pain as quickly as possible. However, solving back pain is a process that can last several weeks or even months, depending on how long it takes to diagnose and fully address the issue. During that time, you need to take care of yourself, and sleep is extremely important. Good quality sleep gives your body a chance to lower inflammation, heal damage, and keep your condition from getting out of control. However, when your back is sore, sleeping well becomes practically impossible. You get trapped in a horrible situation in which you need good sleep to recover from back pain, but your back pain makes it difficult to sleep.

In today’s blog, we want to discuss a few different tips that can help you get to sleep when you’re struggling with back pain. We want to do everything we can to make life easier for you while you work through back issues.

Tips for Getting Sleep With Back Pain

The comfort of your spine is all about alignment. This means the way your head, shoulders, and hips line up is key while you sleep. Pillows can help keep these important parts of your body aligned correctly. And here’s a great tip: If you have to turn over, tighten up your core to prevent wrenching your spine. Now read on for some valuable pointers!

Deliberately relax

Life is busy, and when you’re in pain, it can be too easy to let the pain take over. Start preparing for sleep at least 30 minutes before you go to bed and do something to help you relax, like taking a bath, going on a walk, knitting, reading a book, or doing some low-impact yoga.

Be conscious of what you eat

If you have back pain keeping you awake, you don’t need caffeine making it worse. We recommend you stay away from sugary and caffeinated beverages starting in the afternoon. Your body has enough going on without having to deal with stimulants.

Be careful when you get up

Ease your body into the day rather than leaping out of bed. Roll on your side, bend you knees, and then drop your legs over the edge of the bed. Once your feet hit the floor, move to the edge of the bed and leverage yourself upright with your arms. Focus on keeping your back in a neutral position the whole time.

Use the right sleeping position.

When your back hurts, it can seem like a comfortable sleeping position doesn’t exist. If you dread tossing and turning every night, consider some of these sleeping positions to help you sleep tonight:

  • The fetal position

    • Lying on your side, pull your knees toward your chest and curl your torso around them. Sleeping like this opens up your vertebrae and can take some pressure off.
  • Face-up with a pillow under your knees

    • Your lower back needs to have a curve in it; it’s the natural shape of your spine. If you like to sleep on your back, you’re actually using one of the best positions for sleeping. In order to keep everything comfortable, we recommend you put a pillow under your knees. This will ensure your pelvis remains tilted the correct amount for your spine. You may also benefit from rolling up a towel and putting it under the small of your back for extra support.
  • Face-down with a pillow under your abdomen

    • If you like to sleep on your stomach, you may have found that your favorite sleeping positions just make your back conditions worse.  Stomach sleeping doesn’t support alignment as well as other positions and puts pressure on the neck. We recommend you put a pillow or rolled up towel under your abdomen or pelvis to alleviate the pressure on your back. You can also try sleeping without a pillow under your head and see if that makes your back feel better.
  • On your side with a pillow between your legs

    • If you love to sleep on your side, you make it easy for your head, shoulders, and hips to get out of alignment. To mitigate this issue, you can put a pillow between your knees. If there’s a serious gap between your waist and the mattress, put a small pillow in that space to prevent your spine from bending in a painful way.

Develop a consistent schedule

Your body has sleep patterns, and you can reinforce them by settling a good sleep schedule and sticking to it. Help your body understand when it is time to start ramping down, and life will be easier.

Don’t go crazy before bed

Doing rigorous activities before you go to bed can boost your adrenaline and body temperature, pushing sleep back further and further. We recommend you work out in the morning instead of the evening to give your body the chance to calm down before going to bed.

Get Your Back Treated

The team at the Spine Institute of North America is passionate about empowering people to get back to living life to the fullest. That is why we provide minimally-invasive spine procedures. These revolutionary treatments have short recovery times and much-improved risk factors. Our team is renowned around the world for our expertise and passion for excellence. We understand that you may feel that you have no solutions left, but we are here to change your mind. Contact us in New Jersey today!

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