Back pain is a very common cause of sleep disorders. That uncomfortable feeling expands from the back throughout the entire body. You go through the day because you have to, but when it’s time for sleep, you feel like the pain is getting more serious by the minute.
According to the statistics provided by the American Chiropractic Association, up to 80% of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Lower-back pain accounts for at least $50 billion in health costs in the USA, on an annual basis.
When you combine back pain with insomnia, the consequences are serious. You toss around, getting more nervous as the hours go by. By the time you get up, you feel more exhausted than ever. It’s another tough day to face, but you feel you don’t have the strength to do it.
Kirsten Michaels, a writer for Australian Writings Service, shares her experience: “During periods of back pain and sleepless night, I’m not able to do my best at work. I’m writing academic content, which means I can’t just go through a working day without giving 100% of myself. My lack of energy shows. It’s a struggle and I still haven’t found a solution that really works.”
Is there a way to alleviate back pain at night and achieve better sleep?
Let’s go through a list of 6 tools that might help:
- A Good Mattress
If you want to sleep well, you need to invest in a high-quality mattress that will support a healthy posture for your back and the entire body. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive mattress on the market, but it has to be a model that works for you.
- First, evaluate your current mattress. Is it time for a change? If it’s older than ten years, it definitely served its time and needs a replacement.
- Even if the mattress is new, it still needs to be replaced if it’s sagging. If the foam got soft or you feel lumps under the surface, it’s compromising your sleep. This may be the reason why you suffer from back pain.
- If you usually sleep on your stomach, you’ll need a firm top surface on the mattress. If you sleep on the side, the mattress needs to have pressure relief points, so it will follow the body’s shape while remaining firm at the same time. And if you’re used to sleeping on your back, the mattress should support a proper spine alignment.
Patricia Keln, part of the team at AssignmentMasters, shares her experience: “I work in front of the computer for ten hours per day. It’s a bad position and my back clearly suffers from it. Everything changed since I changed my mattress. I got a really good one, with some ‘tranquility gel’ technology. When I go to bed, I get the feeling that it’s hugging me. I immediately find a good position and I’m able to fall asleep with no effort. The mattress makes a real difference.”
- A Mattress Topper
Let’s get real: a mattress is a solid investment. You can hardly get one of the best ones if you’re not ready to spend at least $1K on it.
Maybe you’re not ready to spend that much. Maybe this is a rental property that you’re using for a limited period of time, so you don’t want to deal with lots of stuff to move. Maybe you’re a student and you sleep in the dorm. So you have to use what the dorm gave you, even if that means spending unproductive days and being forced to get professional writing assignments online because you have zero energy to handle projects.
A mattress topper may be a nice solution for you.
It can quickly revamp an old mattress, giving it an extra layer that improves the support your back gets.
- The Right Pillow
A good pillow is not that expensive. The only problem is: it’s really hard to choose the right one. Your partner may be perfectly happy with a memory-foam pillow, but your back might suffer from it.
If the pillow doesn’t support your neck in the position you sleep in, it will contribute towards upper-back pain. If, for example, you sleep on your stomach, it’s important to get a flat, low pillow. If you sleep on the side, the pillow should be higher. A memory-foam pillow that supports the neck is a good choice in this situation. And if you sleep on your back, it’s really hard to get the right pillow. You need a softer model that still won’t lose its shape.
- Hot/Cold Packs
If the back pain is not caused by the mattress or pillow, you’ll need to treat it in another way. It’s important to talk to your doctor or visit a certified chiropractor. They will try to find the cause for the back pain and help with proper treatment.
But if you need an instant relief before going to bed, the simplest method may be effective. Apply hot or cold packs for at least twenty minutes. You may alternate between the cold and hot packs. But it’s important not to fall asleep with a cold pack on.
- Massage Cushion
If a strained muscle or an old injury is causing back pain at night, you’ll be surprised by the effectiveness of a high-quality massage mat. It stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the muscles.
And if you’re not ready to invest in such a tool, you can replace it with an actual massage. Let your partner watch some YouTube videos and practice their massage skills on you.
However, it’s important to know exactly what’s causing your pain before you get a massage mat or ask your partner for a massage before bed. If you have any spine issues, talk to your doctor and get adequate treatment. Improper massage may make your situation more serious.
- Night Roll for Lumbar Support
If you suffer from lower back pain, this simple tool will bring you relief.
If you sleep on your back, the mattress is supposed to follow the position of your body. As it takes your shape, it supports the lower back. But if the mattress is not good, you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a wooden desk. Your back will take an unnatural position, and it won’t allow you to sleep comfortably.
This roll provides additional support to your lower back. It’s pretty affordable (around $30), so it may be the first tool you’ll want to try before investing into anything more serious.
Invest in Your Sleep; It Matters
A productive day starts with a good night sleep. If you don’t get that point right, you can’t expect to achieve full productivity no matter how hard you push yourself. Your back pain and your lack of energy will take their toll on your daily tasks.
Your sleep is important. Take your time to evaluate it, and start searching for the tools that will improve it. The five tools we mentioned above have a lot of potential to alleviate back pain and help you sleep better.
However, if your sleep issues are chronic, you may have sleep apnea. Call Alaska Sleep Clinic today to speak to one of our board-certified sleep specialists. Improve Your Sleep. Improve Your Life.
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