How To Sleep With Back Pain

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 13, 2024

kaneesha allen Fact checked by Kaneesha Allen

Are you tired of tossing and turning all night, then waking up feeling sore, stuffed up, and exhausted? Well, your bed could probably be the number one culprit.

sleeping with back pain ? best ways to cope

From drowsiness to headaches and severe pain and discomfort in your back, choosing the wrong bedding products can make your sleep a nightmare. But worry not! In this guide, we will explain in detail how to sleep with back pain.

Common causes of back pain

Back pain can be caused by different types of strain, structural problems, and sleep and mattress issues. However, the seven most common causes of back pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Strain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Disk problems
  • Sciatica
  • Poor posture
  • Bad mattress

How do you tell if your mattress is the reason for your back pain?

While it's not quite easy to know the exact cause of back pain, here are some major signs that show your mattress might be the reason.

  • Pain is the first thing you experience in the morning.

If you go to bed feeling great and wake up with terrible pain in your back, it's a sign your mattress is causing back pain.

The perfect mattress is one that provides just enough support for your spine without causing pain. If you have a too-soft bed, it will cause alignment issues and discomfort as well! And if you are sleeping on a mattress that's too firm, it may cause joint pressure in your hips, leading to back pain.

  • Your mattress is eight to nine years old. 

An aged mattress and back pain go hand in hand.

If you are using a memory foam or innerspring mattress that is around eight to nine years old, they lose their shape. As mattresses age, they will lose their ability to cradle your shoulders and hips and will start to sag.

6 Secrets to alleviate pain and sleep better at night

After a long, hectic day, all we truly need is a good night's rest. No one can deny the revitalizing effect of a comfortable night's sleep and its potential to optimize the regenerating power of our bodies. And for this reason alone, we recommend that you invest in the following products sooner than later.

latex mattress

1. Invest in a mattress that offers the right support

The first step towards a good night's sleep is to invest in a high-quality organic mattress that will support a healthy posture. It improves the quality of your sleep and, surprisingly, makes you feel surrounded by positive energy.

Woman relaxing on an organic latex mattress

Snoozing on an uncomfortable mattress may affect your health. If you continue to get inadequate sleep, you may start experiencing elevated anxiety or tension, and confusion may set in. Also, sleeping on such a lousy bed can make you feel sore and can cause lower back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.

Evaluate your current mattress. If you think it has started becoming saggy or if you think it's high time to change your mattress, look for a new one. If you are a stomach sleeper, you'll probably need a firm top surface on the mattress. And, if you are a side sleeper, get one that has pressure relief points so it will follow the shape of your body while remaining firm at the same time. If you're used to sleeping on your back, look for one that supports proper spine alignment.

2. Practice low-impact exercises

Doing low-impact exercises every day can be pretty beneficial for lower back pain.

Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises out there. You can stay active and be mobile while at the same time reducing the weight-bearing of your spine.

Swimming is good for back pain

Other forms of low-impact aerobic exercise, like stationary cycling, biking, and yoga, can also be helpful.

3. Find the right sleeping position

The best position to sleep in when you're having back pain is lying flat on your back. Place one pillow below your head or neck and another below your knees for optimal spinal alignment. However, if you're pregnant, make sure to avoid this position because it reduces blood circulation to your heart and fetus.

Side sleeping is the second-best position for avoiding back pain. It's also a preferred sleeping position for anyone dealing with sleep apnea or snoring issues because it keeps your airways open.

Sleeping on your stomach is the not-so-recommended position for your spine. This position flattens the natural curve of your spine and puts a lot of pressure on your spine's muscles and joints. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.

Here are some of the best sleeping positions that reduce back pain:

  • Sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees
  • Sleeping on a reclined back with a pillow underneath your head
  • Sleeping on your side in a fetal position with a body pillow

Best and worst sleeping positions for back pain

4. Build muscle strength and flexibility

Core strengthening exercises help get rid of seemingly endless back pain. That means it's high time to get stretching.

