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How to sleep more comfortably with back pain


Get a better night’s sleep and reduce your back pain

We spend almost half our lives in bed. But insomnia may not be the only thing preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Back problems are both painful and hard to navigate when it comes to lying down at night. Thankfully, there are some easy ways you can reduce your back pain so you can catch some z’s.

What caused it?

Have you worked out why you get back pain? You may have pulled a muscle or strained a ligament, in which case all you can do is rest. But if you’ve ruptured or slipped a disc in your back, suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis, or your back pain is severe and debilitating, you should see your doctor.

Sleeping positions

According to American website Healthline, research has shown that people with sleeping problems are more likely to develop chronic musculoskeletal pain. And where do many sleeping problems stem from? The way you lie in bed.

woman sleeping on her side with pillow

Lying on your side

If you lie on your side, you should support your hips by placing a pillow between your bent knees. If your bed is soft, or saggy, place a pillow beneath your waist.

Lying on your back

Sleeping on your back is all about retaining the natural shape of your spine. You can promote this by lying flat on your back as you are falling off to sleep, and returning to this position if you wake up during the night. It’s also a good idea to spread your legs and arms to distribute weight and pressure around your mattress.

Lying on your front

Lying on your front can create the most problems. If this is your favourite way to sleep, there a few things you can do to reduce the risk of hurting your back. Don’t bend or twist your neck too far forwards, backwards or to the side. Place a pillow under your chest and make sure you sleep on a supportive mattress.

Choose the right bed

You’ve got to start with the right equipment. Nothing else will matter if you’re not sleeping on the right mattress, and using the best kind of bedding and pillows. We’ve spent years researching what makes a mattress both comfortable and supportive, which lead us to The Mattress.

It features HD Pocket Springs for optimal support, and gel infused memory foam plus a latex pillow top for the ultimate comfort. It’s not too soft, and not too hard. Best of all? If you don’t like it, you can return it with our 100 nights guarantee. Pair it with The Pillow and the right kind of sheets, and you’ll have the best night’s sleep.

Sleeping ‘aids’

Sometimes, back pain can be the result of lots of tossing and turning throughout the night. If you struggle to get to sleep, or stay asleep, you should look at investing in products and activities.


You can pick up homeopathic melatonin tablets but these are often diluted. If you want the stronger stuff, head to your doctor and chat to them about the benefits of taking a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a natural product, one that we all produce throughout the day. It’s a vital hormone which helps regulate circadian rhythms (sleep cycles).


Valerian is a flower. It features in many herbal teas aimed at helping you sleep and companies like Blackmores and Swisse sell valerian tablets. It’s the most effective after you’ve taken it for a couple of weeks, and it may interact with other drugs so talk to your doctor if you’d like to try it out.

Visit a professional

acupuncture on back

While it may be tempting to treat your pain yourself, there are a range of services which specialise in treating back pain. You should book yourself an appointment with:

  • Acupuncture: A licensed accupuncturist will use needles to stimulate different systems in your body. It’s very effective for things like muscle inflammation.
  • Osteopathy: Osteopaths manipulate your body and stretch your muscles. They reposition your limbs and use massage to relieve muscle tension.
  • Physiotherapy: A physiotherapist will treat your body using exercise, massage, and manipulation.
  • Chiropractor: A chiropractor uses hands-on spinal manipulation and other alternative treatment to align your body.

Avoid alcohol

Many people mistakenly believe a nice ‘nightcap’ at the end of the day will help them nod off to sleep. Studies show that the opposite is true. Alcohol may help you initially fall asleep quickly, but it reduces the REM (Rapid Eye Movement). REM is a vital part of your sleep cycle. It’s the part of sleep where you brain forms neural pathways and cements information you’ve learned throughout the day.

When you sleep after a heavy night of drinking, you are more likely to sleep in a way which will cause back pain. Consider going sober for a month, and see if it makes a difference to your quality of life. You’d be surprised how good you may feel.

Stretch your muscles

Back pain can stem from a lack of muscle strength. Activities like pilates and yoga have been known to help those suffering from mild and acute back pain – plus, they’re great for your mind, too!

Exercise triggers an increase in your core body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature can make you sleepy. Studies have also shown that exercise also helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. Everyone’s sleep cycle is different, so to work out what time to exercise you can experiment. Try exercising in the morning, afternoon and evening to see which works best for you.

Now you have the information, you can say goodbye to back pain and hello to a better night’s sleep. Start the process by setting yourself up with The Mattress today.