Not getting a good night’s rest can really aggravate your chronic back pain. It is frustrating to try to go to sleep with back pain only to have a restless night and wake up in even more pain.
Your life does not have to be an endless circle of pain. First, it is important to learn why sleep is vital to keeping you and your body healthy. Then, you can better understand how lack of sleep and back pain are related, and implement some tips and tricks so you can fall asleep quickly and stay asleep.
Importance of Sleep
Sleep is a state in which the body has a chance to rest and recharge, which is important to your mental and physical health. During sleep, the body repairs tissue, makes the immune system stronger and builds muscles and bones.
In order to sleep well, the body has to go through the entire sleep cycle, which consists of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stages. The body cycles between the two phases throughout the night.
Things that Keep You Away
Even though you may feel tired there are times when you just cannot fall asleep. Anxiety and stress are two factors that can keep your mind racing. Sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are another set of culprits that deter you from falling asleep. Also, self medicating with over-the-counter drugs and alcohol can also leave you sleep deprived.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
There are a few things you can do to prepare body and calm your mind down to get restful sleep:
- Lessen the stress – That may mean changing jobs or your lifestyle. Adding exercise, meditation and yoga are also ways to lessen stress in your life.
- Eliminate caffeine – Depending on your body, you might have to eliminate caffeine altogether or at least 3-5 hours before your bedtime.
- No alcohol – Again, eliminate altogether or do not drink right before bed.
- Get comfortable – Make sure your bed and pillow are providing you with the proper support.
If you are still finding that you back pain is not improving, you might have to see an orthopedic doctor to help you relieve your pain.