What’s your evening routine like? Do you take a walk? Watch your favorite series? Call your parents? Spend some quality time with your family? No matter what you choose to do in the evenings, we all have the same goal: to unwind. The evening is supposed to be a time when you can relax and de-stress from your busy day. Overnight while you’re sleeping, particularly, should be the time when your body is most at ease. However, not everyone experiences this deep physical and mental relaxation that we all deserve. Many people dread going to bed because they know they’ll experience nighttime back pain.
While not everyone experiences this unpleasant phenomenon, many people seem to have lower back pain when they lay down and overnight while they’re sleeping. This can be extremely frustrating because it usually results in a lack of deep sleep, which can lead to insomnia, nightmares, grumpiness, increased anxiety and even dehydration. The good news is that several methods have proven helpful for those who experience back pain at this hour. Here are a few ways to get rid of nighttime back pain:
Change your sleeping position
Sleeping position can have a huge bearing on whether or not you sleep soundly and whether you experience any pain. For example, if you sleep with a twisted torso or pelvis, you could be putting extra strain on your muscles. Experts say that the best sleeping position for those with lower back pain is on their backs or sides, but never on their stomachs. Stomach sleeping can exaggerate the arch in your back, which can intensify pain in the area.
Be more active in the day
Daily exercise has more than just health benefits. If you’re someone who works at a predominantly sedentary job or who sits for the majority of the day, your back pain may be building up during your day and simply be exacerbated at night. The more active you are during the day, the more your muscles can be stretched and the less tight and constricted they’ll be while you’re sleeping. But don’t worry- you don’t need to run a marathon. Even walking and stretching properly for 30 minutes per day can make a huge difference.
Get a better mattress
The most common cause of nighttime back pain is a bad mattress. However, “bad” can mean several things. Your mattress doesn’t need to be old to be giving you problems! If you aren’t sleeping on the right kind of mattress for your body, you will likely experience severe pain. That being said, if your mattress is around 10 years old, you should consider having it replaced. Older mattresses do not offer as good of support as they should- even if they are marketed to last 20 years!
The best kind of mattress for you depends not only on whether you experience back pain but in your preferred sleeping position. While side sleepers tend to feel more comfortable on thicker mattresses, back sleepers usually prefer thinner mattresses. However, the majority of experts- and those who experience nighttime back pain- suggest a medium-firm mattress. At The Mattress Warehouse, we offer mattresses for every sleeping position and nighttime ailment.
The Sealy Posturepedic Boston Gel Medium Pillow Top mattress is firm, medium and plush- perfect for those who needed added support, but a soft surface. Its gel and aloe vera fabric make it not only comfortable but cooling, as well. This Sealy mattress’ Posturepedic double offset coil system technology gives it the perfect firmness for those with back pain, regardless of preferred sleeping position.
Another great option for a back pain-relieving mattress is the Restonic RestCare Pillow Top – Double Mattress. It is made with memory foam, which shapes to the contours of your body while still giving a medium-firm amount of support thanks to the Bonnell coil system. This mattress is even better for side sleepers because it features foam encased side support. If you have back pain that you only notice while in bed at night, then you should try one of these plush and supportive mattresses.
Epsom salt bath
Those who enjoy natural remedies should try an Epsom salt bath. Adding one cup of Epsom salts to a warm bath is said to relax sore muscles and loosen any tension. Epsom salts are also known to reduce inflammation, so regardless of the cause of your back pain- whether it’s tight muscles or some sprain- Epsom salts can work wonders.
Try nighttime yoga
Yoga has long been praised for reduced pain, anxiety and muscle tension. There are even certain yoga positions specifically designed to alleviate back pain, such as the cat and cow pose, supine pose and downward dog pose. If your lower back is uncomfortable while sleeping, try practicing some basic yoga moves right before bed. This could give you the stretch and tension release that your body needs to sleep comfortably.
Use extra pillows
Adding pillows for extra support is a proven way to relieve back pain. If you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to properly align your body. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees. If you tend to sleep in the fetal position, switching sides throughout the night can also help with lower back pain. However, avoid sleeping on your stomach at all costs as this is a well-known cause of back pain.
If you experience nighttime back pain, don’t lose hope. While it can be uncomfortable and frustrating, there are several potential solutions to your problem. Try all of the suggestions on this list until you find one (or a combination) that works for you. However, keep in mind that a faulty mattress is the leading cause of nighttime back pain. Most people don’t even realize that their mattress is the culprit until they have it replaced and noticed the difference in their pain and sleep. If your mattress is old, you should give this a try.