15 Ways To Sleep Without Pain

15 Ways To Sleep Without Pain

As you age you may be taken by surprise how painful sleeping can become. Many people report being unable to find a comfortable sleep position and waking up extremely stiff, immobile and in pain. Heck, it’s hard enough to get through the day but having pain during or after your essential slumber is just downright unfair.

These 15 ways to sleep without pain are a few things you can try to alleviate your body from feeling like it was hit by a truck when you wake. These are simple fixes that just may have you dreaming good dreams instead of a waking nightmare.

Pillow Placement

According to self-proclaimed sleep doctor, Michael J. Breus, PhD,

“Pillows are such an important element of your sleep environment and having the right one under your head can make for more comfortable, restful nights.”

The elusive perfect pillow. Younger necks can practically take sleeping on a rock but as you age your neck may get a little sensitive. No longer is any pillow acceptable and therein begins years of trying to figure out what the heck happened to a good night’s sleep on a comfortable pillow. When choosing the right pillow you should consider your sleep position, mattress, temperature and allergy sensitivity.

These are some things to consider when it comes to pillow placement. Restonic and Better Sleep recommend:

Sleep Position:

  • Side Sleeper – Thick and firm pillow
  • Stomach Sleeper – Soft and thin or no pillow at all
  • Back Sleeper – Flat and supportive to stabilize head and neck without compressing vertebrae


  • Firm Mattress – A softer pillow while lying on a firm surface helps adapt to the pressure of the weight of your head in your starting sleep position
  • Soft Mattress – A firmer pillow will help keep your head and neck aligned


  • Hot Body – If your body temperature runs so hot you throw the blankets off you like a crazy person, try a down or buckwheat filled pillow. These materials keep optimal air flow and a cool pillow throughout the night. The pillowcase also helps so look for a material that does not absorb heat like a satin or a sheen cotton.
  • Cold Body – Here’s the opposite of course. If you are often cold when you sleep then try memory foam or thick heavy pillows with a flannel or similar pillow case.

Specialty Pillows:

Experimenting with different specialty pillows may also help.

  • Body Pillow – Usually about 54 inches in length, a body pillow placed between your legs could support your hips, knees, and lower back.
  • Lumbar Pillow – If you are able to sleep on your back, this is a pillow you place under the small of your back for lumbar support. It prevents your lower spine from being stressed all night and has more support than an average pillow. Sometimes a regular, small pillow will suffice.
  • Wedge Pillows – Often used for newborns these pillows come in adult sizes as well. Excellent for reading in bed easing acid reflux. Can elevate your legs and feet to relieve varicose vein challenges. Wedge pillows are also perfect for pregnancy as they prop up the belly during the second or third trimesters.
  • Hypoallergenic – You might be allergic to your pillow. Look for hypoallergenic pillows that are designed with anti-allergen material and to reduce allergens such as dust mites.

The Pain-Free Mattress

Most people rarely get the chance to experience sleeping on the perfect mattress. The typical lifespan of a mattress is 7-8 years. 63 percent of people say that their back pain improved after switching to a new mattress. The Better Sleep Council reports that you probably need a new mattress if one or more of the following are occurring:

  • Morning stiffness, numbness, aches, and pains
  • You got a full night’s sleep, but you’re still tired
  • You slept in a different bed and had a better night’s sleep than you do in your own bed
  • Your mattress sags or has visible tears, rips, holes, stains, or other damage
  • Your mattress is at least seven years old

Choosing the right mattress can be a little tricky. The best thing to do is start with a firm mattress and go from there. Remember, soft mattresses feel good initially but will usually lack in support causing you to wake up in pain. However, as you grow older, pain issues may require a softer mattress. Pay attention to different mattresses you sleep on like in a hotel or at a friend’s home as many people discover the perfect mattress this way.

According to the Sleep Doctor, a supportive mattress:

  • Holds your entire body, without sinking at the hips
  • Allows relief and comfort at pressure points, including the knees, hips, shoulders, and head
  • Lets your muscles relax throughout the body, especially at your back

If you can’t get a new mattress at this time, invest in a sheet of plywood and place it under your current mattress for a firm feel. There are also mattress toppers you can experiment with as well.

A Few Other Tries

In addition to obtaining the right pillow and mattress, these are a few other things to consider:

  • Diet – Avoid inflammatory foods and beverages before bed such as processed sugars, alcohol and night shades (eggplant, white potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers).
  • Tighten Up – Working your muscles with light or heavy weight training as well as adequate cardio on a regular basis will support your body more during sleep.
  • Medications – Be aware of side effects of any medications that may compromise your sleep.
  • Stretch – Some gentle yoga stretches before bed could improve back pain, increase circulation and reduce stress for a better, pain-free sleep.


Make sure your sleeping gear and your body work together for a more restful sleep. Try these 15 ways to sleep without pain so you wake up and hit-the-ground-running rather than hobble to your breakfast.