If you’re trying to find out how to sleep with lower back pain, you’re not alone. In fact, many of us suffer from back pain during the night. But there are actions you can take right now and in the coming days that will allow you to put aside your sleep problems, reduce or eliminate your back pain and get on with your life.
When your back hurts, nothing in life seems to go right. And when you don’t get enough sleep, you get irritable and grumpy. Your back can’t recover from the day’s activities when you don’t sleep well, and that means you have even more back pain the next day. It’s a dangerous spiral that has to be interrupted so you can rejoin life.
The Right Position For Sleeping With Lower Back Pain
When you have lower back pain that interferes with sleep, the most important thing you can do is find a neutral position that puts as little stress on your back as possible. Your back should not be arched, but it shouldn’t be flat either.
Try one of these positions when learning how to sleep with lower back pain:
On your side with a pillow between your legs. You need to keep your top leg from falling in front of your bottom leg, which puts quite a lot of stress on your already-aching lower back. Just make sure the pillow isn’t so thick that it causes hip pain. You may find that putting a rolled towel in front of your waist will help keep you from falling forward as you sleep and help you stay in the healthiest possible side sleeping position.
On your back with a pillow under your knees. If you choose to sleep on your back, you must place a pillow under your knees to make sure you don’t put too much stress on your lower back. The best thickness for the pillow depends on the size of your body, but you don’t want something so thick that it creates additional problems. You may want to put a rolled towel under your back where it curves in so that your spine will stay very slightly curved but not arched.
The Worst Position For For Sleeping With Lower Back Pain
If you have lower back pain that’s keeping you awake, don’t try sleeping on your stomach. While it may first seem like a good idea to take some of the stress off your backbone, it will make things worse right away and even worse than that over time. When you sleep on your stomach, the natural curve of your spine flattens out, and that results in back muscle strain – and greater pain.
Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to rotate your neck, and that can cause neck pain or discomfort between your shoulders. That’s another problem for you to deal with, and you don’t need that.
You may find that you move around during the night, and that’s fine. In fact, the movement will help ease any pressure your sleeping position is causing, so don’t do anything that will restrict you from moving. If the movement dislodges one of your carefully placed pillows, just put it back in place when you notice.
Preparing For Less Pain In The Future
Once you’ve gotten some rest, the next step is to take action to reduce your back pain in the future. After all, you won’t have to worry about how to sleep with lower back pain if you don’t have it in the first place.
Reduced back pain at night starts with better habits during the day. Making sure your posture is maintained when you’re sitting can help a lot, and you need a work or office chair that supports proper posture rather than one that contributes to back pain. It also helps to stand up as often as you can. Movement loosens stiff joints, and briefly standing can reduce stress on your joints. Standing for a long time could make the problem worse.
You may also want to purchase a new pillow or mattress too. When you can’t sleep, your bedding is often to blame. You may find that you’re getting too hot or too cold at night as well. Most people find they sleep more soundly when it’s a bit cool, but stiff joints and painful muscles need to be covered to prevent them from becoming stiffer and more painful. You need to reach a compromise.
As long as your doctor says it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with taking over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers while the problem with nighttime lower back pain is at its worst. In fact, every action you take regarding your back health needs to be at the suggestion of or with permission of your doctor.
When you’re trying to decide how to sleep with lower back pain, start by finding some good sleeping positions. Then, try to reduce back pain by practicing better habits during the day. Finally, consider new bedding. When all these things work together, you’ll sleep better than ever before and feel great all day, every day.