Sleep is important, we need it to function properly throughout the day and without it, it can affect us in many different ways. It contributes to our mood, how our brain works and our overall physical and mental health.
Scientists, however, are still trying to figure out the relationship between the two! It’s said that increases in sleep problems tend to beget increases in pain problems, and vice versa.
An experimental study suggested that when you don’t sleep well, you have a heightened sensitivity to pain. Fortunately, there are various things which you can do to prevent aches and pains and therefore improve your sleep.
Sleep Tips for Aches & Pains
- Get a comfortable bed, mattress & pillows – You need bedding equipment that is beneficial and comfortable enough for your body. Take a look at the top 3 best mattress brands of this year to provide a bit of insight as to whether or not you do have the right bedding. Funnily enough, it is the main cause of sleep disruption and poor quality of sleep.
- Take a Melatonin supplement – this is a sleep hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to relax and sleep!
- Optimise your bedroom environment – the set up of your bedroom is a factor in getting a good night’s sleep, stay organised and clean!
- Take a relaxing bath or shower – with aches and pains, hot water can help reduce pain significantly. It’s a popular way to sleep much better.
- Stretch Your Body Before Bed – Stretching your body helps your muscles, especially if you haven’t been very active during the day.
Best Sleeping Positions to Prevent Pain
Sleep on Your Side – We hope you have more than one pillow, because you need one that sits between your knees when you sleep on your side! There are various types of sleepers, but it’s important to note that you shouldn’t constantly sleep on the same side as this can cause issues, such as muscle imbalance. You should try sleeping on your side if you feel uncomfortable lying flat on your back.
Sleeping on your side won’t cure back pain or aches, but it’s the pillow between the knees that is the most effective. It helps the pelvis, hips and spine in better alignment.
Sleep In the fetal position – This is the best position if you have a herniated disc. Your discs are essentially cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. It is called herniation when a part of the disc is pushed from it’s normal space. This ultimately causes weakness, pain and is quite uncomfortable to deal with.
Curling the torso into the fetal position is able to open the space between the vertebrae, therefore reducing pain and weakness.
Sleep On Your Back – For those that sleep on their back, try adding a pillow under your knees. We understand everyone has their own positions that they find comfortable, so reducing aches and pains will be different for each individual.
However, when you sleep on your back, it means your weight is evenly distributed across the widest area of your body. Because of this, you reduce straining on pressure points and have better alignment of your internal organs and the spine.
If you’re still struggling to sleep and have chronic pain that is long lasting, it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor. The tips included throughout this article only act as a guide and they will work differently for everyone.