Back pain is enough of an uncomfortable problem during the day, but it can also rob you of much-needed sleep. Both men and women of all ages are affected by back pain resulting in long wakeful nights and missed work. The American Chiropractic Association estimates that 80 percent of the population experiences variable back pain at some time in their lives.
The good news is there are several proactive things back pain sufferers can do to fall and stay asleep, such as using a sleep app and doing yoga stretches. These techniques don’t require a large investment or major lifestyle changes. They are simple solutions focusing on small improvements to promote better rest, so you will wake up in the morning ready to seize the day.
How These Cool Apps Can Help
Technology can be a great aid in the fight against chronic back pain and sleepless nights. There are several apps designed to help you manage symptoms and get the rest you deserve. All you need is a phone plan with plenty of data to let you run the apps at night and to keep you from spending on overage fees.
You can keep track and gain insights into your chronic pain with My Pain Diary. To get a better understanding of your sleep patterns, Sleep Time by Azumio provides detailed analytics as well as comforting soundscapes to help you sleep. Lastly, popular meditation apps including Headspace offer a variety of applications to relieve insomnia and stress. Over 150 million users worldwide are taking advantage of its guided meditations.
Why Your Bedding Matters
Sleeping on the right mattress can make all the difference. A firm mattress is preferable for back pain relief as it maintains your body’s normal spinal position. Older spring mattresses often develop cavities over time, having an adverse effect on your back. It’s a smart idea to update your mattress if you have been using the same one for more than ten years.
How you sleep is as important as what you choose to sleep on. Using your pillows to better align your body helps you enjoy a night of peaceful and painless sleep. Side sleepers are encouraged to place a pillow between their knees to keep the hips and spine aligned. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, a pillow tucked under your lower abdomen helps to take the pressure off your back.
Stretching Your Body Before Sleep
Establishing a nightly routine of gentle yoga stretches is one of the best things you can do for an aching body. Numerous studies have shown the meditative practice not only strengthens muscles and enhances flexibility, but it can effectively relieve back soreness. Yoga also helps reduce stress and anxiety which, in turn, relieves pressure and promotes energy metabolism. Getting in the habit of working your body with a few simple yoga poses in bed before you settle in may lead to deeper sleep and a better day tomorrow.
Turn Off the Blue Light
Electronic media is ingrained in popular culture, and it isn’t uncommon for people to use it as a method of relaxation at night. But devices like televisions and tablets are sleep deterrents with the ability to suppress melatonin and delay your body’s natural rhythm.
Artificial, short-wavelength blue light is the culprit. The emittance of the light from your smartphone or other devices delays your circadian rhythm and encourages alertness, making it harder for you to fall asleep. Turning off electronics an hour or two before bed is one aspect of a healthy bedtime routine that all back pain sufferers should implement.
You don’t have to let back pain rob you of a good night’s rest. Simply adopting these tools and habits can help you get the sleep you need.
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