One of the most frequent questions we get asked is “what’s the best way to sleep with lower back pain?” Try this simple pillow hack for the best way to sleep with lower back pain! Then, check out our 6 best doctor recommended tips for a better night’s sleep!
1. Use a Pillow Between or Under Your Knees
One of the best ways to reduce hip or low back pain while sleeping is to use a pillow in between your knees or behind your knees, like this!
If you are a side sleeper, place a pillow in between your knees. This helps keep the knees, hips and pelvis in alignment while you sleep which can help reduce low back pain.
If you are a back sleeper with lower back pain, place the pillow under your knees to reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curvature of your lower back.
If you are a stomach sleep, our doctors recommend trying to sleep on your side or back.
2. Stretching Before Bed
Stretching before bed is a great way to unwind and prepare yourself for a good night’s rest. Stretching can help relieve muscle tension and improve blood flow. This can help improve sleep quality and enhance muscle recovery while sleeping.
Stretching before bed can help relieve lower back pain and tension in the hips, shoulders, neck and chest. In addition to reducing muscle tension, stretching and deep breathing before bed can help reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system. This is helpful in allowing the body to fully relax and go into a deep sleep REM cycle.
Try to incorporate a series of stretches like these into your routine 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
3. Implement a Sleep Routine
In addition to adding in five to ten minutes of stretching before bed, it is helpful to develop a pre-bedtime routine that you follow every night so that your body knows it’s time to start winding down for bed.
Your bedtime routine can be anything that’s easy for you to maintain. It can include taking a shower or bath, reading, stretching, deep breathing, etc. Try to implement the same things every night around the same time. This will signal to your brain that it is time to start winding down and preparing for sleep.
4. Wake Up and Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Day
Another helpful routine for your body is to wake up and go to bed at the same time (or close to the same time) every day.
This allows your circadian rhythm, aka your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, to synchronize and will help you sleep better during your sleep periods. If your sleep-wake cycle is out of sync, you may have difficulty sleeping, and the quality of your sleep may be poor. This can leave you tired and sluggish throughout the day.
Try to aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and keep consistent wake and sleep times. Not only will this help you sleep better, but it will help you feel more awake and energized throughout the day since your body will recognize that it’s supposed to be awake during the daytime hours.
5. Limit Screens and Blue Lights 2-3 Hours Before Bed
We get it. One of the most popular ways to wind down from a busy day can be to watch tv or scroll through your phone. But be warned! This might be harming your sleep! Screens emit blue light which prevents the body’s natural ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that signals your body to go to sleep.
Our doctors recommend trying to avoid looking at screens 2-3 hours before bedtime. This again can help signal to your body that it is time to start winding down and preparing for sleep. If you do want to watch tv or look at your phone, we recommend wearing a pair of blue light glasses to prevent blue light exposure.
Additionally, if you wake up in the middle of the night, try not to look at your phone as this can signal to the body it’s time to wake up.
Just as it can be helpful to limit blue light before bed, light exposure in the morning can actually be helpful in waking the body up. Once you wake up, try to exposure your eyes to sunlight. If the sun isn’t out yet, try to turn on as many lights as possible to signal to your mind and body that it is daytime. This will help sync your circadian rhythm and keep a consistent sleep-wake cycle.
6. See A Chiropractor to Help Reduce Pain and Injuries
It can be hard to find ways to sleep with lower back pain. Pain and injury can be two of the biggest contributors to poor sleep. When your body is injured, under stress or feeling tension, it can hinder your sleep. Seeing a chiropractor to help naturally heal any injuries or lower back pain can not only reduce pain but lead to better and deeper sleep.
When you have better, deeper sleep, it can help increase muscle recovery and reduce stress. Both of these are super important for injury prevention.
Additional ways that chiropractic care can help sleep include reducing overall mental and physical stress, reducing medications, specific mattress and pillow recommendations and more.
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free. We also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance. We want to make sure you get the most from your benefits. You should experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.
Kaizo Health offers locations in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA. Our doctors an evidence-based approach by combining chiropractic care and individualized rehabilitative exercises. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health. We are here to help! If you’d like more information, check out our blog. You can also take our free virtual self-assessment on app here.