Your Fool-Proof Guide to Nighttime Aches and Pains

Some of us find it difficult to sleep at the best of times, let alone when our bodies are riddled with aches and pains. Lower back and neck pain can be two annoyances that prevent us from getting a good night’s rest, meaning we wake up the next morning groggy and miserable, not rested and rejuvenated.

Luckily, there are some simple solutions that can help you get the rest you deserve. In this article, we will cover:

  • The link between body pain and sleep
  • How to sleep with lower back pain
  • How to relieve neck pain from sleeping

Without further ado, let’s explore the link between body pain and sleep!

How Body Pain Relates to Sleep

If you’ve ever experienced body pain before, you’ll know about the havoc it can reap on your sleep. If you suffer from chronic pain, sleep disturbances are all too common.

Approximately 30% of adults experience chronic pain in their lives and 20% of these report disruptions in their sleep. That’s over 66%! When you compare this to the 7.4% of the general population that report sleep disturbances, you can begin to see the true state of the impact chronic pain can have on our shuteye.

How to Sleep with Lower Back Pain

Sleeping with lower back pain isn’t easy, but it is possible. By following these four top tips, you can give yourself the best possible chance of getting a good night’s sleep:

1.     Stop sleeping on your stomach!

Sleeping on your stomach is a surefire way to ensure sleep disruptions throughout the night. Why? Well, sleeping on your stomach puts your body under a lot of strain. When you sleep on your belly, your stomach naturally sinks into your mattress, which then compresses your spine. Over time, your spine will move out of its natural alignment, causing you aches and pains down the line.

2.     Pick Your Mattress Wisely

Super squidgy and rock-hard mattresses are definite no-nos when dealing with lower back pain. Instead, choose a mattress with a medium firmness – this will give you an adequate amount of back support and respect the natural alignment of your spine, meaning no back pain for you!

3.     Keep to a Consistent Nighttime Routine

Much to many people’s surprise, a consistent nighttime routine can work wonders for lower back pain. Ensure you exercise regularly, stop drinking caffeine in the afternoon, and go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. These practices help to maximise our lower back health by improving our sleep quality.

4.     Sleep on Your Left Side

Sleeping on your left-hand side is not only supposedly the comfiest, but it’s also better for your body (including your lower back!). Sleeping on your left side ensures your stomach and the gastric juices it contains are lower than your oesophagus, which is the recipe for a much more comfortable night’s sleep.

Combine left-side sleeping with placing a pillow in between your knees, and bed will never have felt comfier! This position prevents back strain, as it perfectly suits the natural curve of your spine!

How to Relieve Neck Pain from Sleeping

Ever woken up to the excruciating pain of cramp in your neck? Perhaps you often sleep on your neck funny, frequently noticing a twinge in your neck throughout the day. Both of these scenarios suggest that your neck is uncomfortable during the night. To ensure your neck feels A-OK when you wake, consider these four key points:

1.     Picking the Right Pillow Is Key!

When choosing a pillow, don’t opt for the cheapest one you set your sights on. Instead, prioritise pillows that respect the natural curve of your neck, supporting it all night through.

Top tip: Look for a contoured memory foam pillow. These provide optimal neck and cervical spine support, making you less likely to wake up with aches and pains.

2.     Steer Clear of Pillow No. 2

Sometimes, one pillow doesn’t feel like enough. So, what do we do? We reach for pillow number two. Unfortunately, this habit is no good for our necks. Stacking our pillows secures our necks in an awkward, bent position, causing pain and strain over time.

3.     Sleep on Your Back

If you frequently get back pain, sleeping on your back may be a quick and easy solution. This helps to ensure your neck and spine are straight, preventing neck strain. For additional support, add a rolled-up towel beneath your neck or invest in a little cylindrical pillow.

4.     Add Stretches to Your Nighttime Routine

Stretches are a practice we often hear talked about but rarely take up ourselves. However, gentle nighttime stretches are exceptional at relieving tension built up from the day, which can help prevent us from scrunching up our bodies at night.

Final Verdict on Nighttime Aches & Pains

Experiencing frequent nighttime aches and pains? These can cause severe discomfort, not only through the night but also during the day. Luckily, there are ways to prevent lower back and neck pain. Follow the simple strategies outlined in this guide to lower your risk of lower back and neck aches and pains for good!

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