woman suffering from back pain in bedroomMany people experience occasional sleep disruptions, often due to certain lifestyle factors. You may be feeling stressed or consumed too much caffeine before bed but the relationship between spine health and sleep quality is important to consider.

Specifically, back pain can affect how soon you fall and stay asleep. People with chronic pain are less likely to stay asleep all night or may suffer from insomnia. In turn, lack of restorative sleep worsens back pain and continues to alter sleep quality.

Here’s what you should know about the effects of chronic back pain on a good night’s sleep.

What Is Insomnia?

A restless night does not automatically signal that you have insomnia. From a diagnostic perspective, this sleep disorder is characterized by:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up too early and being unable to fall back asleep
  • Poor quality or lack of restful sleep
  • Feeling tired when you wake up, which can affect energy, mood and productivity

Those with insomnia often have at least one other health condition. Based on research from the Institute of Medicine, 64 percent of people currently living with a health condition experience insomnia, with pain affecting sleep quality. Aside from physical discomfort, a condition like depression or anxiety may also be a contributing factor.

Long term, insomnia can aggravate back pain, affect your ability to hold a job or maintain a social life, and increase risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.

How Back Pain Affects Sleep

Between sleep quality and spinal health, back pain may be the primary source of insomnia and lack of restorative sleep. Factors include:

  • Pain As a Distraction: During the day, you have tasks to focus on that distract you from the pain. Yet when you’re trying to fall asleep, your body is focused solely on the pain. It may also cause you to toss and turn or shift positions to get comfortable.
  • Medication: Certain prescriptions for pain management have been known to alter sleep quality and cause some patients to develop sleep apnea.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Chronic pain sufferers may find they can no longer perform their favorite activities with ease, particularly exercise. Physical inactivity during the day can also affect how well you sleep at night.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

A study published in SLEEP found that insomnia can increase your sensitivity to pain the next day. Failing to get adequate rest at night blocks the release of growth hormones, which are essential for tissue repair and addressing pain. When the body is unable to repair itself, the central nervous system becomes more sensitive to pain. The next time you go to sleep, the discomfort that was bothering you the night before may seem more intense.

A consistent lack of sleep also has the potential to alter cognitive function and immune response, interrupting the body’s repair process and amplifying pain. As this cycle continues, chronic back pain sufferers experience less deep or intense sleep. In turn, you may wake up feeling less alert, extra stiff or achy and may be fatigued, have lower energy and more prominent pain during the day.

Stress can play a factor too, causing your muscles to tense and result in more discomfort. Unfortunately, less restorative sleep can increase the amount of stress you feel. A lack of sleep can also contribute to inflammation, which further decreases sleep quality and accentuates any back pain you’ve been feeling.

Resting at night allows the muscles surrounding your spine to relax. As this occurs, the discs between each bone in your spine have the opportunity to rehydrate, which improves shock absorption and flexibility. Yet when this process is interrupted, you may notice more pain and stiffness during the day.

Ways to Improve Sleep Quality and Spine Health

While no single solution breaks the cycle, a chiropractor can simultaneously address back pain and spinal issues. We’ll treat the overarching effects of chronic pain through gentle adjustments and sleep deprivation with lifestyle changes. To get started:

  • Think of your bedroom as a place for sleeping only. Avoid watching television, using electronic devices and working in this space.
  • If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, do an activity somewhere else in the house that doesn’t involve a screen until you feel tired.
  • Establish a routine schedule for waking up and falling asleep. Avoid daytime napping.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol before you go to bed, as both can increase restlessness.
  • Assess how well your mattress and pillow support your body. Ideally, they should be firm enough to provide structure but not cause discomfort.
  • Include muscle strengthening in your exercise routine but make sure the moves don’t place additional strain on your back.

Are you ready to experience better sleep? To address your spine health and get to the root of chronic back pain, work with our team at The Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury! To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact us today.

