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Understanding the Causes of Upper Back Pain After Sleeping in 2024

by Angeline T. 09 May 2024

     Upper back pain after sleeping is one of the most frustrating things that can happen when you wake up. Studies have shown that the point prevalence of back discomfort was roughly 1% for children aged 12 and 5% for those aged 15. Fifty percent of girls and twenty percent of boys will have had at least one episode of upper back pain after sleeping by the age of 18 or 20. The lifetime prevalence of back pain in adolescents rises gradually until the age of 18 years, at which point it approaches adult proportions.


     Upper back pain after sleeping can hinder a lot of activities you have laid out for your day. And not to mention, you may feel bummed out after waking up with discomfort. Here are some of the causes of upper back pain after sleeping.

Can Dehydration Cause Upper Back Pain after Sleeping?

     According to a report by Medical News Today, an average of 60% of the human body is made up of water. Age, sex, and degree of hydration can all cause modest variations in the body's water content. Although a person's body contains 60% water on average, this number can range from approximately 45 to 75%. And when you go to sleep at night, there is a chance that you can wake up dehydrated and with upper back pain after sleeping.

      When the body is dehydrated, the spine loses its cushioning thus causing the tissues connecting weak and making it painful for the body to move. In some cases, herniated discs. Herniated discs occur when little fragments of the rubber-like cushions between your vertebrae push through, putting strain on your spine. Although the discomfort can also originate in the lower back, it also occurs in the upper back. Herniated discs brought about by dehydration can cause upper back pain after sleeping.

     To stay hydrated, experts advise consuming four to six glasses of water a day, or at least half of your body weight in ounces. Before bedtime, make sure to hydrate properly so that you will not have upper back pain after sleeping through the night. 

Can Coughing Cause Upper Back Pain after Sleeping?

      Overuse of the upper back muscles can cause excessive strain on the ribs and costovertebral joints, such as during coughing. Usually, this results in upper back pain after sleeping that worsens when you cough.

     Additionally, a sprained ligament could cause pain in the upper back when you cough. Your back's bones are joined by a ligament. When you cough, you may put a lot of strain on your spine and cause the ligaments to get so stretched that they sprain.

      Your upper back may experience tightness, stiffness, and aches when this occurs. The pain may worsen if you attempt to rotate your back. This could be an indication of a sprained ligament, therefore you should give your ligaments some time to heal and relax.

        A severe or chronic cough can cause tension in your core muscles and back, which might cause breathing difficulties. Additionally, some studies indicate that coughing violently can irritate your back's nerve roots, which can cause sciatica or other lower back discomfort. This is why you might suffer from upper back pain after sleeping. 

Can Mattress Cause Upper Back Pain after Sleeping?

       Sometimes, the wrong mattress can cause you to have upper back pain after sleeping. 

A premium mattress that is made with back pain relief in mind decreased shoulder discomfort by 61%, back stiffness by 59.12%, back pain by 57%, and enhanced sleep quality by 61%. This means that changing your mattress alone can help you sleep better and alleviate shoulder and upper back pain. 

     Mattresses with ergonomic support - mattresses that adapt to the shape of the body, support the spine, distribute the weight evenly avoiding pressure on the body's pressure points, and the material used such as memory foam or zero gravity foam - help prevent upper back pain after sleeping. These types of mattresses can meet the individual needs of each person and prevent upper back pain after sleeping. 

Pain Relief for Back Pain

     It may be frustrating to deal with upper back pain after sleeping. It can affect your whole itinerary for the day and may leave you grouchy and uncomfortable. But there are some ways to relieve upper back pain after sleeping. 


   Although it may seem too obvious, rest is still one of the most effective ways to relieve upper back pain after sleeping. Take it easy for the day and avoid doing strenuous activities that would aggravate the pain. Avoid lifting heavy loads or hard exercises. 

Change your Sleeping Posture

      Try to look for a position that can support your spinal alignment since this would reduce your chances of upper back pain after sleeping. You can sleep on your back with a neck pillow and another pillow under your knees. Or if you are a side sleeper invest in a pillow that will support your head and neck. 

Find the Right Mattress and Pillow

      Having the right mattress can do wonders and prevent upper back pain after sleeping. Mattresses that offer ergonomic support like hybrid mattresses or zero gravity foam mattresses can prove to be a wise investment. There are also a variety of pillows that have neck support - like memory foam pillows which adapt to the shape of your head and neck and contour pillows which provide orthopaedic benefits for neck and spine alignment. 

Best Mattress for Back Pain

     If your mattress is causing you upper back pain after sleeping, it must mean that your mattress is not right for you. Mattresses need to be replaced every eight years. So when you do decide to replace your old one consider Firmness. Look for a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft. A hard mattress can strain your pressure points while a soft one might make you sink in bed and have a poor sleep posture. 

     Check out our shop for mattresses or pillows that can help support your back. 

Contouring Pillow The Nimbus
Mino Zero
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