6 Ways Your Sleep Setup Can Cause Back Pain

Getting out of bed in the morning can be a painful chore for many because of the persistent lower back pain they suffer. Research indicates that more than 80 percent of Americans will have to encounter this malaise at one point in their lifetime.

There are many different reasons you could be experiencing this pain. You could have strained your muscles lifting a heavyweight item or engaged in strenuous activity. Or, the culprit could be lying on your bed.

If your mattress isn’t right for you, it could be responsible for the discomfort and pain you’ve endured. What makes a mattress “right” or “wrong” for your body type? It typically comes down to identifying your preferred sleep position and choosing a firm vs. soft mattress

Finding the ideal mattress could be the difference between blissfully uninterrupted sleep and nights of endless tossing and turning. Here are some ways the mattress you’re currently using or your sleeping habits could be contributing to your lower back issues:

1. Your Mattress is Too Soft or Too Firm

When it comes to mattress firmness, people have a wide range of preferences. But putting preferences aside, there are scientific reasons to choose one mattress over another. Generally speaking, softer mattresses are better for those with back pain or pre-existing back problems, while firmer mattresses are better for those without back issues. 

2. You’re Sleeping on the Same Side Too Often

Changing your sleeping position can help alleviate pressure on your lower back and make your nights more comfortable. If you suffer from spinal disc problems in your lower back, sleeping in a fetal position can bring some relief. In this position, the vertebrae in your lower back open up, and discs can naturally realign themselves.

3. Your Mattress Isn’t Ideal for Your Weight

To ensure adequate support for your back as you sleep, you need to select the right mattress for your weight. Generally, the more you weigh, the firmer your mattress should be. A firmer, thicker mattress can better support your shoulders, hips, and lower back. On the other hand, if you’re lighter than 130 pounds, you should consider getting a softer mattress.

4. Your Spine Isn’t Supported Enough

Regardless of your preferred position, try and ensure your spine remains aligned. Having a mattress of the right firmness is likely all you need to worry about if you sleep on your back.

If you sleep on your stomach, the position of your neck may compromise this alignment, but you can remedy this by placing a pillow under your midsection. 

Achieving optimal spinal support is a bit trickier if you prefer to sleep on your side. However, if you get a mattress that offers adequate cushioning to your shoulders, hips, and lower back, you can enjoy sleeping in your preferred position without fearing those dreaded pains.

5. Your Bed Is Too Low

The profile of your bed also plays a role in back support and overall comfort. For example, it’s much harder to get out of bed if it’s too close to the ground. Doing this on a daily basis can put unnecessary strain on your knees, which could develop into a sharp pain.

6. You’re Using the Wrong Pillow

Mattresses are not solely to blame for lower back pains; your pillow plays a significant role, too. If your pillow doesn’t provide the right level of support for your head, it can misalign your spine while you sleep.

The type of pillow that could provide optimal support depends on your preferred sleeping position. A thinner pillow will serve you well if you sleep on your back, while thick pillows work better for those who sleep on their side. 

Investing in Rest

A comfortable mattress is a wise purchase for the pennywise sleeper. For one, it can drastically improve your quality of sleep, leaving you fresher and more productive the following day. And by keeping your spine well-aligned and your back free of pain, the right mattress can save you on medical bills down the road. 

Meighan Sembrano

London based journalist Meighan Sembrano is an expert in beauty and skin related concerns and topics. She has contributed a vast range of research papers and features in the Health and Fitness field.