With the average person spending around seven hours each night in bed, it’s worth making sure you’ve got the best type of mattress for your back. Sleeping on a bad mattress – those that are saggy and offer little support – can contribute to muscle stiffness and cause back pain as they usually lack support and can effect the alignment of the back.
The lifespan of a mattress is around seven years. That’s 20,000 hours you’re going to spend lying on it! We see a lot of patients who tell us it hasn’t been long since they replaced their mattress – then when they think about it, they realise it’s been 10 or 12 years or more! It’s easy to underestimate how long you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress. Do try to replace it as it gets to the end of its lifespan – just like you would a car.
The type of mattress you choose must be comfortable and have the necessary back support to reduce back pain and help you get a good night’s sleep. Here’s our advice on choosing the best mattress for you:
Your mattress isn’t the only thing that could cause you back problems as you sleep. Try to adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on the back. If you can’t sleep lying on your back, try lying on your side – it’s far better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side. Sleeping on your front is a definite no-no. This exaggerates the curve of the neck and the lower back, leaving you with aches and pains come morning.
You should try to keep your neck and spine aligned while you sleep. Make sure that your pillow can support your neck, and avoid having too many pillows on your bed as this can cause neck strain.
If you have a problem with lower back stiffness, try putting a small pillow between your knees when you sleep. This will help keep your hips aligned, reducing strain on your lower back.
If you still struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you may find these top sleep tips from The Sleep Council helpful.