Back pain can be debilitating, impacting all aspects of your life. It can even make it feel impossible to get a good night’s sleep as discomfort prevents you from dozing off peacefully. But the good news is that the majority of back problems tend to resolve with basic care. While chronic back pain and injuries can be a bit more complex, there are still some things you can do to improve your quality of sleep.
Here are some tips on how to sleep with back pain, and how to wake up happier and healthier each morning.
Improve your sleeping position
Before choosing the correct position for sleep, it’s important to understand more about your back problem. Misdiagnosis is common for back conditions due to the complexity of the musculoskeletal structure of the spine. If pain has persisted for a long period of time with no improvement despite following care advice, it could be time to get a second opinion.
Once you have a correct diagnosis, you can optimise your sleep position to help alleviate the back pain. The foetal position works well for a herniated disc, while adding a pillow in between your legs can improve alignment in the hips, pelvis and spine. But if you have scoliosis, resist the temptation to sleep on the same side every night as this can cause issues like muscle imbalance.
The key is knowing the cause of the pain before you correct the way you sleep. If back problems continue, it’s important to get professional advice. Doctors, orthopaedists and chiropractors can advise on the best sleeping positions for you.
Use hot and cold therapy
Hot and cold therapy can be fantastic pain relief for lower back pain, particularly for pain that is a result of injury. Both heat and cold packs are soothing for problem areas, providing instant alleviation of targeted pain.
For injuries, post-workout pains or pulled muscles, cold packs are ideal as they reduce swelling and inflammation. While heat packs work to increase blood flow, sending more oxygen to specific areas.
The great thing about hot and cold therapy is that it can be done at any time of the day, including bedtime. If you are suffering with back tenderness or lower back pain and you are unable to sleep comfortably, bringing a heat or cold compress to bed may be the ultimate relief.
Turn to anti-inflammatories
Using anti-inflammatories can give you temporary respite when discomfort becomes too much and disturbs your sleep. But not all anti-inflammatories have to be in pill form. If you prefer natural remedies, there are many foods that you can add to your diet. For instance, warm turmeric tea made with milk or a non-dairy alternative can be a good way to kick off your bedtime routine. This is because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has pain-relieving effects on the body.
Other anti-inflammatory foods are tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts like almonds and walnuts, fatty fish, green tea, and Manuka honey. Or if you prefer to use something topical, try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gels that can be applied directly to the skin.
Get a better mattress
If you are noticing back pain first thing in the morning, your mattress could be the culprit. The wrong mattress design combined with poor sleeping position can put pressure on your spine, causing the natural curve to flatten.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to investing in a good mattress is assuming that memory foam is the answer. The truth is, there’s no scientific evidence to back up the efficacy of memory foam, and in our experience they’re not actually good for back support.
The Ely Mattress on the other hand is designed with 5,000 pocket springs featuring different zones to allow the heaviest parts of your body to align through the night. These different zones give unbeatable comfort, helping you get a better night’s sleep and optimum support for your spine. With the right back support and pressure, temperature regulation, and the use of hypoallergenic and non-toxic materials, the Ely Mattress is a great choice for everyone.
It has a natural and 100% biodegradable design too, making it the best ethical and sustainable mattress in the UK. Find out more.