When Back Pain Interrupts Your Sleep

When Back Pain Interrupts Your Sleep

It’s a vicious cycle: Pain can make it harder to sleep — and when you can’t sleep, your pain may be worse. Here are some simple steps you can take to get a better night’s rest.

If your back hurts worse at night — no matter how many positions you try — tell your doctor and physical therapist. Pain is a sign of UNDERLYING ISSUES.

Here are some simple steps you can take to get a better night’s rest, even when you have low back pain symptoms.


Start position is lying face down on the floor in the prone position as if ready to start a push up but keeping the hip and legs in contact with the floor.
From the prone position, gently press up using the arms and shoulders keeping the legs, pelvis, and lower abdomen in contact with the floor.
Perform the exercise in a slowly to the end of the movement range and then pause briefly, rather than holding as if performing a traditional static stretch.

Here are some other things to try for better sleep:

  • If buying a new bed is not an option right now, try adding plywood supports between the mattress and its base. Or as a temporary solution, have someone move your mattress onto the floor.
  • Put a pillow under your knees when lying on your back and between your knees when lying on your side.
  • To help maintain the curve in your back while sleeping, try a rolled-up towel, wrapped around your waist and tied in front.
  • To get into bed, sit on the side of the bed. Supporting yourself with your hands, bend your knees, and lie down onto your side.
  • To get out of bed, roll onto your side, bend both knees, and push yourself up with your hands, while swinging your legs over the side of the bed. Avoid bending forward at the waist, which can put strain on your back.
  • Rest may help, but don’t stay in bed more than a day or two after an injury. This may make matters worse.
  • If your pain is bad and you need to lie down to get comfortable, be sure to get up every so often and move. This can relieve stiffness and pain, which will help you sleep better at night.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake, especially in the evening to help with sleep quality.
  • Don’t overeat before bed. Make sure you don’t eat a large meal before going to sleep, which can interfere with sleep and cause digestive problems.
  • Try relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or deep breathing.

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