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Sleeping with Back Pain

By Sara Butler

If you suffer from chronic back pain, then quality sleep may be something that evades you. Pain can be a big roadblock to a good night’s rest for a lot of people, but getting the right treatment for it is a step in the right direction. Here are a few ways you can try to deal with your back pain and enjoy a better night’s sleep.

Why Sleep is So Important

When you aren’t able to get a proper night’s sleep it’s a downward health spiral. The back pain you’re experiencing may cause you to be unable to sleep well, and then not sleeping well may lead you to experience more back pain as well as other health problems. It’s a terrible cycle to get caught up in. In fact, there’s some evidence that poor quality sleep can make you even more sensitive to pain, making it even more difficult to sleep!

What Kind of Pain Can Disturb Sleep?

There are several things you can experience that can disturb your sleep. They include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Depression and anxiety - If you suffer from depression or anxiety, then it can make it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep, at night. This sleep loss can often lead to more anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Breathing problems – People with sleep apnea don’t get quality sleep at night, and often those same people are obese which can also cause back pain. Sleep apnea can be made worse by painkillers, which are prescribed to some people with back pain.
  • Restless leg syndrome – Limb movement disorders such as this can cause a lot of sleep disruption at night, for you and your partner if you share a bed!

There are many problems that can cause back pain, problems sleeping or both – discuss them with your chiropractor!

Lifestyle Changes

If you suffer from chronic back pain, then you may want to try the following things to help you sleep better at night:

  • Avoid eating before bedtime – Eating a big meal before bed can cause heartburn, which can then make it more difficult to sleep.
  • Minimize stress – A major cause of sleep issues is stress, and it also happens to be a major contributor to chronic back pain. If you feel you’re under a lot of stress and it’s impacting your sleep at night, discuss ways to deal with stress more effectively with your chiropractor.
  • Don’t drink – You should avoid caffeine and alcohol leading up to bedtime. Both can make it more difficult to fall asleep or more difficult to stay asleep and get good quality rest.

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night due to back pain or another issue, feel free to discuss it with your chiropractor during your next visit to The Joint!

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