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Sleep and back pain

14th August 2020 • 2 min read

Forty Winks is proud to have partnered with sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo, bringing you the latest and most important health tips and advice to ensure you get a better night’s sleep. In this article, Olivia discusses back pain and discomfort while lying in bed, and some ways that you can remedy these issues.

With the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reporting up to 90% of Aussie’s will experience back pain; and further studies show 59% of those with back pain report sleep disturbances, if you’re suffering back pain - this article is for you.
As a leading sleep expert in Australia, it’s a pleasure to bring you nine years of academic education syphoned into this article, sharing exactly what you need to know about back pain - and most importantly, how to reduce it.

First...why do I have back pain?

Research from various studies indicates three of the most common causes are:

1. Mechanical - injuries from work, exercise and / or prolonged sitting

2. Pregnancy - from additional pressure on the skeleton by the growing foetus, particularly in the second and third trimesters

3. Ageing - degeneration of the spinal vertebrae and / or discs

And could my mattress be the problem?

Yes - absolutely.

Academic evidence from the National Sleep Foundation highlights ill fitting mattresses can contribute to back pain too.
Clinically, a medium-firm mattress has been shown to promote spinal alignment and comfort - and is often recommended for those with back pain. That said, each individual’s sleeping profile is unique, so it’s possible even if you are sleeping on such a mattress, it could be contributing to your pain.

But how do I know if I’m sleeping on the right mattress for my sleeping profile?

Overall, you feel comfortable when you jump into bed, sleep properly, don’t toss and turn excessively, and don’t wake up with pressure sores.

To find the one for you, Forty Winks bedMATCH can help - it’s a diagnostic system to determine what mattress you need. With over 1,000 calculations possible, it considers height, weight and body measurements to recommend the best mattress and support for you - and your sleeping profile.

What else do you recommend to reduce back pain?

First: eat a diet rich in omega 3 fats:

A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found 60% of those with neck or back pain noted it improved their pain, and remarkably, 59% of those individuals were able to discontinue pharmaceutical pain medications, such as ibuprofen.

Second, opt for a standing desk:

Research from Stanford University shows those with lower back pain can experience a 32% reduction in their pain when using a standing desk for several weeks. 32%! This could be the difference between you being able to get a good night’s sleep, or not.  

Third - take action in implementing the steps above - today.

Evidence from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows 38% of those with back pain find it ‘moderately interferes’ with their daily lives. If this is you, don’t wait one more day - take my expert advice and make change now: before another painful day or evening passes.

Written by Sleep Expert Olivia Arezzolo.


Olivia is a Sleep Expert (Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology); Certificate of Sleep Psychology, Diploma of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine); Certificate of Fitness III + IV).
Featured on The Today Show and regularly writing with Daily Mail, and Body and Soul; Olivia’s expertise is delivering straightforward, science-based strategies to improve sleep.



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