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How to Sleep With Lower Back Pain

older woman in bed with lower back pain

Lower back aches plague large portions of the population — enough so that the Global Burden of Disease study proclaimed it the leading cause of worldwide disabilities

A good night’s sleep can be critical for managing your lower back pain, but when those aches prevent restorative rest, how do you escape from the cycle?

Before you rush out to replace your mattress with a more expensive alternative, make some minor adjustments to your daily and nightly routines to ease lower back stiffness and relieve your discomfort well before laying down for the evening. Here are a few tips for better sleep even with lower back pain and why CBD oil can help.

Revise Your Daytime Routines

When trying to solve how to sleep with lower back pain, you may be surprised to find many of the answers shortly after waking up: Changing some of your daily habits can minimize the stress placed on your back throughout the day and leave you less sore come bedtime.

Wake Up at a Consistent Time

Many accomplished athletes will tell you that the secret to success is boring: follow a healthy routine that encourages good habits. Revising your daytime routine starts with your alarm clock sounding off at the same time each morning — even on weekends when you’d rather sleep in.

By the time you finish dressing for your day, you might have already done your back a disservice. 

Adhering to a consistent circadian rhythm will help develop healthier sleep cycles, allowing your lower back muscles to achieve the rest they need to recover after long days and soreness. 

Select the Right Shoes For Support

By the time you finish dressing for your day, you might have already done your back a disservice. Why? Because selecting shoes that don’t provide enough foot support affects the muscles and joints in your upper back and hips.

When choosing your shoes for the day, the most important consideration should be your shoes’ heel height. Heels that are too low create a “negative heel” that places awkward stress on your hip joints as they turn in their sockets at your pelvis.

On the other hand, heels that are too high can affect your spine’s natural curvature in your lower back, thicken tendons and contract your calf muscles. While most people think of women’s footwear when talking about high heel shoes, the same applies to men, especially with boots.

After considering your shoe’s heel height, look into the shoe’s cushioning. The cushioning your shoes provide to your feet will affect how much shock passes on to your joints and up into your spine. If the shoe has less cushioning, it may worsen any back aches you already have.

Add Yoga to Your Exercises

Yoga has many benefits — among them are the abilities to increase your spine’s flexibility and stretch your muscles to reduce contractions that contribute to lower back discomfort. Adding a series of yoga poses to your exercise routine is a great way to soothe the strain on your lower back — although, remember that when performing yoga, it’s essential to maintain your spine’s natural inward curve, or you might risk more issues later.

Lower back and abdominal-focused yoga will not only stretch muscles that contribute to nighttime spine stiffness but strengthen them as well. Poses that you can do during the day to balance stretching and strengthening include:

  • Cat-cow
  • Child's pose
  • Happy baby
  • Boat
  • Chair
  • Locus
  • Plank variations

However, be sure to keep your more acrobatic efforts to the mornings and afternoons. Many of the yoga poses that focus on the back leave yogis with an energizing boost. A sudden uplift will prevent you from falling asleep quickly and affect the amount of healthy rest you receive each night. For the same reasons, limit more intense exercises to the morning or early afternoon. 

Practice Your Posture

The way you stand and sit throughout the day directly impacts your spine’s natural curvature.

...a pre-sleep series of poses can offer the perfect chance to soothe lower back aches while also separating yourself from the day’s stress.

One in four workers spend more than eight hours a day sitting down at their desk, which certainly doesn’t help with back pain. If you have poor posture or you’re prone to slouching over the computer screen, it’s likely that your lower back will become sore long before bedtime. 

If you struggle to maintain correct posture, consider using:

  •  A lumbar support pillow – These types of pillows can be used in bed to maintain spinal alignment when sleeping on an unsupportive mattress.
  •  A yoga ball chair – Yoga ball chairs are exactly what they sound like — an exercise ball you can sit on. These types of chairs encourage better posture by engaging your core and should be used no more than two hours a day. The popularity of yoga ball chairs has risen in recent years, but they aren’t a full-time fix. They won’t provide the same structural support as a lumbar pillow. 
  • A posture corrector – Posture correctors act as a sort of back brace and can be worn under your clothing to improve posture and reduce aches. 

Adopt New Nightly Routines

While your daytime choices carry a surprising weight regarding how your back feels during the evening, there are plenty of techniques to address lower back aches while winding down, too. 

Apply Ice and Heat

Many people choose to address their back tension by applying ice to help numb their muscles or a heating pad to soothe them:

  • Cold compresses and ice packs – reduce inflammation and swelling in your muscles. 
  • Heat pads and warm washcloths – help muscle flexibility and encourage blood circulation, bringing the tissues the oxygen and nutrients needed to recover.

Many people experience the most improvement from applying ice first to numb any soreness in their back before switching to heat to ease the ache. 

Relax With Yoga

While more back-bending yoga should be kept to earlier hours, poses that encourage mediation and relaxation can instill calmness and ready your mind (and back) for rest. 

For people who are busy during the day but still enjoy yoga, a pre-sleep series of poses can offer the perfect chance to soothe lower back aches while also separating yourself from the day’s stress.

