Pain is a serious intrusion to sleep and is the number one cause of insomnia with approximately 70% of patients with back pain suffer from sleep problems with over 32% waking a minimum twice per night. This world research has highlighted the worst time for back pain sufferers sleeping was between the hours of 7pm and 12pm and that the worse the back pain, the more sleep was affected. Unfortunately and paradoxically, a lack of quality sleep can also make back pain worse.
Why is sleep important for back pain?
Sleep is crucial to the human body and plays an important role in your physical health and well-being throughout your life. Getting the correct amount of good sleep can help to protect you from physical and mental conditions. The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. When you are suffering with back pain it can often be difficult to get to sleep and cause more frequent waking through the night resulting in less quantity and quality of sleep. A lack of sleep is known to affect mood, functional ability and negatively impacts perception of pain. Pain in turn can affect the quality of your sleep, leading to a lighter sleep state and more frequent waking throughout the night and so the vicious cycle continues…
What can I do to get better sleep with back pain?
Back pain can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. Some sleep positions can put added pressure on your neck, shoulders, hips, lower back and knees, which can lead to back pain. However certain sleep positions can ease the strain on an aching back. These positions reply on making sure your spine and pelvis are correctly aligned.
- When sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees. Try to keep your top leg from falling over your bottom leg.
- When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees. You also can put a small, rolled-up towel under the curve of your back.
- Moving from the bed to a harder surface such as the floor. Place a blanket on the floor for you to lie on. Use your duvet to keep you warm during the night and use steps 1 and two to find a comfortable position.
Practicing good sleep rituals can also be helpful in achieving a good night’s sleep. It is important to stop or limit caffeine consumption before bed and limit alcohol intake, particularly in the evening. Medication such as painkillers and/or sleeping pills are effective, but should be used under the supervision of your doctor. Trained breathing and relaxation techniques can also be useful in reducing pain and helping you to drift off. These techniques can also be used to get you off to sleep quicker when your back pain has alleviated.
How can I stop this from happening again?
If you’re in pain and it is preventing you from sleeping it is certainly time to speak to a professional (contact us for free advice regarding your back pain). Sleep is crucial to your overall health and a lack of sleep will begin to impact large areas of your life.
Keep moving during the day and try to stick to your daily routine where pain will allow. Use heat and medication to help control your pain. Good posture, stretches, treatment and mobility exercises advised by your therapist can help you to solve the underlying causes of your back pain. Finally rehabilitation such as strengthening exercises should performed to help to prevent your back pain from returning.
Ongoing pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and/or productivity at work and at home. It can also interrupt your sleep and destabilise your mood. Many people suffer with back pain for far too long. If you would like to solve your back pain problem please don’t hesitate to contact us.