The best core strengthening exercises for your lower back include wall sits, hamstring stretches, pelvic tilts, planks, partial crunches, and lunges. These exercises also improve your back strength and give you a healthy body.

Mid adult woman doing hamstring stretches

5. Try using a mattress topper

Your mattress is a bit old, but you're not ready to spend too much on a new mattress. Or maybe you are using rental property for a limited period of time, so you don't want to deal with lots of stuff to move. Well, a mattress topper may be the best solution for you. It can revamp your old mattress, giving it an extra super layer that improves back support. That's pretty awesome, right?

natural and organic latex mattress topper

Mattress toppers are particularly useful for those experiencing pressure buildup on their existing mattresses. They provide extra cushioning and contouring, further spreading the sleeper's weight to take some pressure off the main areas, say, the hips and shoulders.

6. Use the right pillow

Best organic pillows for back pain

A perfect pillow supports your head and neck without applying extra pressure. It is the one that conforms to the exact shape of the sleeper’s upper body, thereby spreading the weight uniformly along the vertebrae.

From constant back pain and stiff necks to sleep apnea, there might be a lot of problems you are going through all night. If your current pillow doesn't support your neck in the position you sleep in, there's no doubt that you are going to suffer from severe back pain.

For example, if you are a side sleeper who uses a soft pillow that doesn't provide proper support under your neck, your head has to extend sideways to meet the pillow, thereby causing intense stress.

Back support pillow for pain relief

If you are looking for a pillow that provides the best back support and relieves constant pain and aches, we recommend you go for contour pillows. They have a special shape that provides great support and comfort when you are sleeping.

Contour pillows are effective sleep pillows that are meant to align with the contours of your head, neck, spine, shoulders, and back when you are lying down. It is one of the most common types of orthopedic pillows used to relieve stiff neck, shoulder pain, sore back, snoring, and sleep apnea. While there are plenty of pillow options, such as foam, polyester, down, etc., none of them, sadly, have any therapeutic benefits.  Buckwheat pillows are another great option for pain relief.

How does back pain affect your sleep?

Back pain can make daily activities difficult. This includes walking, working, sitting, and lifting even lightweight items. Unfortunately, back pain complicates sleep, making it hard to find a comfortable position to sleep soundly through the night.

People with back pain tend to have a fragmented sleep pattern that occurs from tossing and turning all night. This can also contribute to stress, depression, and anxiety, which can be detrimental to quality sleep.

If you're someone who has back pain, you can take several steps to sleep better. Taking care when lifting heavy objects and sitting with proper posture can reduce the aggravation of back pain. Having an organic mattress that keeps your body well aligned can reduce stress on the spine and open the door for better sleep.

However, if you have severe back problems, it's always best to seek the help of an expert doctor.

Invest in your sleep; it does matter!

Investing in quality sleep is as significant as investing in any other healthy lifestyle choices. Achieving that perfect 7-hour night's rest is easier said than done. And if you don't choose the right mattress, pillow, mattress topper, and other bedding items, you might be setting yourself up for poor sleep.

Woman waking up happily after achieving the best night's sleep

Because you spend so much time in your bedroom throughout your life, investing in high-quality, long-lasting bedding should be a top priority. Don't buy products made of polyester or cheap quality materials, as they contain a lot of toxins that are harmful to your health and the environment. These cheap quality pillows and mattresses also fail to offer proper back support, leading to severe aches and pain.

natural and organic pillows

So, what are you waiting for? Create a haven where you can't wait to come home after a busy day of work and gift yourself the comfort of deep slumber!

Related blog posts:

1. Mattress For Side Sleepers

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers

2. How to Measure a Mattress the Right Way?

How to Measure a Mattress the Right Way?

3. Mattress For Kids

Best Mattress For Kids 2023

4. Mattress Topper For Back Sleepers

Best Mattress Topper For Back Sleepers 2023

5. The Importance Of Bed Frames: Why Support and Stability Matter

The Importance Of Bed Frames: Why Support and Stability Matter

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.

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