Patients with both lower back pain and sleep difficulties need to consider more than just switching to a new mattress. Many other factors that commonly interfere with sleep need to be taken into account, including:

  • Use of electronics before bedtime
  • Irregular sleep patterns
  • Sleep apnea
  • Anxiety and/or stress
  • Lack of exercise

See Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle

If mattress comfort is not the only factor contributing to sleep difficulties, consulting a physician to discuss other possible factors and available treatments is recommended.

If sleep apnea is suspected of interfering with sleep, a physician may recommend further testing. If an issue such as anxiety, depression, or stress is suspected to be the cause, a referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional may be advisable.

See Psychological Approaches for Insomnia


Persistent back pain may be the result of an underlying back condition and in no way related to the mattress. For anyone with persistent back pain, consulting with a health care provider for a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment program is the first step to take.

See Specialists Who Treat Back Pain


Switching mattresses or beds typically does not alleviate lower back pain completely. Sleeping on a different mattress is best thought of as a way to sleep more comfortably, rather than as an overall cure for persistent back or neck pain.

Dr. Richard Staehler is a physiatrist at the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin. He has more than 20 years of experience providing non-surgical treatment for spine pain.