04 Oct How Sleep Affects Your Spine–and Vice Versa
Two very common health issues people face are back pain and sleep problems. In fact, these two ailments often go hand-in-hand. Quite frequently, when we help our patients at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic to resolve back pain, their sleep quality improves—and in turn, improved sleep helps them feel even better. It’s a win-win situation.
How Does Sleep Help Your Back?
Good rest lessens the likelihood of muscle aches and a host of other problems. It lets your body regenerate many important functions that play a role in pain relief. Here are just a few:
- Allows the spine to decompress and recover from the demands of your day
- Produces beneficial hormones and chemicals to reduce inflammation
- Restores connections in the brain that improve nervous system function
The Cycle of Poor Sleep and Back Pain
Patients often complain that they wake up with lower back pain. Back pain interferes with falling and staying asleep, preventing the restorative benefits of a full night of sleep. Being sleep-deprived makes the pain worse. When you’re tossing and turning, it’s hard to find a comfortable position, and you’re even more aware of pain.
People may turn to pain medication, which unfortunately works against them by disrupting sleep.
Lack of sleep leads to a variety of problems that can increase pain, including:
- Reducing levels of growth hormone that heal the body
- Increasing sensitivity to pain
- Raising levels of inflammation
- Worsening depression
- Feeling more stress, which tightens muscles and increases pain
Tips for a Good Night’s Rest
Practice good posture during sleep. Your spine needs good posture to remain in proper alignment, avoid muscle strain and promote nighttime healing. How do you achieve good posture in bed? Here are some suggestions:
- Use a good-quality mattress that’s not too hard or soft. Test mattresses carefully when shopping. Replace your mattress at least every 10 years.
- Sleep on your side or back rather than on your stomach. Stomach sleeping places extra strain on your spine. To reduce pressure on the spine, put a pillow under your knees (for back sleeping) or between knees (for side sleeping).
Set a regular bedtime. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep. Avoid the stimulating blue light from electronics before bed.
Stretch your muscles gently before bed.
Avoid stress. Relaxation techniques and meditation are helpful.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and of course, caffeine before bed. Daily exercise improves flexibility to help you avoid muscle stiffness in bed.
Chiropractic Care and Better Sleep
Chiropractic adjustments align the spine and promote better circulation, mobility, strength, and flexibility. This brings about the healing of joints, muscles, and tissues that relieves pain.
Your chiropractor’s care helps to alleviate your back pain naturally, without drugs or invasive procedures. Good sleep habits help to maintain your spine’s proper alignment.
Remember that it pays to take care of your spine every day…including during that 1/3 of your life you spend under the covers.
Schedule Your Free Consultation at our Broken Arrow Office
We’re here to help you at Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic. Give us a call at 918-940-4630.