"I felt heard, taken care of, treated with kindness and respect. Wonderful positive experience. A very welcoming office and staff. Definitely a five star establishment!"
Beth M.
"I lost my cousin (who was also a lifelong best friend) tragically back in November and happened to mention it during an adjustment, and a few days later, I received a handwritten sympathy card from Dr. Joe and the team. Things like that go a long way! I recommend CHCG without reservation."
Maxwell T.
"I just finished my 30 session program and went over my x-rays with Dr. Wade. The improvement in my scoliosis shown in the x-rays was remarkable and corresponded with the greater mobility and wellbeing I have been experiencing. Dr. Wade is very professional and always willing to answer questions and address specific concerns. I highly recommend him."
Austin L.
"Dr DeFrancesco is the best. I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a genuine and caring person. It is his help that has allowed me to continue to go to work every day and provide for my family. The staff is always super accommodating and pleasant to deal with. I have never received an attitude. When Dr DeFrancesco is not available, I am fortunate that he leaves me in the talented hands of Dr Wade and Dr LeFavor."
Robert Z.
"From the moment you walk into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every single patient's name. They treat you like family and put a lot of emphasis on your care. I started coming to this office when my son was about 4 months old and now at 11 months old, I have seen SO much progress with his neck that I myself started to see Dr D. and I am very grateful to have found such a wonderful place."
Nichole C.
"There is no better place than Chiropractic Health Center, from the moment you step into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every patients name. They put a lot of emphasis on your care, you start feeling better with every visit. I would recommend this practice over any other possible treatment/office in the state."
Carlos V.
"I just finished my 30 session program and went over my x-rays with Dr. Wade. The improvement in my scoliosis shown in the x-rays was remarkable and corresponded with the greater mobility and wellbeing I have been experiencing. Dr. Wade is very professional and always willing to answer questions and address specific concerns. I highly recommend him."
Austin L.
"I absolutely love the care I receive here. I have been coming for the last 3 going on 4 years and my migraines and back pain are gone."
Renee D.
"The staff at Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury is wonderful. They take time to get to know you, personally. They all always have a smile to greet you with and are genuinely concerned for your comfort and well being. Dr DeFrancesco truly wants to make sure you understand your issues with your body and he takes time to explain what those are."
Daniela P.
"Our family has been clients since 1994 and since 2005, we have been one of his long distance clients moving to New Hampshire! We have continued with monthly adjustments as he is truly The Best of The Best!"
Skip G.
"The administrative staff and practitioners are all friendly, capable, efficient, and very responsive. In addition, Dr. Keith Wade is knowledgeable, passionate about his craft, patient and thorough in answering questions. As a direct result of all that, my low back, ankles an knees feel much better, I am in less pain, and I am less afraid that my back will keep hurting or "going out." I am very grateful."
Malinda B.
"Best chiropractor in town!!! This office is amazing and always there when you need them! I’ve been a patient of Dr. D for over 25 years can’t say enough about him...you won’t be disappointed!"
Amy W.
"From the moment you walk into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every single patient's name. They treat you like family and put a lot of emphasis on your care. I started coming to this office when my son was about 4 months old and now at 11 months old, I have seen SO much progress with his neck that I myself started to see Dr D. and I am very grateful to have found such a wonderful place."
Nichole C.
"My whole family goes to Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury. My other half has been getting adjustments for years and he has been the driving force for the family to get checked out. He says since he has been coming here, if his back has any issues or is out, it seems to get better much faster than ever before. If you've had any problems with your back, you'll know that speaks volumes. We trust this group!"
Maggie P.
"There is no better place than Chiropractic Health Center, from the moment you step into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every patients name. They put a lot of emphasis on your care, you start feeling better with every visit. I would recommend this practice over any other possible treatment/office in the state."
Carlos V.
"I strained my lower back a month prior to an Ironman race. I was unable to sleep, walk or sit, never mind continue training as planned. The entire office staff is beyond kind, caring, professional and runs extremely smooth. I was explained every step and procedure, along with a patient education class that really helped me understand what was wrong with my back and steps to fix it. Dr Wade was able to get me sleeping, walking and able to compete in my triathlon. 5 stars for many reasons and would highly recommend."
Dylan H.
"My whole family goes to Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury. My other half has been getting adjustments for years and he has been the driving force for the family to get checked out. He says since he has been coming here, if his back has any issues or is out, it seems to get better much faster than ever before. If you've had any problems with your back, you'll know that speaks volumes. We trust this group!"
