Is there a connection between sleep and back pain?

You must have heard people saying that all the bad things happen at night. Though this may not necessarily be true, back pain can get intense when you are trying to rest. Sufficient sleep is essential for both mental and physical wellness.

As you enter the different sleep phases, your body releases chemical properties that activate healing. The production of growth hormones stimulates cell production and regeneration. Sleep problems and back pain are closely related. Back pain can interfere with your regular sleeping schedule and lead to long hours of wakefulness at night.

The lack of restorative sleep, in turn, increases the pain. The connection between the two, therefore, leads to less sleep and intense pain. If you can relate to this situation, allow us to help you understand why it happens and help you solve the two conditions. Read on! 

How does back pain impair your sleep?

When you are experiencing intense pain on your back, this acts as a hindrance preventing you from reaching the recommended sleeping hours. Your mind becomes more aware of the pain when your body is not very active at night compared to daytime. Unlike during the day when your activities distract you from the pain, the night comes with fewer distractions. This makes you more aware of the pain, making it hard to fall asleep.

It is also difficult to get a comfortable sleeping position when experiencing back pain. You may find yourself tossing trying to reduce the pain. Continuous turning delays your sleep. Some people go to the extent of looking for back pain medication to reduce the condition. Though this may help, medicines like opioids may interfere with your sleeping patterns. Using such medicines for long can even cause sleep apnea.

Back pain can hinder you from participating in a lot of activities during the day. Doctors say that the lack of sufficient exercises or activities during daytime can cause sleep problems. This is only one side of the coin. Let us try and flip it and see if there is a connection.

Does the lack of sleep worsen back pain?

According to researchers, poor sleeping patterns can intensify back pain. When you don’t have enough sleep, your body does not produce adequate growth hormone. A person enjoying high-quality rest can easily release growth hormones. These act as pain relievers in the body. When you are sleep deprived, you cannot release the hormones meaning your body cannot heal the back pain fast.

Apart from that, sleep deprivation affects your central nervous system negatively. It makes your body less tolerant to pain since the nerves become more sensitive to the pain signals. Due to this, you may suffer from intense back pain.

Sleep disturbances also make your body prone to inflammation. Increased inflammation on your back can make the pain severe. The lack of having enough sleep can also cause depression. This condition can sometimes lead to back pain.

The ways of solving back pain and restoring your sleep

Now that you know how both problems are linked to one another, you should look for strategies of restoring your sleep and ending the pain. Start with the following tips.

Get a new mattress

The cause of your back pain could be an old, saggy mattress. A firm or too soft mattress can also cause back pain and sleep disturbance. Visit Avocado mattress and buy one that is organic. You can get a good mattress that provides maximum back support and increases comfort to improve the quality of your sleep.

You can also adjust your bed and get a reclining position that does not strain your back. Alternatively, get a hammock that is more comfortable for your back. This allows you to remain suspended in the air so that nothing presses your back while asleep. 

Stretch

You may not have the strength to do a lot of physical exercises during the day, but you should not get into bed without stretching first. Try to work on painful spots to get rid of the tension in your muscles. Get the help of someone to help you stretch your back.

Try heat therapy by using a heating pad to stretch your back. This can also relieve the soft tissues in your spine and reduce the pain. It also eliminates discomfort as you sleep to increase your quiet hours.

Try relaxation techniques

 We mentioned that sleep deprivation causes depression which can intensify back pain. This is where relaxation techniques come in. Mindful meditation can minimize the back pain and improve the quality of your sleep. You can also try focused breathing or peaceful relaxation through soothing music. This can distract you from the pain at night and make the environment more comfortable.

Go for cognitive behavioral therapy

One can combat insomnia with the help of this treatment. It can improve your sleep, and you can also express your feelings with the therapist. Talking out can help you manage things like depression and help you adjust your lifestyle. If you are busy, you can take the therapy sessions through online services.

Adjust your sleeping positions

You should also try to find sleeping positions that are comfortable. For instance, try side sleeping curling your body into a fetal position. Let your pillow remain between your knees. This position can align your spinal cord and relieve the pressure.

Alternatively, let your bank face down on the mattress and elevate your knees using a pillow. Use another pillow to support your head.  Rest on a reclined position bending your knees to reduce the stress on your lower back. Restorative sleep can help you relieve the pain on your back.

Final thoughts

It is how you sleep at night that affects your performance during the day. Back pain and sleep problems go hand in hand. They make it hard for one to rest and sleep for eight hours. If you are experiencing this, make the changes we have discussed to solve the problems. You can also consult a doctor if the problem persists.