Nighttime yoga should emphasize your breathing to encourage a relaxed, meditative state that will help you fall asleep more easily. Adding a pillow to your yoga routine will also help minimize harmful stretching to your back before you go to bed. There are many poses you can incorporate, including:

  • Pillow-supported child’s pose
  • Sleepy pigeon pose
  • Legs-up-the-wall
  • Pillow-supported butterfly pose
  • Pillow-supported hip bridge
  • Pillow-supported savasana

When performing your yoga poses, find a good breathing rhythm by deepening your breath and counting your inhales and exhales. Then, breathe into the areas of your lower back that are the most bothersome.

Massage Your Back Muscles

Immediately following a very low-intensity yoga routine, massage your lower back muscles to provide further relief. Both activities pair well together, and the time spent feeling out sore spots during your meditative focus prepares you to address them right away.

Foam rollers can help you self-massage muscle tissues, but be careful not to use one that places additional stress on your spine. Back-specific rollers feature a recess to help you massage along your spine without applying direct pressure to it.

However, since your lower back can be hard to reach, working with a partner provides the best opportunity to receive a good massage.

Make Better Habits For Better Sleep

Some habits simply aren’t conducive to achieving a good night’s sleep. For example, caffeine consumption and naps in the late afternoon and night hours can disrupt your natural rhythms and make it more difficult to fall asleep, regardless of any back discomfort. 

In addition, staring at your smartphone or laptop screen at night — especially those without blue light filters — can trick your brain into thinking the sun’s still out, which causes your body to produce less melatonin, or the hormone that makes you feel tired.

Aside from your back aches, try to identify the habits that keep you up at night and remove them from your routine for a better and restful sleep.

Try Sleeping Positions That Support Your Spine

Generally, the best sleeping position for lower back pain is laying flat on your back with a pillow that keeps your neck aligned with your spine. However, if you’re a side-sleeper, you can achieve the same effect with a slightly taller pillow.

Sleeping on your stomach is generally discouraged, as the position tends to flatten your spine to an unnatural degree, causing neck and back discomfort.

So, if you are a stomach sleeper, strategically using pillows also improves your sleeping position for lower back pain:

  • While laying flat on your back, try placing an extra pillow underneath your knees to support your spine’s natural curvature.
  • Side-sleepers should try placing a pillow between their knees to maintain proper alignment from their neck down to their hips.
  • Those who tend to move around in their sleep can stay in a supportive sleep position throughout the night by placing pillows that discourage rolling over.
  • Sleeping while on your stomach can be improved with a thin pillow that minimizes the bending and twisting of your neck. This will also help alleviate neck pain.
  • If you end up sleeping while sitting upright (e.g., in a recliner, on an airplane), try a “U-shaped” neck pillow to support your neck and maintain spinal alignment. This is one of the ways on how to sleep with neck pain. 

After you identify how to relieve lower back pain while sleeping, consider adding sleep supplements to your diet. 

Have You Considered CBD?

If you’re experiencing poor sleep and looking for sleep help or for something that can help ease the stiffness in your lower back, consider trying a CBD product. 

There are a variety of available CBD products that each offer different types of solutions. With the ability to choose from (or combine) ingestible, sublingual, or topical CBD supplements, you can better prepare your mind and back for rest and relaxation.

CBD helps consumers achieve mental calmness, soothe muscle aches, reduce post-exercise-induced inflammation and support overall health and wellness. Oil and tablets will provide more immediate effects right before bedtime.  For topical applications, try using CBD rubs or balms — especially during a nighttime massage that follows a tranquil yoga routine.

Improve Your Sleep With Zebra CBD

Persistent lower back aches can disrupt your daytime and nighttime routines. When soothing your aches, cultivating nightly habits doesn’t have to be challenging. Unwind your mind and muscles with a calming yoga routine, a supportive sleep position, or soothing heat and ice therapy.

Or, unwind with Zebra CBD.

In addition to CBD extract, our Sleep Support Tablets contain a blend of natural sleep ingredients: melatonin, L-theanine, valerian root extract and chamomile extract to support a good night’s sleep. 

Zebra CBD delivers products backed by the industry’s only Label Accuracy Guarantee, meaning we deliver the most effective formulas on the market. With us, you can trust your CBD source and develop healthy sleeping habits in the process. 

With some minor adjustments and a careful approach, hopefully, you can mitigate — or completely eliminate — your lower back discomfort.

Source: 

Everyday Health. The Best and Worst Shoes for Back Pain. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/best-worst-shoes-back-pain/

Garden State Pain Control. How Do High Heels Affect Long Term Spine Health. https://www.gardenstatepain.com/blog/how-do-high-heels-affect-long-term-spine-health

Greatist. 5 Best Yoga Ball Chairs and How to Actually Sit on Them. https://greatist.com/health/yoga-ball-chair-benefits

Healthline. The Best Sleeping Positions for Lower Back Pain, Alignment Tips, and More. https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/best-sleeping-position-for-lower-back-pain

Paleohacks. 10 Nighttime Yoga Poses You Can Do in Bed. https://blog.paleohacks.com/nighttime-yoga-in-bed/#

Spine-health. Should I Use Ice or Heat for My Lower Back Pain. https://www.spine-health.com/blog/should-i-use-ice-or-heat-my-lower-back-pain

Yogi Approved. Afternoon Slump? Practice These Yoga Poses to Boost Your Energy. https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/yoga-energy-boost/

Yoga Internatonal. Yoga for Lower Back Pain: Learn the Do’s and Don’ts. https://yogainternational.com/article/view/yoga-for-lower-back-pain-learn-the-dos-and-donts

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