How to Sleep When You Have Back Pain

Apr 29, 2022

How to Sleep When You Have Back PainWhen you are dealing with back pain, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Doctors recommend between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night in adults to optimize your physical and mental wellbeing. While the quantity of sleep is important, so is the quality of sleep. If you have back pain, you may have trouble getting restorative sleep that helps replenish and repair the body. Getting quality restorative sleep can actually help you better deal with back pain. In addition to back pain treatment for the source of your pain, you can also try out these sleep positions for back pain.

How Back Pain Can Affect Sleep

Back pain can negatively impact the quality of your sleep. Not only can back pain keep you from falling asleep, but it can also keep you from staying asleep. If this the pain is constant, having your back pain treated with chiropractic care is a great option. Here are three examples of how back pain can affect your sleep.

Increased Awareness of Pain

When you lie down to sleep at night, you may become more aware of your back pain. Though this may not mean that your back pain gets worse at night. Instead, you could simply have an increased awareness of your pain because there are fewer distractions around. When you go about your day, routines at home, work, or school can sometimes distract you from your pain. At night, you can become more aware of how much your back pain bothers you.

Difficulty Getting Comfortable

Back pain can make it difficult to get comfortable enough so that you can fall asleep or stay asleep. Many people with back pain have trouble falling asleep because their back pain keeps them from sleeping in their normal position. If you try a new sleep position, it may feel awkward at first, which can delay your ability to fall asleep.

Lack of Exercise and Activity

When you have back pain, it can keep you from your regular routines and activities. Back pain can make certain exercise routines or regimens uncomfortable or impossible. When you are not able to stay active or get enough exercise, it can negatively impact your quality of sleep. People who engage in regular activity and exercise are more likely to experience quality, restorative sleep.

Best Sleep Positions for Back Pain

Before you go to sleep, practice relaxation techniques to help quiet your mind and loosen your muscles. Stretching your back before bed can help release muscle tension and ease your discomfort while sleeping. Mindful meditation can also help reduce your perception of back pain and make falling asleep easier. You can also try out these options to find the best position to sleep for back pain that works for you.

Fetal Position

Many doctors recommend the fetal position to help reduce back pain at night. When you lie on your side and bring your knees toward your chest, it helps naturally stretch your spine. The fetal position also prevents your spine from curving backward, which commonly contributes to lower back pain. Try to keep your head in line with your shoulders and back while sleeping in the fetal position to avoid upper back and neck pain.

Reclined Position

Sometimes sleeping at an angle in the reclined position can help relieve back pain and offer a good night’s sleep. Perhaps your bed offers a slightly reclined option, or you can rest in a comfortable chair that reclines. The reclined position provides support for your upper body and creates a gentle angle between your upper and lower body. This position also helps reduce pressure on your spine, especially in your upper back.

Back with Pillow Support

If you prefer to sleep on your back, then you want to try using pillow supports to help reduce back pain while you sleep. Lie flat on your back to help maintain the natural curve of your spine. Sleeping on your back helps to distribute your body weight evenly. Place a pillow beneath your knees to help reduce stress on your lower back and lumbar spine.

Side with Pillow Support

You may also try to sleep on your side with pillow support for your arms and legs. Drape your arm over a pillow to avoid scrunching up your upper body and causing an unnatural curve to your upper back. A pillow between your knees will also help you maintain proper spinal alignment in your lower back.

Stomach with Pillow Support

While sleeping on your stomach is not always recommended for a variety of health conditions, you may find back pain relief from temporarily sleeping in this position. You can lie on your stomach and place a pillow or folded towel at your lower abdomen and pelvis. The key to sleeping on your stomach is to use pillow support to help prevent your lower back from curving too much.

Treatment Options for Back Pain

The best way to eliminate your back pain for good is to treat the pain at its source. Visit a back pain specialist to find out what is causing your back pain and what treatment options would work best for you. At AICA Orthopedics in Snellville, our back pain specialists use state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tools like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to support the most accurate diagnosis. Once your doctor has identified the root cause of your pain, they can develop a personalized treatment plan to target the source and provide you with long-lasting relief for your back pain. A combination of hands-on therapies, hot and cold therapies, and therapeutic exercises can target the source of your back pain and relieve your symptoms.

Our team of doctors at AICA Orthopedics includes orthopedic doctors, chiropractors, neurologists, and physical therapists who work together for a comprehensive approach to your care. When you visit AICA Orthopedics in Snellville for back pain that keeps you up at night, our team of back pain specialists can help. Call or visit a Snellville back pain doctor at AICA Orthopedics and get started on back pain treatment that will help you sleep at night.