Person waking up with back pain

Why is my back pain worse when I wake up in the morning?

You’re looking forward to slipping under the covers and having a lovely, peaceful night’s sleep.

However, when the alarm sounds and you get out of bed, you feel sore, stiff, and irritable. What gives?

Four out of five adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, with many experiencing aches and pains when they wake up. But what causes back pain during the night and first thing in the morning?

Sleeping in the wrong position

Good posture isn’t just important when you’re awake, but when you sleep too. Sleeping in a position that doesn’t give your spine the support it needs can result in pain.

Sleeping on your stomach or back can lead to back pain. When you sleep on your stomach, you risk twisting your neck, while sleeping on your back can mean your spine is unsupported.

The best position for supporting your back is on your side. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees helps keep your hips and spine in alignment.

A poor-quality mattress

Experts recommend that you replace your mattress every five to seven years. Over time, your mattress will start to sag and lose its shape, meaning it no longer offers the support it once did.

A high-quality mattress made of thicker coils and denser foam will rebound to its original shape sooner, meaning more support for your lower back.

How to alleviate back pain while you sleep

So, how can you get rid of back pain and get a good night’s sleep? Here’s what we recommend:

  • Look at your sleeping position and use pillows to reduce pressure on your back. For example, if you sleep on your stomach, use a thin pillow under your head and a thicker pillow under your hips
  • Consider investing in a new mattress if yours is getting old. If you can’t afford a new mattress, a mattress topper is the next best option
  • Try and de-stress before you turn in for the night. Stress can lead to muscle tension and tightness, which in turn leads to back pain. Meditation, a warm shower, and avoiding mobile phones just before bed can help
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day – this prevents the discs in your back from drying out and causing friction. Although, of course, don’t drink lots of water just before bedtime as you’ll probably have to take lots of unwanted trips to the bathroom!
  • Gentle stretches before bed can strengthen your muscles and relieve tension in your body, helping you prepare for a great night’s sleep. Why not give this simple yoga routine a try?
  • Try over-the-counter pain medication. While this won’t stop back pain, it will give you relief and help you fall asleep more quickly

Waking up with back pain can be frustrating and put you in a bad mindset for the rest of the day. Follow these tips to get a great night’s sleep free from the nightmare of a bad back!

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