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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

          A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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          Last Updated on January 3, 2020

          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

          Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

          The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

          1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

          Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

           I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

          To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

          And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

           2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

          Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

          3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

          Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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          4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

          The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

          5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

          Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

          6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

          Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

          7. Positive people smile a lot!

          When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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          8. People who are positive are great communicators.

          They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

          9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

          One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

          10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

          Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

          How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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          I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

          Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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