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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 May 15, 2019

          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

          How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

          As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

          “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

          When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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          Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

          We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

          But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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          So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

          It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

          1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

          Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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          2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

          This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

          You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

          3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

          This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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          4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

          How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

          So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

          If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

          And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

          Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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