Tips for Managing Back Pain at Night

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 16, 2015

back pain at night

Between the stresses of work and a busy family life, sleep doesn’t always come easy, and that’s especially true for people who suffer from back pain. Shooting or pulsing pain in your spine can make it extremely difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, but there are a few steps you can take to put yourself in the best position to get a good night’s rest. Before you nestle in for another night’s sleep, consider these tips if you deal with back pain on a regular basis.

It Starts With Your Bed

Getting a good night’s rest starts with your bed. Just like walking around all day in heels is going to leave your feet in pain, sleeping on an unsupportive or unbalanced mattress is going to take a toll on your body. If your spine is already out of whack, a poor mattress is only going to make it worse. Studies have shown that individuals with back pain often find relief in firmer mattresses, but find something that works for you. Firmer mattresses generally help keep the spine in a relaxed and comfortable state, but again, everyone is different.

Aside from the actual mattress, you also may find it easier to get comfortable if you put a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side. This helps to get the spine in naturally comfortable position. Lastly, and this may sound silly, but make your bed each day, and keep it clean. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep if you crawl into a nicely made bed than one where the sheets are tangled and cookie crumbs are everywhere.

Get Rid of The TV and iPad

Humans have done a wonderful job of deconditioning our bodies to fall asleep quickly once we lie down. Many Americans use the bedroom for a host of other activities that only serve to decondition the body to fall asleep quickly. For example, many people lie in bed:

  • To watch TV
  • To read a book
  • To send or check emails
  • To play on their iPad or Kindles
  • To watch a movie or browse Netflix
  • To knit

Now, we’re not saying that you need to crawl into bed and immediately shut your eyes, but save the late night activities for the living room. Send that email or read that last chapter on the couch. Research has shown that people who use electronic devices before bed have a tougher time falling asleep and feeling rejuvenated the next morning, so don’t complicate back pain by deconditioning your brain to fall asleep once you lie down.

In the end, following the above points and finding out what works best for you is the best way to control back pain when trying to fall asleep. If you’re still struggling to fall asleep, check your diet habits in the hours leading up to bed, or trying working out for a bit before your bedtime. Caffeine or sugar can keep us awake, and while physical activity gets the heart pumping in the beginning, it tires our bodies out afterwards, which can help us fall asleep. For more tips on falling asleep with back pain, talk to a back specialist.

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