The Impact of Poor Sleep on Back Pain: A Comprehensive Guide

The Impact of Poor Sleep on Back Pain: A Comprehensive Guide

Sleep is a biological function that is equally complex and important for maintaining homeostasis in several physiological systems: compensating for physical and psychological stress, learning, physical performance, cognition, emotional modulation, memory encoding, brain plasticity, and overall mammalian health. In addition, poor sleep is a well-known and powerful risk factor for obesity, dementia, diabetes, widespread and chronic pain, and many physical and physiological diseases that lead to the death of mammals. Much mechanistic, interventional, and epidemiological research has been devoted to slowly unraveling the relationship between sleep and pain.  Despite the uncertainty about the underlying mechanism, the link between sleep and pain has been well established. Next, the population exposed to stressors related to work and the environment (eg odd working hours, job dissatisfaction, psychosocial stress, etc.) therefore may be more susceptible to pain, not only stressors, but more. especially because it adversely affects sleep. Health care workers are a subgroup of the working population that is particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of the popular work environment; known to increase fatigue, psychosocial stress, perceived exertion, and musculoskeletal pain. Finally, reducing the number of strong risk factors for developing / exacerbating pain in healthcare workers holds the real potential to improve the quality of the said work environment. Previous studies from our group reported pathological associations between stress, pain, and poor sleep outcomes, but the prospective relationship between sleep and low back pain (LBP) among healthcare workers was lacking.

Study about sleep

It is proved that by exercising in the morning or throughout the day increases both the quality and duration of sleep, whereas exercising right before bed prevents some people from falling asleep because of overstimulation. Before going to bed, try contemplation or some refreshing exercises. Physical training is also an easy- to- learn, salutary system to promote internal and physical relaxation. Some time, people are familiar of their habits and the conditioning they engage in during the hour before they go to sleep. No doubt, these have a significant impact on the quality of their sleeping pattern.

Predictor Variables

Similarly, the following 3 questions, adapted from the Bergen Insomnia Scale, were asked to obtain a comprehensive score on overall sleep quality:

“During the last 4 weeks, how many times…?”:

  1. When you get up at night and find struggle in falling back to sleep?
  2. Have you ever sensed tiredness whenever you get up?
  3. Are you tired during the day?


In the Outcomes column, we assessed the completely fixed link between subjective valuation of sleep amount and the chances of increase in the level of LBP relentlessness. The current analysis considered potential confounders: age, gender, education, LBP, body mass index, aging, smoking, leisure-time physical activity, patient turnover rate, and psychosocial work environment factors; such as influence and recognition in the work.


In agreement with the Danish Data Protection Authority, the National Research Center for the Working Environment is allowed to register all questionnaires. According to Danish law, questionnaires and registry-based studies do not require informed consent or approval from ethical and scientific committees.


Chronic pain and sleep disorders are bidirectional and often occur together. Not getting eight hours of sleep every night is considered to reduce the duration of sleep and can lead to long-term sleep disorders. Decreased sleep duration and sleep quality may reduce pain threshold in subjects experiencing pain and cognitive impairment, and conversely, chronic pain may reduce sleep quality.

Due to the high prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions in this working group, the results that were given here show the main reason on improving current preventive approaches in the place of work so that to create a better environment. Thus, along with proper stress management and pain awareness learning, improving overall sleep quality appears to be a miserably unnoticed thing in the current battle against pain among healthcare professionals and skilled experties. Following on from this, this study serves not only to elucidate the strong associations mentioned above, but also to highlight the extent of the problem in this population, thereby illuminating the largely untapped potential of implementing a biopsychosocial approach to improve the local work environment in hospitals. This large population-based study shows that long-term poor sleep is associated with a significantly increased risk of chronic back pain and disabling without adherence to physical activity guidelines. However, meeting physical activity guidelines can reduce the risk of chronic low back pain from long-term poor sleep.

Strengths and Limitations

Moreover, the relatively large and homogeneous sample size, as well as the prospective design, likely lead to the robustness of the results presented here. In order to better manage musculoskeletal health issues in the workplace, hospitals are encouraged to consider implementing organizational initiatives to improve critical lifestyle factors, including sleep hygiene, for workers.


There is a correlation between sleep quality and pain intensity in patients with chronic low back pain. Poor sleep quality is associated with pain exacerbations in patients with chronic low back pain. Unhealthy sleeping pattern is a heavy risk aspect for LBP amongst healthcare employees with strong links present in all subclass examiners. The results presented provide a strong incentive to evaluate and consider current prevention policies with an updated biopsychosocial framework towards creating a healthy and sustainable work environment in hospitals. In conclusion, this large population-based study shows that long-term poor sleep quality is associated with an increased risk of chronic low back pain and back-related disability despite not meeting healthy physical activity guidelines.

However, meeting the guidelines of physical activity can reduce the negative impact of prolonged sleep deprivation on the risk of chronic back pain. These findings suggest that getting plenty of sleep and promoting a physically active lifestyle can potentially reduce chronic back pain and related disability. However, this study highlights the need for high quality studies with valid measurements of various sleep parameters (sleep duration, sleep quality, circadian preferences) along with objectively measured physical activity to fully understand the behavioral risks of physical activity with sleep quality relieve chronic back pain.



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