Maggie P.
"This practice has been the only place that got rid of my shoulder pain. Prior I tried an orthopedic and PT with no success. I was told it was just due to getting older. Dr. D doesn’t believe people have to live with pain and helped it go away. To top it all off, you never have to wait long in the waiting room."
Jennifer D.
"I felt heard, taken care of, treated with kindness and respect. Wonderful positive experience. A very welcoming office and staff. Definitely a five star establishment!"
Beth M.
"Such a great experience in understanding and learning how to treat my chronic pain! The office staff is wonderful, informative and empathetic! Dr. D is also invested in making you to your best self! They found a convert here!"
Debby D.
"Great experience! Our whole family goes and we have referred other family members. Dr. Wade is awesome, he listens and wants what is best for his clients."
Kayla B.
"I lost my cousin (who was also a lifelong best friend) tragically back in November and happened to mention it during an adjustment, and a few days later, I received a handwritten sympathy card from Dr. Joe and the team. Things like that go a long way! I recommend CHCG without reservation."
Maxwell T.
"I love Dr. D and his great staff. I have been going to him for about 16 years and I would gladly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor. He has helped me immeasurably."
Lelaneia D.
"I still can't say enough good things about Dr. D. and his staff. My level of care remains excellent and Dr. D continues to go above and beyond to take care of my family's health, even helping my daughter find and transition to a new chiropractor when she moved out of state. Truly a practice that cares about its patients!"
Lisa C.
"I started my chiropractic journey a few weeks before having my 3rd baby. They were amazing, patient and gentle during the pregnancy. They weren't pushy when I took my time, post pregnancy, to come back. They were amazing with my schedule and did everything to work with me. I felt so comfortable with them that I brought my new born baby and my 3 year old in to get adjusted!"
Candace L.
"There is no better place than Chiropractic Health Center, from the moment you step into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every patients name. They put a lot of emphasis on your care, you start feeling better with every visit. I would recommend this practice over any other possible treatment/office in the state."
Carlos V.
"I still can't say enough good things about Dr. D. and his staff. My level of care remains excellent and Dr. D continues to go above and beyond to take care of my family's health, even helping my daughter find and transition to a new chiropractor when she moved out of state. Truly a practice that cares about its patients!"
Lisa C.
"Great experience! Our whole family goes and we have referred other family members. Dr. Wade is awesome, he listens and wants what is best for his clients."
Kayla B.
"Great experience! Our whole family goes and we have referred other family members. Dr. Wade is awesome, he listens and wants what is best for his clients."
Kayla B.
"Great experience! Our whole family goes and we have referred other family members. Dr. Wade is awesome, he listens and wants what is best for his clients."
Kayla B.
"Best Chiropractic center in the State. I went to three chiropractors and none of them got my lower back back into place. I went to see Dr. D. and he snapped me back to normal in the first visit. Look no further. This place is the pinnacle of Chiropractic."
Joseph B.
"Best chiropractor in town!!! This office is amazing and always there when you need them! I’ve been a patient of Dr. D for over 25 years can’t say enough about him...you won’t be disappointed!"
Amy W.
"I'm a very active individual and lower back pain was getting in the way of activities I love. While my back is still a work in progress, the time spent with Dr. D has been well worth it. I just ran 2 marathons in 2 weeks and these sessions helped me run these races with no back pain."
Matt from mission FITNESS
"I started my chiropractic journey a few weeks before having my 3rd baby. They were amazing, patient and gentle during the pregnancy. They weren't pushy when I took my time, post pregnancy, to come back. They were amazing with my schedule and did everything to work with me. I felt so comfortable with them that I brought my new born baby and my 3 year old in to get adjusted!"
Candace L.
"Dr Francesco and the staff are outstanding. I am so glad I found out about this chiropractic practice and am forever grateful for how much better I am feeling since getting treatments there."
Jody L.
"There is no better place than Chiropractic Health Center, from the moment you step into the office, you are welcomed with a smile and they even manage to remember every patients name. They put a lot of emphasis on your care, you start feeling better with every visit. I would recommend this practice over any other possible treatment/office in the state."
Carlos V.
"I just finished my 30 session program and went over my x-rays with Dr. Wade. The improvement in my scoliosis shown in the x-rays was remarkable and corresponded with the greater mobility and wellbeing I have been experiencing. Dr. Wade is very professional and always willing to answer questions and address specific concerns. I highly recommend him."
Austin L.
When I first came, I was out of alignment and had joint soreness but through my continual sessions, my overall health has improved 100%. I want to thank all the staff for their support and education."
Benjamin I.
"Best chiropractor in town!!! This office is amazing and always there when you need them! I’ve been a patient of Dr. D for over 25 years can’t say enough about him...you won’t be disappointed!"
Amy W.
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