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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 September 16, 2019

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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          • (1) Research
          • (2) Deciding the topic
          • (3) Creating the outline
          • (4) Drafting the content
          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
          • (6) Revision
          • (7) etc.

          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

          2. Change Your Environment

          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

          6. Get a Buddy

          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

          Reality check:

          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

          More About Procrastination

          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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