Sleep disturbances caused by back pain might make it much more difficult to fall asleep, which can prolong the agony. The ache, whether from an injury, poor posture, or a medical condition, can have a major impact on our daily lives. The good news is that there are efficient methods to deal with back discomfort and improve sleep quality. If you’re sick of getting up with a stiff back, then keep reading to find out what you can do to change your sleeping routine for the better.
The Impact Of Sleep On Chronic Back Pain
Getting enough sleep is a major factor in reducing discomfort. Pain can be caused by or made worse by a lack of quality sleep or even oversleeping. The muscles and vertebrae in your back undergo significant healing and restoration as you sleep. These tissues may not heal completely, leading to persistent discomfort and stiffness, if you don’t get enough restorative sleep.
Not getting enough time to sleep increases the body’s production of stress hormones, which can exacerbate back and other health problems. Lack of rest also is a factor in the development of poor posture and spinal misalignment, both of which can cause muscle distress. However, sleeping in an incorrect posture or on an inappropriate pillow can either make the pain worse.
Tips For A Pain-Free Night’s Sleep
Choose a Supportive Knee Pillow
The use of a knee cushion is helpful if you suffer from back aches, particularly in the lower back. Relieving pain is one of the many benefits of using a pillow since it helps to realign the spine, increases blood flow, and takes the strain off the sciatic nerve. In addition, it might lessen the chances of acquiring sciatica, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs.
Knees can twist the spine unnaturally while we sleep on our sides because they gravitate toward each other. Pain may be experienced as a result of this tension in the hips and lower back. Stress can be relieved by using a pillow to maintain a neutral spine position as you rest.
Choose a leg cushion that is both soft and supportive, and that also conforms to your shape. Because of the individualized comfort and support they offer, memory foam and contoured designs are common. While using it may seem awkward at first, many people report that it has helped them get a better night’s rest and alleviated pain.
Extend Your Muscles Before Bed
Long periods of sitting or standing can cause muscle tension, pain, and fatigue. As a quick and easy strategy for minimizing back discomfort and enhancing the quality of your sleep, we recommend stretching before bed is hard to beat. As you wind down for the night, take a few minutes to stretch out those muscles so they’re ready to relax. Muscle tension is reduced, flexibility is enhanced, and blood flow is increased thanks to regular stretching. Injuries and diseases including sprains and spasms are less likely to occur if you stretch regularly.
For a restful night’s sleep, try some light, low-impact exercises like:
- To perform a hamstring stretch, lie on your back and slowly elevate one leg while supporting it with your hands. Tend for ten to fifteen seconds before alternating legs;
- Do a spinal twist by lying on your back with your arms at your sides. Holding this position for 10 to 15 seconds, bring one knee to the chest and twist it across the torso. Invert and do the same thing in the reverse;
- Сat-cow stretch: getting on your hands and knees, slowly arching your back up and then down.
While you stretch, take long, steady breaths and never put your body in a position that it doesn’t feel comfortable in. Regular bedtime stretching helps reduce discomfort and boost health in general.
Keep Your Screen Time to a Minimum Before Bedtime
Sleep disruption and increased discomfort have been linked to prolonged exposure to the blue light generated by electronic devices. The hormone melatonin regulates sleep and wakefulness, and the blue light emitted by electronic gadgets can disrupt this natural production. Developing good routines can help mitigate the negative effects of screen time on your back:
- Avoiding electronic devices at least 30 to 60 minutes before the night is recommended for optimal sleep hygiene;
- Sit in a chair that provides appropriate support and avoid slouching while using electronic gadgets to maintain good posture;
- In order to prevent eye strain and other negative health effects from prolonged screen time, it is important to take periodic intervals during which you get up and move around;
- Keyboards, mice, and seats designed to minimize stress on the spine and neck are examples of ergonomic instruments to use.
You can alleviate your pain and get a better night’s sleep by practicing these behaviors and reducing your time spent in front of screens. Moreover, you may find that your concentration, output, and general mental health all increase.
Try Heat or Cold Therapy
A popular treatment for back aches is the use of heat or cold. Both approaches are simple to use and may be helpful in alleviating discomfort and swelling. However, the therapy you should employ for your pain relies on the underlying cause and your preferences.
It is common practice to treat persistent back pain and stiffness with heat therapy. An increase in blood flow, and relaxation of surrounding muscles, are all benefits of applying heat to the affected area. The use of a heating pad, hot water bottle, or even a warm towel is acceptable. To avoid burning your skin, just apply the heat for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, and rest in between applications.
On the other hand, ice therapy is generally employed in cases of acute injury or inflammation. When applied to a wound, ice helps minimize swelling, dulls pain, and slows down the transmission of nerve impulses. A cold compress, a bag of frozen veggies, or a damp cloth can all be used for this purpose. Don’t leave the ice on for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and give your skin a rest every 10 minutes.
Despite their usefulness, heat and cold therapy are not appropriate for everyone. You should see a doctor if your back pain lasts more than a few days so that they can diagnose the problem and recommend a treatment plan. Avoid applying these treatments straight to the skin without first applying a protective covering.
Alternative Methods To Improve Quality Of Life For People With Back Pain
- In order to strengthen the muscles in the back and lessen the likelihood of discomfort, regular exercise is recommended;
- Avoid excess weight, because it places extra stress on the back increasing the likelihood of injury. When you eat healthily and exercise regularly, you assist your body stay at a healthy weight, which can reduce your aches;
- You can lessen your chances of developing discomfort by keeping proper posture throughout the day;
- Keep your sitting time to a minimum. Pain can be exacerbated by sitting for lengthy periods of time, especially if the chair is uncomfortable or provides little support;
- If you want to prevent the deterioration of your spinal discs and the accompanying pain in your back, quitting smoking is a must.