by Bill Adler
Laying in bed can bring instant relief to an aching back, but if you spend too much time laying down, your back can ache again. And that's not good for sleep at all: When your back hurts, sleep slips away.
What can you do if back pain is keeping you awake, or waking you up in the middle of the night?
Try sleeping with a pillow between your knees. Keeping a pillow between your knees can go a long way toward giving you a more fulfilling and complete sleep. "If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and reduce stress on your hips and lower back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest," writes the University of Utah Health Care Center.
If you've always thought of a pillow being just for your head, you should expand your vision of what a pillow can do for you. Writes the Mayo Clinic, "If you sleep on your side, draw your legs up slightly toward your chest and put a pillow between your legs. Use a full-length body pillow if you prefer."
For back sleepers, pillows can be a gift, too. Again, the Mayo Clinic: "If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back. You might try a small, rolled towel under the small of your back for additional support. Support your neck with a pillow."
If lower back pain is keeping you awake, you may find that putting a pillow between your knees gives you instant back pain relief, and with it, more sleep. If you've never tried this and you have back pain, you will say to yourself "Oh, ah..." the moment you put that pillow between your knees. What comes next is a longer and more restful night of sleep.
There's one thing you should know about this tip: Anytime you change the physical environment in which you sleep, it may feel odd. A pillow between your knees may also keep you awake just because it's different. But the good news is that everyone who's used this tip has gotten over the oddness of a pillow between their knees in just a few days, and is sleeping soundly.