Millions of men and women in the United States lose sleep because of pain. The connection between sleep and pain is both a personal and a social concern since it is so widespread: 21% of people nationwide suffer from chronic pain, according to a survey from the National Sleep Foundation. Among those people who do experience chronic pain, 37% rate their sleep as “very good” or “good,” far lower than the 65% of those without pain who give their sleep those descriptions.

Many people who lose sleep because of pain specifically have back-pain conditions, partially because so many people in the US suffer from low back pain (LBP) – 31 million. Since losing sleep is so common, back pain patients often want advice on what they can do to get more sleep hours. Here are steps you can take:

How to Get More Sleep Despite Back Pain

Try various support positions.

Putting a pillow in-between or beneath your legs can reduce strain. If you do not have an extra pillow, you can use a rolled-up towel instead.

Try lying on your side with one pillow under your head and a second one between your knees. Bend your knees and rotate your hips up a bit. This position is the most advisable because it allows your spine to retain its natural S shape.

If your side does not work for you, try your back, with a pillow or towel beneath your lower spine and/or knees.

While lying on your back can make it difficult for the spine to retain its S curve, sleeping on your stomach is especially likely to cause additional back pain. If you are unable to sleep in any other position, the best you can do is alleviate some of the stress with a pillow beneath your abdomen.

Turn on a light recording.

Try listening to classical music, relaxation podcasts, audio books for kids, or other tranquil audio.

Change your mattress.

A change in your mattress could help mitigate back pain. You want for your body to be in the same basic position on the mattress when you lie down to sleep as when you are standing with your head up and shoulders back.

Strengthen your core.

You will generally have higher-quality sleep when you exercise regularly. A specific way to reduce your back pain, though, is to strengthen the muscles of your lower back, pelvis, hips, and abdomen – the core. 

Get help.

Are you experiencing back pain that is disrupting your sleep? Beyond the do-it-yourself steps above, you may need professional treatment for long-lasting relief. At Advanced Wellness & Rehab, our mission is to help you experience a pain-free life again. See our New Patient Offer.