Is There a Link Between Insomnia and Back Pain?
The amount of sleep you get each night dictates how you feel the next morning. But aside from impacting how alert you are at work, sleep - or lack thereof - can have serious effects on your physical health.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of adults report they have experienced insomnia symptoms in a given year. The condition is often marked by restless and frequently interrupted sleep cycles, which can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, chronic pain, medications and lifestyle changes.
"More than half of adults battle insomnia at some point in their lives."
Back Pain May Spur Insomnia
Among the common factors that lead to insomnia is chronic back pain. Often, people who are living with constant aches and pains have trouble sleeping, as they are woken up throughout the night to deal with physical concerns. While over-the-counter medication can dull these aches through the night, movements and poor mattress quality can lead to worse sleep. The Laser Spine Institute reported that nearly two-thirds of all adults living with back pain report having trouble sleeping because of discomfort or pains during the night.
Lack of Sleep May Cause Back Pain
While back pain may cause insomnia, other researchers have found that insomnia only makes the symptoms of back pain worse. Since the time we spend sleeping is crucial for allowing the body time to rest and recharge, those who don't get a full night's rest are more likely to experience bouts of pain brought about by poor physical health.
How Do I Break the Cycle?
It may seem like insomnia and back pain go hand in hand, but it is possible for people to break the harmful cycle. To combat both body aches and poor sleep, consider integrating the following into your daily routine:
- Exercise: The Laser Spine Institute explained that stretches, physical therapy and easy exercises are crucial for building muscle strength and preventing pain at its source. Try adopting a simple exercise routine, like yoga or tai chi, that will improve your overall health.
- Apply Heat: Temperature can have a significant effect on pain, so pick up products that will provide consistent heat to your troubled areas. Heated mattress pads are the perfect choice - placing these items on your bed can keep your lower back from succumbing to chronic aches, while also creating a warm and cozy environment that can contribute to better sleep.