Sleep With Pain? Our Top Tips To Sleep Better With Pain

Best Mattress for Seniors & Elderly of 2021
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Sleep Better

It probably won’t surprise you that adults and children with chronic pain report poor sleep quality. Pain keeps us up because it triggers our active nervous system, not allowing our body to wind down. This affects our ability to fall asleep and can decrease sleep quality, making us feel more tired than usual in the morning.

People with chronic pain learn to live with it, but flare-ups can make things unbearable. This article provides top tips to help you sleep better with pain. Hopefully, you find it helpful and can get a good night’s kip with our pointers.

Let’s jump in!

Switch up your sleeping position.

Studies show the best sleeping position for lower back pain is on your side, and you can reduce even more pressure with a pillow between your knees. Switching sides will also help to reduce inflammation and tightness.

If you have shoulder pain, this study found that sleeping on your back with your face pointing upwards and your arms by your side is best because it keeps your shoulders stable, reducing strain on your joints.

If you have leg pain, sleeping on your back with your legs elevated improves blood circulation, reducing pain and discomfort.

Get an adjustable bed.

Sleep Better with the recline-a-bed pure 2000 adjustable bed.
Pictured: Recline-A-Bed Pure 2000 Adjustable Bed

An adjustable bed could be the best investment to alleviate pain, letting you tune your sleeping position and improve mobility.

This study found that an adjustable bed can significantly reduce cervical, dorsal, and lumbar pain. Another study found that adjustable beds yield a clinically significant reduction in pain severity upon waking and at the end of the day.

Specify the right mattress firmness.

The firmness of your mattress plays a critical role in comfort. Too soft a mattress sinks, stopping your spine from settling into a natural curve, and a mattress too firm has no give, increasing pressure on your body’s contact points.

We recommend a medium mattress if you are a side sleeper. The soft top surface of a medium mattress provides pressure relief without sacrificing support, keeping your spine, head, and lower torso perfectly aligned.

Research shows that medium-firm mattresses are best if you are a back sleeper. Medium-firm mattresses are best for people weighing 180lbs to 210lbs – below this, go for a medium mattress. Otherwise, it might be too firm.

Giltedge Beds Rome Mattress
Pictured: Giltedge Beds Rome Medium Mattress (Starting from £169)

People weighing over 210 lbs should consider a firm mattress for increased support (firm mattresses feel softer the heavier you are).

Avoid orthopaedic mattresses unless your physician has told you that a firm mattress is best for your condition.

Add some heat

Heat soothes sore muscles by opening up blood vessels, so a heated mattress topper or a heated blanket could work wonders for your pain.

You can also try Deep Heat or another topical treatment that increases blood flow to your muscles to alleviate muscle and joint pain.

Take the proper pain medication.

Aspirin and ibuprofen work well on mild to moderate pain caused by inflammation, but you should not pair them without talking to a doctor, and there are some circumstances where you shouldn’t take them, such as during pregnancy.

Paracetamol works well on generalised pain and can be paired with aspirin or ibuprofen, helping reduce even more pain.

Co-codamol is another option available over the counter, which works by blocking pain messages in your brain and spinal cord. However, co-codamol is an opioid pain reliever, so it is addictive and should be used in moderation.

We recommend speaking with your GP to tune your pain relief – plenty of other pain meds are available on prescription.

Time your pain medication

Paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets can take an hour to work, while liquid capsules usually take between twenty and 30 minutes.

It’s a good idea to take medication an hour before bedtime with lots of water and something dry to eat, like a cracker. Eating something light makes pain medication less likely to upset your stomach and can extend its effects.

If you wake up during the night, you can take more pain medication, provided the minimum time has elapsed since your last dosage.

We hope this article helps you out. If you found it helpful, read our piece on the best mattresses and beds for back pain.

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