According to research published by the Cleveland Clinic, chronic joint pain contributes to 50 to 90 percent of restless sleep for adults in America. Now, there are many joints in the body, so this percentage includes everything from the hips and knees to the back and neck. Additional studies indicate that lower back pain is one of the leading complaints among adults today and that some people with chronic back pain miss a significant number of days at work because of their problem. Back pain on its own is a potentially debilitating problem. When pain then disrupts sleep, we’ve got a whole new level of concern to contend with. It is no secret that pain typically feels worse at night when we’re trying to sleep. When it comes to joint pain, including the joints of the spine, scientific evidence demonstrates a link between pain and motion. It isn’t only that we’re mentally occupied during the day but that we’re also more physically active. The movement of the body during waking hours prompts the body to produce lubrication for all of its joints. When we sleep, there is no need for the body to make extra lubricant, so the joints may feel more of the pressure they’ve been under all day.
Is it possible to sleep with back pain?
Sleep experts say that, yes, it is possible to get a decent night’s sleep even when back pain is present. They suggest:
- Sleep in a different position. People with neck pain may do better sleeping on their back than on their stomachs. People with low back pain may find relief sleeping on their side with a pillow between the knees.
- Invest in sleep. To invest in sleep means to make sure the mattress or pillows being used are supportive of spinal alignment. Some people need a firmer mattress while others need one that is softer. The goal is to find products that provide the greatest amount of comfort.
- Implement healthy bedtime rituals. Bedtime rituals begin hours before one goes to sleep. Some people with chronic pain tend to rely on a nightcap before bed to relax their muscles. Artificial sleep aids such as alcohol or sleeping pills might make matters worse for some. Instead of substances, experts recommend turning the lights down low after dark and avoiding digital devices. This stimulates the body’s natural production of melanin, the sleep chemical.
There are several strategies for sleeping with back or neck pain. They may be helpful but they don’t always work. We suggest getting treatment that can reduce or eliminate back pain altogether. To see how we can help you do that, call our Tampa, FL office at (813) 920-3022.