Pain-related sleep loss is a major problem in our society. People who struggle with back pain can avoid losing sleep by changing their sleep positions and selecting the right mattress and pillow.

Pain-related sleep loss

Pain-related sleep loss is a major problem in our society, in part just because of the huge number of people who experience chronic pain. The 2015 Sleep in America Poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that 1 in 5 adults (21%) had chronic pain, while more than 1 in 3 (36%) felt acute pain during the last seven days – a total of more than half of American men and women. Just 43% reported they were not in pain.

Pain, high levels of stress, and health problems all decrease the amount of sleep that people get and introduce a higher prevalence of sleep disturbances. However, many people experiencing these issues are able to get significantly more sleep by better understanding and prioritizing it.

Sixty-five percent of those with no pain reported good or very good sleep quality, while only 45 percent of those with acute pain and 37 percent of those with chronic pain did the same,” notes the Sleep Foundation. Plus, nearly a quarter of pain patients (23%) said that their stress was high, much more than the 7% of pain-free people who reported elevated stress.

Strong sleep positions to relieve pain

Many people like to sleep on their stomachs, but that is not a good idea – particularly for those with back pain. There is a natural “S” curve in your spine that flattens when you lie on your stomach. That stress on your natural alignment exacerbates lower back pain. Additionally, you have to twist your neck to the side, potentially causing upper back pain.

To optimize your sleep positions, make quick adjustments with pillows:

Back sleepers: If you want to go to sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees – which helps support your spine’s natural curve.

Side sleepers: In this truly ideal position, you pull your legs up slightly, bending your knees. Put a pillow in between them.

The right equipment

Be sure you set aside the time to select a mattress and pillow that you really find comfortable. “Some people prefer the firmness of a harder mattress, while others are more comfortable on a soft mattress,” explains Everyday Health. “Some people may find it helpful to use a contoured pillow to alleviate neck strain or to sleep on just one pillow instead of a stack of several pillows.”

Do you have back pain?

Reducing pain-related sleep loss is of course about more than changing the way that you sleep. You also want to get treatment to alleviate your symptoms and recover from your pain condition. At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, we provide solutions for resolving painful health issues in a personalized and caring manner. See our New Patient Offer.