Most Americans go through 1/3 of their life in bed, so when you suffer from a bad back, it’s imperative to ensure your bed is as comfortable and supportive as possible. Finding the right pillows, duvet, and mattress for your needs can reduce chronic back pain by providing the support you need to align the spine and reset your body during the night.
According to the Global Burden of Disease study, lower back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world. Whether back pain is caused by a medical condition such as cancer or arthritis, as a result of stress, poor posture, or sleeping position, roughly 60% – 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain during their lifetime.
By making a few simple changes (for example, checking your posture or switching to a memory foam gel mattress), you might be able to alleviate restless nights and pain-filled mornings.
Over time, old mattresses age and stop providing the support they once did. Experts recommend changing your mattress at least every 7 years so you can be sure that you’re getting as much support as possible every night.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the perfect mattress. This means that there’s really no substitute to heading out to your local mattress store and trying them out, although there are a few aspects to consider while you’re there:
It’s a myth that the firmer the mattress, the better it is for your back; however, many studies have shown that a medium-firm mattress seems to support most sleepers.
Your weight should also be considered when mattress shopping: a lighter individual may receive the support they need on a softer mattress while someone heavier is likely to prefer a firmer touch.
There are so many materials a mattress can be made of, but an important aspect to think about is whether you prefer coils, springs, or memory foam to support you while you sleep. Although not every study agrees on the best type of mattresses for a bad back, the general consensus usually finds a memory foam or memory foam gel mattress offers the best support, particularly for back pain sufferers.
Ultimately, the best mattress for your back is usually the one you’re the most comfortable in. Find something that supports you and makes you feel great, and you’ll be off to a good start.
Having the right pillow can also help you to avoid unnecessary back pain. Remember, your neck is an extension of your spine and look for pillows that support your head and neck properly while you sleep, so you don’t wake up with aches and pains from sleeping in the wrong position.
Finally, finding the right sleeping position will not just help alleviate your back pain but will also help reduce stress and anxiety as you wake up refreshed. Studies suggest trying to sleep on your back so you can be sure your spine is properly straight during the night, possibly with a cushion under your neck and knees to support the natural curves in your spine. For those people who prefer to sleep on their sides, putting a thin pillow between your legs will help ensure your spine is properly aligned all night long.