At various points in my life, I’ve lived with twelve small children in a summer camp cabin, three party-loving college girls, one deviated-septum snorer, and an insomniac musician (who chose drums as his instrument). Throughout all of this, neck and back pain while sleeping was still the number one reason why I woke up tired every morning.
While chronic back and neck pain can definitely get in your way during the day, you often don’t realize the full extent of it until you’re lying on your (not so great) mattress in the dark, entirely drained, with nothing else to focus on except the throbbing along your spine. In fact, a recent study just reported that approximately two thirds of people with back pain also suffer from inadequate sleep, meaning that nighttime pain is often a huge cause of insomnia.
Thankfully, you’ve got options. I’ve found chiropractors to be an incredible resource, and I recommend them to anyone with even the slightest bit of neck or back pain. If you’re looking for more at-home remedies, though, there are stretches you can do, pillows you can buy, and habits you can adopt that make all the difference. Check out these great ways to get rid of neck and back pain while you sleep, so you can wake up rested, happy, and ready to move a drum set out to the curb.
1. Customize Your Pillow
If you tend to go to bed feeling fine and end up waking up with a stiff neck, this adjustable bamboo shredded memory foam pillow is for you. It’s made with visco-elastic memory foam that you can take out or add in to create the best height and firmness for you, and because it has a machine-washable, hypoallergenic, and dust mite-resistant cover, reviewers are calling it the “best pillow ever.”
2. Get Your Nightly Dose Of Pain-Easing Minerals
Certain minerals (like magnesium) have been shown to drastically reduce muscle pain, as they help to balance the pH of your body. Lavender Hybrid pure bath salts are made with 100 pure and high quality Dead Sea salts that are packed with body-soothing minerals. It also has essential oils like lavender and clary sage, which help to relax your mind and your muscles to prepare for a deep and rejuvenating sleep.
3. Give Your Mattress A Face Lift
If your mattress is the cause of your back pain, a new one might not be in the budget for a while. Give your old mattress a face lift with this Eva Medical foam mattress pad. It’s made from high quality medical grade foam that evenly distributes your weight, improves circulation, and releases tension, all while feeling cool and comfortable all night long.
4. Relieve Tension With An Acupressure Mat
Acupressure mats are the absolute best because they stimulate points in your neck and back to relieve pain instantly. The Nayoya acupressure mat has more than 6,000 durable points that relieve stress and improve circulation, and a good 15 minutes is all you need to prompt a restful night’s sleep without any back or neck tension. One reviewer, who said she bought her husband everything from massagers to heating pads, says, “All in all I'd say this was one of my best purchases ever.”
5. Try All-Natural Heat Therapy
These natural heat therapy patches are actually made for menstrual cramps, but because they use all-natural ingredients that heat up the second you open the package (without any medicine or need for the microwave), these are awesome for bedtime use on your neck or back. They don’t have any smell or residue, but they do relax your muscles from the inside out.
6. Support Your Neck And Spine, No Matter How You Sleep
For neck and back sleepers, it’s imperative that you have an indentation where your head goes, so your neck is supported and your spine is aligned while you sleep. This memory foam contour pillow has two sides: one for back sleepers, and one for side sleepers, both of which cradle your head with supportive cooling foam that breathes, wicks moisture, and contours to your body.
7. Relieve Knots And Pains With Deep-Tissue Kneading
When it comes to a quick tension-releasing massage before bed, few handheld massagers are as highly reviewed as the iHausPlus double head electric massager. It targets tired and pained areas with deep tissue kneading, and because it has 3,350 pulses per minute, several different head attachments, multiple speeds, and actually helps to relieve pain, people are completely loving it.
8. Roll To Stretch Out Your Back Before Bed
After sitting at a desk all day, my own foam roller is the only reason I can sleep. The Fitness Innovations high density foam roller relieves tension and tight muscles with extra-firm raised bumps, which roll over tight areas to improve circulation and stretching. It massages well, is super durable, and is an incredible way to release pain right before you lie down at night.
9. Try A Breathable Back Brace At Bedtime
This ComfyMed breathable mesh back brace delivers customized compression to your lower back, easing any pain you feel around your spine, but because it’s made from a breathable mesh material, it’s comfortable, effective, and cool. It’s a great way to release a little tension right before bed, but because it’s so comfortable and lightweight, you could just as easily wear it to sleep.
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