Link Between Insomnia and Back Pain

Is There a Link Between Insomnia and Back Pain?

According to various studies, there is a significant correlation between insomnia and back pain, with each condition potentially exacerbating the other. Individuals suffering from insomnia are more likely to experience back pain, possibly due to the increased stress, anxiety, and depression that often accompany sleep disturbances. These psychological factors can enhance the perception of pain and prevent the relaxation necessary for a good night's sleep.

On the other hand, those experiencing chronic back pain often struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position, which can lead to difficulties falling and staying asleep, thereby worsening insomnia. The discomfort from back pain can make it challenging for individuals to relax their muscles fully, contributing to ongoing tension and discomfort that disrupt sleep further. This cycle of pain and poor sleep can be particularly detrimental, as adequate rest is crucial for the body’s healing processes and overall health.

Addressing either condition effectively requires a comprehensive approach that may include pain management, sleep hygiene practices, and possibly psychological support to mitigate the interconnected effects of these issues.

Therefore, it is crucial for individuals who experience either or both of these conditions to seek appropriate treatment to alleviate their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

There are a few reasons for this link. 

  1. First, insomnia can make pain worse. When you don't get enough sleep, your body is more pain-sensitive. This is because sleep deprivation can lead to inflammation and changes in how your brain processes pain signals.
  2. Second, back pain can make it difficult to sleep. When you have back pain, it can be not easy to find a comfortable sleeping position. This can lead to disrupted sleep and insomnia.
  3. Third, insomnia and back pain can share common underlying causes. For example, stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to both insomnia and back pain.

The amount of sleep you get each night dictates how your body feels the following day. But aside from affecting whether or not a person is alert at work, lack in quality and quantity can severely affect their physical health for years to come.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that approximately 50% of adults have experienced insomnia symptoms in a given year. The condition is often marked by restless and frequently interrupted sleep cycles caused by various factors, including stress or chronic pain and medication changes.

"More than half of adults battle insomnia at some point."

Sleep problems: insomnia is the most common complaint

Sleepiness is the most frequent sleep-related issue, yet it's often overlooked. In the beginning, insomnia isn't only related to difficulty sleeping. It also involves being awake late at night and experiencing sleep problems. The second reason is that insomnia isn't an isolated condition but an underlying symptom.

To combat insomnia, it is essential to know the root causes. In most cases, insomnia results from an emotional or mental issue, such as depression or anxiety (both are very common for people suffering from chronic neck or back discomfort).

Insomnia is a considerable price, both for sleep quality as well as for the United States health care system. According to the Journal of Sleep, the productivity loss due to insomnia in the U.S. is estimated at $63.2 billion annually. Insomnia also contributes to about $31 billion in work-related accidents, as per research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Insomnia and chronic pain: a glimpse into the research

In examining the connection between chronic back pain and insomnia, researchers have found that it isn't as simple as pain leading to insomnia. However, the pain is undoubtedly a major factor. Here are the findings of three studies to show the link between chronic back tension and insomnia.

  1. Insomnia and chronic pain are common friends. However, the earlier you address back pain can have benefits beyond your spine. For example, a study from 2013 published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery (Hong Kong) found that nearly half of the patients suffered from chronic back pain and insomnia. In the study's findings, they suggested treating back pain as early as possible to prevent serious insomnia-related problems.
  2. Does poor sleep equal more pain? It's not so much pain but more pain-related feelings. A study from 2012 published in the Journal of Sleep discovered that insomnia might increase your sense of pain later on. Although poor sleep won't result in additional discomfort, it could make you more sensitive to pain sensations.
  3. Are cognitive behavioral therapies for insomnia the solution? The study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine examined three prior studies that studied patients with chronic pain who underwent cognitive behavioral therapy to treat insomnia. Previous research findings showed that cognitive-behavioral treatment for insomnia could successfully aid in treating sleep issues for patients suffering from chronic pain. Learn more about the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia here.

Back Pain May Spur Insomnia

Chronic back pain is the leading cause of insomnia. People living with constant aches and pains often have trouble sleeping, as they've woken up throughout the night to deal with physical concerns.

While over-the-counter medication can dull these aches at night time, movements or poor mattress quality may lead to worse sleepers' discomfort or pains that keep them awake at night.

The Laser Spine Institute reports nearly two-thirds (62%) of adults live daily experiencing some level of chronic lower limb disability, including 30 percent of women who suffer from severe generalized leg muscle weakness, which makes getting out of bed hard.

Lack of Sleep May Cause Back Pain

While back pain may cause insomnia, other researchers have found that not getting enough sleep can make the symptoms worse. Since our time spent sleeping is vital for allowing our body to rest and recharge - those who don't get a whole night's rest are more likely to experience bouts of aches brought about by lackadaisical living habits or chronic illnesses like arthritis.

It's important to address back pain to prevent insomnia from ruining your evening.

How Do I Break the Cycle?

One of the most common issues people deal with is poor sleep and chronic pain. It may seem like insomnia and back pain go hand in hand, but people can break the harmful cycle. To combat both body aches and poor sleep, consider integrating the following into your daily routine:


The Laser Spine Institute is very clear that while stretches, physical therapy, and easy exercises are crucial to building muscle strength, it's also essential for prevention purposes. And there are many ways you can go about this! Yoga or tai chi would work well with your schedule since the former requires tiny space in comparison (making it perfect if you don't have much room).

