Better Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Those who have experienced lower back pain in their lifetime know how hard it can be to sleep with it. Whether the pain prevents them from falling asleep or wakes them up in the middle of the night, there’s no doubt that lower back pain makes it harder to sleep.

Luckily, there are measures you can take to ensure a good night’s rest. The following methods are merely suggestions. Everyone is a little different, meaning what works for one person may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to try a few different methods to help you sleep better until you find one that works for you.

Sleeping Position

One of the easiest ways to relieve lower back pain is to change your sleeping position. Whether you attempt sleeping on your side instead of your stomach, or simply switch out your pillow, each little change you make could possibly impact your sleep.

The following are suggestions for specific causes of lower back pain. Remember, these are only suggestions – experiment until you find the right fit for you.

Herniated Disc

People suffering from a herniated disc should tweak their sleeping position based on which disc is herniated.

  • Paracentral Disc – Try lying on your stomach to relieve pain.
  • Foraminal Disc – Sleeping on your side in the fetal position may relieve pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Sleeping on your stomach may relieve the pressure on your discs.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

People often find relief while sleeping in a reclined position. You might consider purchasing an adjustable bed.

Cold Therapy

Applying ice or a cold gel pack 15-20 minutes before bed may help to relieve lower back pain by reducing inflammation and slowing your nerve impulses. Alternatively, you can perform a nightly ice massage.

The easiest way to perform an ice massage is to freeze water in a paper cup. Once completely hardened, peel off the top inch of the paper. Apply the ice in a circular motion in the area of pain. Make sure to limit your ice massage to five minutes to avoid getting an ice burn.

Consistent Sleep Schedule

It is incredibly important to not let your pain interfere with your sleep schedule. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is integral to your overall health.

We recommend establishing a nightly routine, beginning with a bedtime that allows for about eight hours of sleep. Then, about 30-60 minutes prior to that bedtime, perform the same relaxing activities such as listening to calming music or taking a hot bath. In time, these activities will signal to your brain that it is time to go to sleep.

Interested in learning more about keeping your spine happy and healthy? Sign up for our monthly newsletter below!

Subscribe to our Healthy Back Newsletter

Nebraska Spine Hospital

START TYPING AND PRESS ENTER TO SEARCH