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Simple Sleeping Techniques To Relieve Your Back Pain Effectively

Simple Sleeping Techniques To Relieve Your Back Pain Effectively

Back pain can strike at any time, and when it does, it can range from a general uncomfortable feeling to extreme pain. Many things can contribute to back pain such as sitting positions, posture, bending or lifting awkwardly and weakened muscles, but the way in which we sleep can actually be a major cause.

Did you know that around two-thirds of people with back pain suffer from some kind of sleep disorder? Considering the majority of us spend about a third of our lives getting our shut-eye, it’s important to consider how our sleeping arrangements might affect us physically. Our sleeping patterns, whether lack of, or interrupted sleep together with improper sleeping positions can have a huge effect on whether or not we develop back pain and making positive changes can help relieve back pain and increase our quality of life.

How To Relieve Back Pain By Changing Your Sleeping Positions

We all have our favourite sleeping positions, some allow us to fall asleep much more easily but not all are beneficial to our back health. Here are 4 sleeping techniques that can help relieve back pain or prevent it from occurring in the first place.

1. Sleeping on your back

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sleep-position-1

    via Cleveland Clinic

    Sleeping on your back isn’t the easiest of positions for people to fall asleep, but it is the best sleeping position for overall health and will do wonders for your back and the alignment of your spine. By laying on your back, you are placing the spine in a neutral position and distributes your weight evenly across the body helping to keep your internal organs in a stress-free natural position.

    If you have trouble sleeping on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees. This will help prevent you from rolling onto your side or end up in your usual position.

    2. Alternating sides

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    sleep-position-2

      via Cleveland Clinic

      If you must sleep on your side, try not to stay in one position for a long period of time. We obviously can’t control this when we’re sleeping but in the moments leading up to sleep try to alternate from left to right.

      Sticking to one side can cause muscle imbalance forcing the alignment of the spine out of place. The hips and pelvis also get pushed into an unfamiliar position causing stress on the spine. Try placing a pillow between the knees to create a better hip alignment.

      3. Position your pillow correctly

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      sleep-position-3

        via Cleveland Clinic

        Whether you opt to sleep on your back or side, the positioning of your pillow is key for keeping optimal alignment for your back muscles and spine. Always position your pillow beneath your head and neck and not your shoulders.

        When sleeping on your back, make sure the pillow supports the gap between your neck and the mattress while sleeping on your side requires the pillow to be thicker and places under the ear in order to keep the head and neck in alignment with your back.

        4. Sleeping positions change for different body types

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        sleep-position-4

          via Cleveland Clinic

          Whether you have wider hips than your waist or your hips and waist are relatively straight, it can make a difference to your mattress needs. Wider hips benefit from a softer mattress as it allows your spine to stay in a neutral position, whereas straight waist and hips require a firmer mattress in order to get the needed support.

          How Lack Of Sleep Leads To Back Pain

          When it comes to sleep and back pain, we tend to think of sleeping positions but when we don’t get enough sleep our whole body suffers and sleep deprivation can lower our pain threshold, therefore highlighting a back pain problem much more.

          Lack of sleep also causes muscles to become fatigued and tired. This means the muscles around the spine become weakened and take longer to recover and when this happens the back becomes less supported and susceptible to misalignment and pain.

          To optimize better sleep and create less back pain, there are many positive habits you can adopt before bedtime. These include:

          • Rubbing back muscles to promote blood flow and relaxation.
          • Taking a hot bath to relax the muscles and lessen aches and pains. This will also promote a better sleep.
          • Meditation or breathing techniques can help relax the mind and body.
          • Changing your mattress if it’s nearing seven years of use. Regular use can cause less support over time and attribute to increased back pain.
          • Investing in a well-made innerspring or foam mattress that provides good support.

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          Jenny Marchal

          Freelance Writer

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          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on the small tasks.

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

          2. Take a break from your work desk.

          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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          3. Upgrade yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a friend.

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

          7. Read a book (or blog).

          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

          8. Have a quick nap.

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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          9. Remember why you are doing this.

          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

          10. Find some competition.

          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

          11. Go exercise.

          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

          12. Take a good break.

          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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