Does your long stressful day leave you battling with back pain every night? You are not alone! It is estimated that 80% of adults suffer from work or stress-induced back pain. In this day and age of sedentary lifestyle, men and women are equally affected by constant lower or mid back pain.
According to the Global Burden of Diseases 2017, back pain is ranked number one as a leading cause of disability across all ages, globally. Usually, such pain doesn’t require the need for a doctor’s assessment as the body self-heals when given adequate rest and sleep. Improving your sleeping patterns and getting the right mattress will solve half your problems.
Best Sleeping Positions to Avoid Back Pain
Research suggests that adults need at least 8 hours of sleep at night. However, just the duration of sleep is not enough for a healthy life, but the quality of sleep is highly essential to maintaining a pain-free life. Not getting quality sleep is the most common problem faced by adults; increasing the risk of diseases. One effective easy to ensure quality is by sleeping in the right position.
Here is a list of best sleeping positions to avoid or minimise back pain:
- Sleeping flat on your back – This distributes your bodyweight uniformly all over your body thereby reducing the stress and pressure on your back. Support your knees on a pillow to maintain the natural curve of the spine.
- Sleeping on your sides – Sleeping on your back all night can make it stiff. To avoid this, you can switch sides every night (in a foetal position). Keep a pillow between your legs in this posture to maintain the natural spinal curve.
Note: Sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleeping posture as it flattens your spinal curve and adds unnecessary strain on your back and joints.
Finding a Mattress that can Help Avert Back Pain
While unhealthy lifestyle often induces back pain, improper mattress only increases the problem. Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can ruin your sleep cycle, keep you up at night, and overall affect your body and mind.
Why is a Good Mattress Important?
A good mattress can improve your overall posture and relax your muscles for a night of wholesome sleep. However, a wrong mattress could worsen your back pain and increase your risk to life-altering diseases. Here is a quick guide to be the best type of mattress to give your back complete rest at night. Although there is no perfect mattress for everyone, choosing the right mattress based on your body is the key to keeping back pain in check.
Some pointers to keep in mind while purchasing a mattress:
- Support – Mattress support is crucial in avoiding back pain. If your mattress droops at the centre, your back is at automatic risk.
- Conforming Ability – If your mattress does not conform to the contours of your body, then it shows that there are gaps in the mattress and does not support your spine, shoulder and hips properly.
- Firmness – The level of firmness if highly essential in maintaining a good night’s sleep.
- Too firm: Not ideal as your will spine curves upwards while sleeping, increasing pressure on your shoulders and hips.
- Medium-firm: Ideal! Your spine is straight, and the mattress conforms to your body.
- Soft: Not ideal as your spine curves downwards, causing your body to sink into the mattress.
Types of Mattress Ideal to Avoid Back Pain
- Innerspring mattress with steel coil support systems – Allows to contour the body thereby giving full support;
- Memory foam mattress – Provides lumbar support while keeping spinal alignment;
- Latex mattress – Medium firm and pushes the body upwards.
Morning and Night Exercise to Ease Your Day
It is not enough to just sleep right if you are looking to live a long and healthy life. Regular exercise, even for 5 minutes, before bed or right after waking up in the morning is beneficial to aiding quality sleep and in improving your long term health. Start with the following exercises to build into your sleeping routine:
- Stretching – Lie on your back with knees together and lift your legs to a form a 90-degree angle;
- Bend and touch your toes – It helps loosen the muscle on your back and stretches the hamstrings;
- Cobra Pose – Lie on your stomach with your hands beside your shoulders and lift your chest pointing your head to the ceiling;
- Cat-cow Pose – Get on your hands and knees to alternate between arching your back and then bending inward.
Back pain is one of the most irritating and gruesome experiences a person can undergo, regardless of their age or profession. Although a lot of the back problems can be caused by other, out of your control, variables, the ones caused by improper sleeping habits and positions is the most common. Thus, it is better to follow the aforementioned information to reduce the prevalence of the same and get a good night’s sleep.