The Effects of Lower Back Pain at NightThese two can compound and leave you feeling exhausted and at the end of your rope. Luckily, there are some simple lifestyle changes that can help you manage your lower back pain at night, and prevent additional back pain in the process. Here are some simple, straightforward tools for pain prevention.
Tip #1: Find the Right MattressFinding an option that is suitable and comfortable to you is paramount when battling lower back pain at night. The Better Sleep Council recommends that you evaluate your mattress every 5 to 7 years to see if it still fits your needs. The rule of thumb is that reasonably-firm mattresses are the best because they provide optimal support.
Tip #2: Use a Proper Sleeping PositionThere is no one size fits all solution when it comes to the best sleeping position, but there are a few that you should stay away from. Two of the worst ways to sleep for those who suffer from lower back pain at night are on the stomach and on the side in curled up in a ball. However you sleep best, there are ways to enhance your sleeping position to restore proper alignment to your spine.
- If you sleep on your side: Have the legs drawn slightly toward the chest, keeping the lower back curve in the correct position. Try adding a pillow between your legs.
- If you sleep on your back: Add a pillow under your knees which allows the lower back to settle a bit and helps with alignment.
- If you sleep on your stomach: If you MUST sleep on your stomach, put a thin pillow (or maybe a towel) under your lower abdomen/groin to push the lower back up into alignment and ease the strain.
Tip #3: Use Support
- For pillows: Use a pillow that keeps your neck in a neutral position, not bent in any direction. It Should fill the space between your neck and your shoulders, but not support the shoulders.
- Use a night roll: This can be bought, or simply be made from a rolled up towel tied around your waist. This fills the space between your hips and rib cage and is a supportive tool for where the spine’s lumbar curve would be usually be compromised.
Tip #4: Stay Active with Exercise:Experts believe that you should exercise your pain and try to keep moving to the best of your ability. Exercise not only keeps you in motion, but it helps strengthen muscles, keeps your joints fluid, and can help burn energy to get a smoother night of sleep.
Tip #5: Maintain Good “Sleep Hygiene”A number of concepts are important to getting a good night’s sleep, and they are especially important if you’re losing sleep from back pain. Practicing good sleep hygiene will help you deal with your pain along with enhancing the other efforts you’re making to manage your lower back pain at night. The most important things to do are:
- Quit Smoking.
- Avoid Alcohol especially right before bed.
- Avoid caffeine at least 8 hours before going to bed.
- Don’t overeat before bed.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Talk to your doctor about medications.