Whether you’re a back, front or side sleeper, sleep with one pillow or two, there are a few easy steps you can take to wake up pain free. Here’s how to prevent back pain while you are sleeping, and ensure you’ll always wake up on the right side of bed.
Choose the right mattress
While your preference for a softer or firmer mattress is entirely personal, it’s important to be supported in the heavier parts of your body – ie around the hips and shoulders – so they don’t sink down as you sleep. Your body should remain in a relatively neutral position whether lying on your side or back. You should feel comfortable in bed, and be free of aches and pains when you get up in the morning.
Most beds will feel comfortable in the short time you lie on them in the showroom, so going to a reputable mattress seller like Regal Sleep Solutions can help prevent buyer’s remorse.
As for replacing your mattress? There are no hard and fast rules as to its lifespan, but if you’re waking up with sleep-related pain that only occurs in the morning, it could be a sign your bed needs an overhaul.
Adjust your pillow height
Again, pillow choice depends on personal preference, but your neck and shoulder should be in a neutral position whether you’re sleeping on your back or side. If the pillow(s) is too high it will tilt your head forward; if it is too low it will tilt your head upwards. Aim for the neutral middle ground. If you’re experiencing neck pain and headaches every morning, try rejigging your pillow set up.
A pillow or two under the knees can help back sleepers too, while those who sleep on their side can sometimes benefits from a pillow between their legs.
Maintain a healthy, active lifestyle
Dehydration can cause cramping and muscle spasms overnight, so don’t forget to keep up your fluids (wine doesn’t count). Exercise – including strengthening and stretching, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress levels and practising good sleep hygiene will all help you sleep more soundly, and wake up with fewer pains.
Regularly waking up with back pain? Make an appointment with one of our Physios today.
Pete Hunt is a highly skilled physiotherapist with nearly three decades of experience working in sports physiotherapy and private practice. The Director of The Alignment Studio, he has a special interest in musculoskeletal and sports injuries, orthopaedic rehabilitation and postural syndrome. With a caring, communicative approach, Pete uses a combination of joint and soft tissue mobilisation and exercise prescription to treat his clients. He’s also passionate about education for injury prevention and lasting results.