📚5 Tips to Achieve Better Sleep with Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can be excruciating. Aside from disrupting our daily activities such as sitting, walking, or bending, it also prevents us from getting a good night's sleep.
According to a study, insomnia or sleeplessness had become a frequently common symptom of chronic lower back pain. However, there are many ways to get relief from sciatica or lower back pain when sleeping, experts say. If you're considering for some tips on how to get better sleep with back pain, continue reading below.
The Connection Between Sleep and Lower Back Pain
Some individuals tend to cut back a few hours of sleep, thinking it wouldn't cause any issues with health. But research shows that critical processes are happening during sleep.
One of the essential tasks taken out by our body when we're at sleep is pain regulation. Few studies suggest sleep and pain are linked, and lack of sleep contributes to chronic lower back pain.
How to Sleep Better with Lower Back Pain
Now that you're aware that sleep and pain are connected, here are some tips that you can apply to alleviate pain. Whether it’s a mild, occasional, or severe back pain, these tips might help you achieve better sleep with lower back pain.
- Use the best type of mattress
A wrong type of mattress can even worsen your condition. Opt for a comfortable kind, ideally not too soft or not too firm.
If your mattress is too soft, the tendency is your body will adapt to the curves of the specific areas where it's sagging. And when it does, the normal curvature of the spine changes, causing spinal misalignment.
Spinal misalignment can cause added pressure or stress on the spinal nerves, causing limited movement and discomfort.
If your mattress is too firm, whether you're a back sleeper or not, it will not conform to the spine's natural curvature. Your spine will bend downward, causing an S-shaped curved spine, which is unhealthy. A mattress that's particularly too firm may cause some muscles to not fully recover and relax.
Having proper support on the surface where you sleep is important, typically those which conform to your body without excessively sinking. Also, it should limit the pressure towards your shoulders and hips.
- Get a Gentle Massage
Tissues in our body need adequate blood flow. If this is compromised, growth and recovery of the tissues are affected, causing lower back pain. Massage therapy can be a practical and effective way to promote excellent blood circulation.
Gentle massage therapy helps soothe tight muscles and relieve stress and pressure on the nerves. It initiates the release of endorphins - the hormones that interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to decrease our perception of pain.
Although gentle massage doesn't cure the underlying cause of lower back pain when sleeping, it helps better and relieves the symptoms temporarily. But before doing so, consult for your physician's approval first.
- Maintain a good posture
Daily activities such as sitting for an extended period, lounging, or standing for long periods contribute to the development of lower back pain.
Poor posture triggers back pain as it promotes improper body alignment. Slouching adds extra pressure to the nerves and muscles in the back, and when it gets irritated, symptoms start to manifest.
If you're working on a desk job and tend to lean forward or starts slouching, you can benefit from lumbar support tools or back braces. These back-support tools serve as a reminder for the body to maintain the correct way of sitting to keep the bones and back muscles aligned.
Maintaining a proper body alignment lessens back strains, especially when you're in bed at night. Opt for lumbar support tools or back braces if you have poor sitting habits.
- Be Aware of Your Sleeping Position
Do you know that you're sleeping positions have a considerable impact on your nagging back pain? Here are a few tips to relieve back pain for different types of sleepers:
For stomach sleepers:
Sleeping on your stomach (facing down) may not be a good option as your sleeping position if you have back pain. But if you find it more comfortable, make sure not to exert too much stress on any part of your body.
To prevent pressure on your lower back, put a pillow under your lower abdomen. A pillow under your head may be optional or if you have a specialized neck pillow. Just remember to keep your spine's natural curvature and alignment.
If you're one of the many people who prefer to sleep on their backs, say to it that you have two small pillows, rolled blanket or a towel. Put one pillow under your knees and keep your position neutral to maintain the spine's normal curvature. You can add another pillow under your knees for added support.
The benefits of lying down on your back with pillows or blanket as support is that the body weight is distributed evenly. Proper weight distribution promotes better body alignment.
If you're fond of side sleeping, you might want to try sleeping on both sides in a curled position, like how a fetus sleeps in the womb. Some called it a curled fetal position.
Lie on either side and push your knees towards your chest, then gently move your torso towards your knees. By doing this position helps save up space between the vertebral bones. It helps the nerves not getting compressed, and if you have sciatica, it promotes less pressure on your sciatic nerves.
Chronic low back pain has a long list of reasons for its occurrence, but it all sums up into one thing: discomfort and inability to get appropriate rest for a more extended period. Try to address the best sleeping position that satisfies you, choose the proper mattress and pillow for optimal comfort, and follow additional tips mentioned in this article to help improve your quality of sleep and alleviate your nighttime pain.