What To Do If Back Pain Is Making Sleep Difficult

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 13, 2017

Back Pain and Sleep

Sleep is expected to be a restorative process that allows both our body and mind to recover after a long day. However, for many people, sleeping is little more than tossing and turning as the minutes on the clock tick by. For some people, those sleep issues are caused by back pain. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help increase your likelihood of getting a restful night’s sleep in spite of back pain. Today, we share some tips for what to do if back pain is making sleep difficult.

Can’t Sleep Because of Back Pain

Back pain traditionally causes two main problems that inhibits REM sleep. It either:

  • Makes it difficult to fall asleep; or
  • Makes it difficult to stay asleep.

We’re going to break down some fixes for both options.

Back Pain Making It Difficult To Fall Asleep

Back pain that makes it difficult to fall asleep is the more common of the two types of sleep-inhibiting spine pain. Not all of these tips will apply to your situation, but some of them probably will and you may find them helpful.

For starters, make sure your bed is a sleep zone, not a “stream three episodes of New Girl then read a chapter or two on my Kindle then check Facebook and Twitter before bed” zone. Taking distractions out of the room will help train your brain to fall asleep faster and in turn ignore some types of back pain. Next, make sure you have supportive pillows and a mattress that fits your sleeping preference. If you haven’t changed your bed in a decade, consider investing in a more supportive option. Lastly, while things like exercise or coffee may not be recommended before bed, some slight stretching can help keep back structures loose, as tight contracted muscles can cause spasms.

If you’re still having difficulties falling asleep, set up a consultation with a spine specialist.

Spine Pain Making It Difficult To Stay Asleep

This problem is a little less easier to treat, although that doesn’t mean their aren’t some solutions. Similar to the point above, turning off electronics and making the room as dark as possible will help you from being awoken in the middle of the night, and finding a supportive bed and pillows can also make your back pain less problematic through the night. Another option to consider would be an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication that helps combat inflammation through the night. These usually won’t leave you feeling drowsy like other sleep medications, but find what works best for you. Lastly, while you don’t want to drink too much water and have to make a bathroom run in the middle of the night, staying hydrated before bed can help prevent against muscle cramping and spasms.

Again, if you’re still suffering from back pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night after trying these tips, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi.

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