Sleeping with Back Pain

For the nearly 70 million Americans suffering from some type of recurring back pain, it’s clear that the pain or discomfort doesn’t automatically stop just because it’s time for bed. In fact, back pain can make it nearly impossible to get an uninterrupted period of sleep, especially when some sleeping positions may further aggravate certain back conditions.

Find the Right Sleeping Position

While the “proper” sleeping position is on the back with sufficient support for the head, the fact is that some people prefer sleeping on their side, and others can only get to sleep resting on their stomach. The solution is to place a pillow between your knees when sleeping on your side or placing a pillow between your pelvis and lower abdomen if you’re a stomach sleeper to accommodate the natural curvature of the spine.

Get a Better Mattress

Sleeping on a mattress that’s either rock hard or too saggy can definitely exacerbate back pain. While a medium-firm mattress tends to suit most people, take the time to find a firmness level that works for you. If a new mattress isn’t in the budget, consider a 3-inch memory foam top instead.

Develop Helpful Bedtime Routines

Taking time to prepare your back for bed can also help reduce the odds of waking up with back pain before you hit that crucial REM sleep phase. The following bedtime routines may be helpful:

  • Taking a hot shower (to relax back muscles)
  • Refraining from alcohol or caffeine a few hours before bed
  • Avoiding sugar and heavy meals before bed

Making a Change Today

Taking over-the-counter medications shouldn’t be the only way to enjoy a restful sleep. Getting an accurate diagnosis for lingering back pain can help determine the exact cause of the pain and result in finding treatments that may provide a much-appreciated good night’s sleep.

If you are living with back pain and are looking to identify the cause of your pain, are in need of a second opinion or are in search for treatment options, reach out to the Beverly Hills spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Call (310) 828-7757 to learn more about our advanced diagnostic team and minimally invasive and cutting-edge spinal procedures.