How to Sleep With Middle Back Pain: 7 Tips
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It’s the ultimate catch-22. You know that you need adequate sleep to keep your pain levels in check. However, you can’t seem to get comfortable enough to fall under once you lie down. Fortunately, making small adjustments to your nighttime routine could help. Here are seven tips to learn how to sleep with middle back pain to help you get your Zzz’s.
1. Find the Perfect Mattress Firmness
You spend roughly a third of your life lying in bed. You owe it to yourself to invest in a mattress that will support you the way you need it.
Should you go firm or soft? Research indicates that going too far in either direction can cause trouble. People who sleep on very firm mattresses report more back pain than firm or medium-firm ones. However, softer models let you sink in so deeply that the joints in your spine twist, causing you increased pain.
A mattress is one thing you don’t want to order online. Don your protective gear and head to the store to find the right cushioning for your unique body.
2. Or Explore Alternatives to a Bed
Some people with mid-back pain might find that they sleep better in an alternative to a bed. For example, many reclining chairs offer superior lumbar support for the natural curve of your spine. If you’re a back sleeper, this solution might be ideal if you struggle to get up in the morning. Many folks who sleep in recliners do so because it’s easier to push themselves to standing when it’s time to awake.
Sleeping in a recliner also benefits other health conditions. For example, those with sleep apnea might awaken feeling more refreshed. The slight elevation helps keep your airway open, preventing temporary breathing lapses from disrupting your slumber.
Likewise, sleeping in a recliner might alleviate symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition causes stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, causing heartburn. Elevating your head keeps things pointed in the right direction, minimizing sleep disturbances.
3. Use Lots of Pillows for Support
What’s the best sleeping position for middle back pain? It depends, but most experts agree that stomach sleeping isn’t advisable. Doing so pulls your center of gravity forward, creating undue pressure on your low back. Additionally, you’ll need to turn your head to the side, supporting your neck.
Your back or sides are your best choices for sleeping with middle back pain. If you tend to sleep on your back, placing a pillow beneath your knees helps ease any pressure on your lumbar region.
Those who sleep on their side should put a pillow between their knees. Doing so helps keep your spine in a neutral alignment instead of dipping in toward one side.
4. Time Your Pain Medication
It takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes for most painkillers to take effect. Peak power tends to occur between two and six hours after taking a dose.
Therefore, you should time your pain medication so that your last dose takes effect close to the time you lie down to sleep. If you struggle to remember, consider setting an alert on your phone to remind you. Another idea is to link taking your medication to another habit, such as brushing your teeth. If you tend to your hygiene a half-hour before bedtime, pop your pain pill before you floss and brush.
5. Practice Yoga Before Bed
Yoga is an ancient practice that can help calm your central nervous system before you rest. It makes it easier for you to get your Zzz’s by inducing a deeply relaxed state.
However, some classes can invigorate you, like ashtanga or vinyasa. For maximum stress-relieving results, indulge in a gentle restorative or yin class. Make your practice even more effective by focusing on 2-to-1 breathing while you stretch. Doing so activates your parasympathetic nervous system, the half that tells you it’s time to rest and digest.
6. Unwind in a Hot Bath
When searching how to sleep with middle back pain, the answer could be as simple as a walk to the kitchen. Hot water has the power to soothe tense muscles, allowing you to rest. Your evening dip may work even more effectively if you add a tablespoon or two of Epsom salts to the mix.
Another idea is to use tea. You can take a tea bath by steeping the brew and adding it to your tub or tossing a few bags in the water. Chamomile and lavender are classic choices to help you slide into slumber. Use caution with colorful herbs like turmeric — they can stain your porcelain.
7. Avoid the Bottle
You might be tempted to nip a nightcap to help you get to sleep. Please resist the temptation. Doing so might help you fall under initially, but it wakes you up midway through the night when your neurotransmitters attempt to return to normal.
If you must have a beverage before bed, warm milk or herbal tea is a wise choice. Valerian is useful for putting you to sleep, but you have to drink it consistently for maximum effect. Other herbs to try include chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and passionflower.
How to Sleep With Middle Back Pain
Chronic achiness can keep you tossing and turning. However, you need your beauty sleep for your body’s natural healing processes to occur. Follow the seven tips above to learn how to sleep more effectively with middle back pain and reclaim your rest.