The spine is involved in just about every movement that your body makes. It even supports your body when it’s at rest. A sore, achy, stiff back or neck can throw off your entire routine. Not only does back and neck pain restrict your movements, but it also impairs your mood and quality of life. Moreover, if the discomfort doesn’t go away when you’re resting, it can make you feel hopeless.
Back and neck pain can interfere with your sleep and make it difficult to get high-quality rest. But you need to sleep well to optimize your overall health and get relief. Finding the right bed can make all the difference.
If you experience pain while sleeping on a flat mattress, you might look into an adjustable bed. But are adjustable beds good for your back and neck?
Why Is a Good Sleeping Setup Important?
The average person spends about 8 hours a day and 33 years of their life in bed. That’s a lot of time to be uncomfortable. Think about what happens to your spine when you slouch while sitting in front of your computer. The strain of poor posture can lead to misalignment and back and neck pain.
Something similar happens when you sleep in a position that’s not ideal for you. Certain positions put unnatural pressure on your spine, flattening natural curves and leading you to wake up in pain.
Furthermore, back and neck pain can make it difficult to get the sleep that you need. In turn, poor sleep quality makes back and neck pain worse in the following ways:
- It makes you more sensitive to pain.
- It inhibits the expression of growth hormone, which is necessary for healing.
- It increases inflammation.
- It puts you at risk of depression, which is linked to increased back and neck pain.
There isn’t an exact science to the perfect sleep position. Maintaining the natural curve of the spine and avoiding turning your head in a different direction than your body is important. But your specific type of pain will indicate the best sleeping position for you.
An adjustable bed might help you find the optimal position for the best slumber. It may also encourage you to change the way that you sleep from night to night so that you don’t wake up stiff and achy.
Should I Use an Adjustable Bed?
Much like repetitive activities during the day can cause injury, sleeping in the same position every night can be bad for your back and neck. An adjustable bed could help because it allows you to change your position with the click of a button.
Adjustable beds have hinged frames that tilt the head, torso and feet areas at different angles. You control the motorized foundation with a remote to change positions. When it’s paired with an appropriate mattress, an adjustable bed can relieve pain and help you sleep better.
Some adjustable beds work with innerspring or memory foam mattresses. Others have technology that allows you to adjust the firmness of the mattress as well as its position.
You can usually raise the head of the bed so that your shoulders are higher than your feet or raise the foot of the bed so that your knees are elevated and bent. Sleeping in a tilted position can relieve pressure points and enhance circulation.
An adjustable bed is ideal for people with certain back or neck problems, including:
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
What Sleep Setup Should I Use?
The best sleep setup is the one that is most comfortable. Even if you have the same back or neck problems as someone else, you might have different preferred sleeping positions. Adjustable beds may take some getting used to, and it’s important to make sure that your bed works for you.
It’s worth investing in a new bed if yours sags or aggravates your pain. Being able to adjust the tilt and firmness gives you different options each night, allowing you to respond to the way that you’re feeling in the moment.
Although this isn’t true for everyone, most people need a firm mattress. This supports the spine properly. But if you like the feeling of sinking into a cloud, you can use a pillow top mattress or topper. Alternatively, you can opt for a split adjustable bed, allowing you to sleep comfortably even if you share the mattress with someone else.
If you usually sleep on your back, elevating your head and feet reduces some of the pressure on the hips. It also keeps your spine in a natural, relaxed curve.
Side sleepers can also benefit from adjustable beds. Raising your head reduces strain on the neck and shoulders. It also allows you to position your arms downward, which prevents pressure from forming in the upper body.
Typically, a thicker pillow is best for people who sleep on their sides. But you may not have to spend too much time getting your pillow perfect when you can raise the bed to meet your upper body. If you don’t have an adjustable bed, try placing a pillow between your knees when you sleep on your side. Back sleepers can raise the foot of their bed using books and create additional support beneath their chest and torso by placing a folded blanket under the fitted sheet.
Do You Need a New Bed?
If sleeping doesn’t help your back or neck pain or makes it worse, you might want to rethink your sleeping arrangements. Investing in an adjustable bed can restore your mobility and minimize back and neck pain.
But it’s not the only remedy. It’s important to identify the source of the pain so that you can treat it in other ways. Dr. Callewart helps patients improve their back and neck pain whether they’re sleeping, waking, walking or working. Contact the practices of Dr. Craig Callewart to learn more about healing your back and neck pain and discover the ideal sleep setup for your condition.