Tips for Sleeping Better with Low Back Pain
Is your back pain causing you to lose sleep, or is it your lack of sleep that’s contributing to your back pain? The answer may surprise you.
A recent study found that frequently interrupted sleep can make you more susceptible to pain by altering the body’s natural systems that regulate and control pain. This can even lead to spontaneous painful symptoms. Through this study, researchers determined that disrupted sleep interferes with natural pain control mechanisms that are thought to play a key role in the development, maintenance and exacerbation of chronic pain.
It’s a vicious cycle. Your back problems make it harder to sleep – which causes your back to hurt more because you’re not sleeping well.
10 Tips For Sleeping Better with Low Back Pain
- Evaluate your current bed. The Better Sleep Council recommends that you evaluate your mattress every five to seven years. It may be time for a change for optimal comfort and support. In a Journal of Applied Ergonomics study, nearly 63% of respondents reported significant improvements in low back pain after switching to a new sleep system. Sleeping on an Easy Rest adjustable bed may help back pain sufferers. Click here for more information.
- Get in and out of bed properly. Never jerk yourself up from a lying position. Roll onto your side, bend both knees and push yourself up with your hands while swinging your legs over the side of the bed. Avoid bending forward at the waist, which can put strain on your back. Easier still, when you sleep on an Easy Rest adjustable bed you can use the wireless remote control to gently raise yourself to a sitting position with minimal effort.
- Rest for a short period. Rest may help, but staying in bed for more than a day or two can make matters worse. If you are resting in bed be sure to change positions frequently to avoid stiffness and pain, which will help you sleep better at night. Resting on an Easy Rest bed allows you to change positions effortlessly with the touch of a remote control.
- Apply heat for muscle relaxation. A warm bath or shower may help relax stiff muscles before bedtime.
- Avoid self-medicating with alcohol. A few drinks before bedtime may help you fall asleep, but studies have proven that alcohol actually contributes to sleep problems because it has a negative effect on the quality of sleep.
- Limit or eliminate caffeine. Even moderate caffeine use can cause insomnia and sleep disturbances.
- Avoid eating heavily before bedtime. A heavy meal can interfere with sleep and cause digestive issues such as acid reflux, keeping you awake.
- Use medication only for short-term help. Do not self-medicate. Use medications only as prescribed by your doctor.
- Do some soothing exercises. Try relaxation techniques and ask your health provider or physical therapist about exercises that you can do to help your back before going to bed.
- Establish a bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night. Follow a routine, such as setting the alarm, putting on your pajamas, and brushing your teeth.