It hurts when you don’t get a good night’s rest -literally. Many people get poor sleep because of back pain and vice versa. Some people end up waking up in worse shape than they went to bed in. It is a vicious cycle of pure exhaustion.
What you might not realize is that the position you sleep in might actually be contributing to your back pain issues. Keep in mind that there could be many reasons you are not sleeping well at night. Anxiety and depression are other big culprits. Anxiety, depression and pain are a trio of issues that prevent many Americans from getting proper rest. Start taking notice of your sleeping position and start getting a better night’s rest.
1. Be mindful of your spine
If your spine is crooked or not well taken care of, you can be sure to have back pain when you sleep and when you get out of bed in the morning. The goal is to keep your spine in a neutral position, meaning there is no extra pressure on any part of your spine.
2. Sleep on your back
Quite possibly the best position to sleep in to reduce or extinguish back pain is to sleep on your back. This position not only keeps your spine neutral, but it keeps your body weight distributed as evenly as it possibly can. The worst position to sleep in is on your stomach as your neck will lay in an unnatural way.
3. Alternate sides
Sleeping on just one side or in the same position might also be contributing to pain. Switch it up when you can. Also, try sleeping with a pillow tucked between your legs if you are a side sleeper. It will help keep you more balanced and the spine in neutral. If you end up sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees.
4. Use a pillow
It is pretty uncomfortable to sleep without a pillow. What you want to do is place your pillow between your head and neck. You do not want your pillow behind your shoulders. Now if you sleep on your back, be sure that your pillow fills the space between your neck and the mattress. This again keeps your spine in a neutral position.
5. Be mindful of your body shape
The shape of your body dictates the support you need in your mattress. A softer mattress works best if you have hips that are wider than your waist. A more firm mattress works best if your hips and waist are in a relatively straight line and will give you the most support.
Other things to keep in mind
1. Try a new mattress
It is quite possible that your back pain can resolve significantly with the purchase of a new mattress. Many people get complacent with their mattresses and it can be an expensive piece of furniture. However, it is worth trying out. Most mattress manufacturers allow you to test drive a mattress before you make the full commitment. It is absolutely worth a shot.
2. Stay in shape
Carrying around extra weight not only affects your daily upright life, but it can of course have consequences for your sleeping time and back pain as well. Shed the weight and get in shape to improve your mobility and flexibility. You will see a difference in your sleep patterns.
3. Talk with your doctor
When all else fails, you likely need to have a consultation with your healthcare provider. There might be some things that you do not understand about your back or your sleeping issues. You might have a more severe case that requires more than a quick mattress fix or sleeping position change up. Be sure you go over all the details of your back pain issues to ensure you are getting an accurate response.
It is easy to see that sleeping can affect your back pain. It could be because of your mattress, pillow or simply the pain itself becoming more intense when lay down to rest. You can try out new sleeping positions or a new mattress, but when the pain cannot be managed, then you need to have a visit with your doctor. Back pain affects millions of Americans, but you do not have to be one of those suffering night after night.
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