How Scoliosis Affects Sleep And What to Do About It

If you have scoliosis, you may have trouble sleeping. Getting enough sleep is essential for living a healthy, happy life, and you’re probably desperate to get a great night’s sleep. Here are some tips that may help you get better sleep if you have scoliosis.


Upgrade Your Mattress

Upgrading your mattress is arguably the most important thing you can do if your scoliosis is affecting your sleep. What type of mattress should you look for if you have scoliosis?

Chiropractors recommend a mattress that will adapt to the natural curves of the spine. The best choice for this is often a firm or medium-firm memory foam mattress since it offers plenty of support for your spine while also having enough given to cradle your body.

Additionally, you should look for a mattress that is durable and won’t start to sag or dip within a year or two, since dips can affect the alignment of your spine and cause pain. A mattress with excellent motion isolation will also help your spine stay straight if you have a partner who frequently needs to get up in the night to use the bathroom or tosses and turns a lot.

Find the Best Pillows

The shapes, sizes, and types of pillows you use can have a major effect on the quality of your sleep when you have scoliosis. Depending on your sleep positions, you need to find the right pillow for combination sleepers, side sleepers, or back sleepers.

For those who sleep best on their side, a thick pillow between the legs, a fairly fluffy pillow under the head, and a flat pillow under the torso beneath the curve of the spine are best. For those who sleep better on their back, a thin pillow under the head, a rolled up towel supporting the neck, a thick pillow supporting the knees, and a thin pillow under the area of the back affected by the curvature work best.

Strengthen Your Core

Having strong abdominal and back muscles, otherwise known as your core, can help reduce the amount of pain you experience and allow you to sleep better. Before starting any new exercise routine, you should talk to your doctor to make sure you won’t do anything to make your back worse.

While basic stretching and strength training can help improve the condition of your core, yoga is becoming an increasingly popular way to strengthen core muscles to help reduce back pain. When you attend a new class, be sure to inform the instructor about your scoliosis. They may want you to adjust some of the positions so they are easier or safer for you.

“Alternative” Therapies

While “alternative” therapies are starting to become more mainstream, they are things your doctor may fail to mention. Here are a few popular “alternative” therapies that may improve your back pain and help you sleep better with scoliosis.

  • Chiropractic adjustments. The curvature of your spine can pull certain vertebrae out of alignment, which can lead to additional pain. Regular chiropractic adjustments keep your spine aligned and help reduce chronic pain.
  • Acupuncture brings a lot of people pain relief and may help you sleep. The acupuncturist sticks very thin needles to a shallow depth in certain locations to induce the release of endorphins, the “feel good hormone.” This practice has been common in Asia for centuries and is gaining traction in modern medicine.
  • Massage can help loosen muscles that are over- or under-used due to the curvature in your spine. Stiff or tense muscles can cause a lot of pain that can affect your quality of sleep. Lots of people also report that massage is incredibly relaxing, which could also help you sleep better.

Improved Ergonomics

Whether it comes to your shoes or your desk chair, everything you use in your daily life should work to minimize pain during the day, which should help you sleep better at night. Look for supportive shoes rather than flip-flops or high heels and an ergonomic desk chair over the cheapest one you can find to feel better throughout the day. Every change you make can improve your quality of life and sleep.

Scoliosis Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Sleep

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to help reduce your pain levels and sleep better with scoliosis. The more of these things you can do, the better chance you have of experiencing pain relief and better sleep.

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