Apply Heat:

Temperature can significantly affect pain, so pick up products that will provide consistent Heat to your troubled areas. Large heating pads are a great solution that offers long-term relief - placing them on your bed can keep your lower back from succumbing to chronic aches while creating a warm and cozy environment that can contribute to better sleep.


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    This versatile heating pad provides deep-penetrating moist heat to relieve muscle tension, stress, cramps, and tightness, while also promoting circulation. It can also be used for cold therapy by placing it in the freezer. The pad is perfect for addressing a variety of issues such as cramps, back ache, stress relief, neck and shoulder tension, sinus pressure, ear ache, TMJ, knees, elbows, and more. Additionally, it can be used for comfort on cold nights.

    How Back Pain Impairs Sleep

    The back pain causes myriad issues that block the possibility of getting enough sleep.

    • Greater awareness of the suffering. While trying to sleep, you are not distracted by anything. The absence of distractions from everyday life can increase discomfort, making it harder to get to sleep.
    • The back pain can make it difficult to locate a comfortable place. The specific back problem could make it necessary for a person to try various sleeping positions to reduce discomfort at night. A new position can be uncomfortable or uncomfortable at first, which could cause sleep to be delayed.
    • The use of medications for back pain can disturb sleep. Certain medications commonly prescribed to treat pain, including opioids, have been proven to disrupt sleep. For example, prolonged usage of opioids has been connected to sleep apnea.
    • The lack of exercise can lead to sleep disorders. Back pain typically makes it difficult to perform strenuous activities throughout the daytime. Inactivity and exercise reduce the likelihood of getting enough rest at night.

    The back pain can make it difficult to get a good night's sleep. However, studies have proven the connection between backache and sleep can work in the reverse direction.

    How Poor Sleep Makes Back Pain Worse

    Research suggests that insufficient or unrequired sleep can cause back pain.

    • Sleep deprivation stops the production of growth hormones. Releasing growth hormones is vital to ease pain and heal the body. Sleep deprivation hinders this process.
    • Sleeping insufficiently can cause inflammation. Research has shown a connection between insomnia and an increase in the amount of inflammation. Inflammation is often associated with back pain, a common cause of inflammation that results in increased discomfort.
    • Sleep deprivation can lead to depression. There is a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and an increased risk of depression. Depression can be a factor contributing to the development of back discomfort.

    Sleeping easy with chronic pain

    The treatments for insomnia generally fall into two types: Heat therapy and prescription medication. The most popular is Heat therapy—a method of treatment that offers a comprehensive solution free of adverse consequences. If your physician recommends medication for insomnia, it's likely to be used to treat occasional episodes of insomnia.

    Suppose you're struggling to get a restful night's sleep because of chronic neck or back pain. In that case, Heat therapy for insomnia is an effective first-line treatment since it targets the emotions and thoughts that hinder sleeping soundly.

    People who suffer from chronic pain could be kept awake due to anxiety, pain, and other concerns that people with no chronic pain aren't affected by. This therapy method can help enhance sleep by promoting pain relief and relaxation through Sacksythyme's Hot therapy relief Heating pad that hinders good sleep.

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    SACKSY THYME Hot Therapy relief Microwavable Heating Pad to relief Pain:

    The Sacksy Thyme Microwavable Heating Pad is a top-tier solution for various types of discomfort. This heating pad is specifically crafted to deliver rapid and efficient relief for muscle soreness, menstrual cramps, and backaches. Its cutting-edge design and premium materials ensure a convenient and secure method for alleviating pain. Moreover, this versatile pad can be applied to different body areas such as the neck, shoulders, back, and abdomen.


    Another strategy that could assist in relieving insomnia is relaxation training. Relaxation training is where professionals teach you to gradually ease your muscles and relax to help you forget thoughts that can disrupt your sleep.

    Other suggestions for fighting off sleepiness caused by chronic pain in the spine:

    • Make sure you're sleeping before you go to sleep. If you cannot sleep within 20 minutes, move to another room until you're tired again.
    • Make sure you set a specific time for waking up, regardless of when you go to sleep.
    • Stop your habit of napping.

    If you have insomnia and back pain, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep quality and reduce your pain. 

    1. First, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 
    2. Second, practice good sleep hygiene. This means going to bed and waking up simultaneously each day, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed. 
    3. Third, talk to your doctor about your back pain. They can recommend treatments to help reduce your pain and improve your sleep quality.

    Here are some additional tips for improving sleep quality when you have back pain:

    • Use a supportive mattress and pillows.
    • Sleep on your back or side, with your knees bent.
    • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
    • Apply Heat or ice to your back before bed.
    • Get regular exercise, but avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
    • Take a warm bath or shower before bed.
    • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
    • Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
    • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.

    Having Back pain and sleeping well is possible.

    For anyone who suffers from chronic back or neck pain can be able to tell that pain isn't only physical. It's psychological and emotional as well. It's all the levels of discomfort that hinder people suffering from chronic pain from sleeping comfortably. 

    The connection between chronic sleep and pain is a complex one. When one gets worse, it impacts the other. A variety of therapies are available to aid you in breaking your cycle of thoughts that cause negative emotions that prevent you from getting the rest you require. If you struggle with chronic pain and sleep all night, talk with your physician about the treatment options available.

    "A good night's rest helps improve moods as well!"

    In a world where back pain is a common ailment, home remedies often work wonders in the treatment. Despite numerous medicines on the market, choosing to alleviate your back pain with an all-natural aromatherapy heating pad for back pain is the simplest and most convenient.

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