Better Ways to Sleep If You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis

Quality sleep is one of the critical pillars of good health even more important than exercise and nutrition. A good night sleep can right many wrongs, in medical terms it helps the body repair itself, protects against diseases, and improves recovery from injuries, to name a few.

And the spinal problems rob us of the quality sleep giving a disturbing pain in the back. As soon as you get into a comfortable position and doze off for a while, the back pain and stiffness might suddenly break your sleep, and cycle continues. These uncomfortable and exhaustive sleep cycles are more commonly experienced by people suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis to the point that ‘how to sleep with Ankylosing Spondylitis problem’ has soon become one of the most searched question on the web.

So what is Ankylosing Spondylitis and how do you increase your sleep quality if you are suffering from it?

Read on to know:

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can cause the spinal vertebrae to fuse causing back and neck pain and stiffness in the spine, neck, lower and middle back resulting in loss of mobility over time. This painful condition can cause pain and inflammation in the parts of the body making it even tougher to rest in the night. Progression of the diseases increases the frequency of awakening and drastically reduces sleep efficiency. It can affect all age group but is generally more common in men than women.

Here are a few tips that can help improve your sleep quality if you are suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis:

Try a thinner pillow to rest:

Large pillows distort the back and may further increase the hunch back caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis causing pain and inflexibility. Using a thinner pillow gives you better control of your posture and makes you comfortable over time.

Use the right mattress:

It is advisable to use a firm mattress which doesn’t cause your legs to bend while sleeping. Doing so can improve your posture and eases pain in the back too.

Develop a working sleep hygiene:

Asleep hygiene is a set of habits that you religiously perform to have a good quality sleep. Following are a few habits you can inculcate to improve your sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine at least 4 hours before they sleep.
  • Refrain from staring electronic display that emits light.
  • Exercising can help you fall asleep quicker.
  • Stick to a sleep schedule by sleeping and waking at the same time.

Evaluate your sleeping position:

Before you wake up from your bed, make note of your sleep position to evaluate what is causing your pain. Lying flat on the back with straight spine is the correct position to sleep with Ankylosing Spondylitis, so try sleeping on your back with no pillow of a thinner pillow to help your posture. Take your own time to evaluate the sleep position that works for you and make minor tweaks if possible.

Consult the Spine Specialist:

Frequency of sleep disturbances is directly proportional to the severity of the condition. So if you are increasingly experiencing the disturbances regularly it might be the right time to consult an experienced spine specialist to get things under control.

Dr. Jwalant S Mehta is a renowned spine specialist in the U.K who has helped thousands of patients get rid of the sleep problems caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis and can help you too. To contact email us @