#1 Choice For Physical Therapy in Louisville, KY.

Dr. Brandon Evans Health Tips

"Regular Health Tips From Physical Therapist Dr. Brandon Evans..."

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

How To Sleep Better In A Strange Bed


We hear it all the time at ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness people suffering from severe back pain as well as neck and shoulder pain because “they slept on it wrong…”

There you are, after a long day of traveling to your family’s house to celebrate the holidays, tossing and turning, wondering…


You know you need to relax, and get a good night’s sleep. The last thing you want is to be tired and cranky in a sleep deprived haze, or end up barely getting out of bed because you’re suffering from such back pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling to spend time with my family friends for a few days…

But the truth is….

There is no comfort like that of our own bedrooms. 

Since we’re in the heart of the busiest time of the year, we wanted to make sure you didn’t go somewhere and get the worst sleep of your life!

So here a few tips to help you avoid terrible back pain or neck and shoulder pain from sleeping in a strange bed:

Find The Right Position

I’m talking to you tummy sleepers…

There are certain sleeping positions and modifications that help reduce your back pain while sleeping.

If you’re a side sleeper like me, try putting a pillow between your knees and draw them up toward your stomach. If you like sleeping on your back, try putting a towel under your knees or a small towel under your low back to give some support through the night.

Sleeping on your stomach causes the most back pain because it ends up sinking into the bed, putting a lot of strain on your back muscles. If it is the only way you can fall asleep, put a small pillow under your stomach to relieve some of that stress.

Get A Custom Made Pillow Specific To YOU

Sleep Position

ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness offers the service to take 4 simple measurements of your head, neck, and shoulders  and then have a custom pillow cut out in order to perfectly support your head while you sleep!

And yes, we even have mini pillows for easy travel!

Having the right support on your head and neck while you sleep directly affects the rest of your body.

Make It Feel Like Home

Replicating your “at home sleeping situation” to the maximum degree possible can help you when sleeping in strange beds.  

The important thing to remember when simulating your home sleep environment is to include all of your senses, so that it looks, sounds, feels, and even smells, like the one at home.  It may sound tedious, but it only takes a couple of minutes.

If you are used to sleeping in total darkness, ensure your room has good blackout curtains, or use a sleep mask.  

If you sleep in absolute silence, carry earplugs, just in case.  If you sleep with background noise, bring along some headphones and download a rain shower to listen to overnight or doze off to some soft music.

Stay On The Same Schedule

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

It is so easy to stay up later than normal when spending time with your family and friends catching up or playing games but your body may pay for it the next morning.

It is all about tricking your brain into believing that nothing is different so you won’t have any difficulty falling asleep even if it’s not the comfort of your own sheets. Not only will your body thank you for the proper rest, your brain will also feel refreshed in the morning!

The Science Behind Struggling To Sleep In Strange Places

Yes, there is a scientific reason…

It’s called the First Night Effect.

And no you’re not alone. Tons of people struggle to sleep in new places because their brain actually turns on “alert mode” naturally. It’s an instinct of guarding ourselves from any possible harms a new environment may present (that includes your immature adult brother trying to pull a prank…). A part of our brain becomes extra alert in order to make sure we are in safe sleep surroundings.

That’s why it’s important to take the time and take these tips with you as you travel and spend time with your family. You don’t want to have awful back pain because you didn’t get proper rest.

Proper sleep night after night, even in a strange bed, is just as important as nutrition or exercise when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.

What Do I Do If My Pain Is Severe?

Would You Like To See A Physical Therapist For Free?

We realize some people want more than just some free health tips… That’s why we offer expert advice about the worry and frustration of life-changing aches and pains – for FREE, in under 45 minutes. 

We call this a Discovery Visit.

Here are just a few of the things you will learn in one of our free Discovery Visit sessions… 

  • What is the underlying cause of your muscle pain? (hopefully nothing too serious!)  
  • Roughly, how long will it take to fix my problem? 
  • What to do to help – which doesn’t include painkillers, injections or surgery etc.   
  • What other, natural, drug-free methods are there to speed up recovery alongside treatment? 

Our Discovery Visits are great for anyone that may be “unsure” if physical therapy is right for them, and they give you the opportunity to ask questions and see for yourself if we can help you.   

We’ve got 2 Discovery Visits available this week. If you would like one of our Discovery Visits, please get in touch with the clinic using the contact details included below, and mention to our ProActive who answers the phone that you would like to see a physical therapist for free.  

We’re Here To Help…   

If you’re in pain and would like to talk to us about getting some help, some specialist advice, or if you are looking for a diagnosis, remember we are always here to help you…. and we’re offering you the chance to have your first session with a physical therapist for FREE.  

If you would like to get one of our limited Discovery Visit slots, please click here to complete our inquiry form or CALL us on 502.512.2165    

P.S. Do you know someone with aches and pains and they’re not sure why or where it’s coming from?    

Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain-free life too.     

That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix.

Apply for a FREE Discovery VisitClick Here »

Brandon Evans

Brandon Evans

Dr. Brandon Evans is the Founder and Owner of ProActive Physical Therapy and Wellness. He received his bachelor's degree from Purdue University and his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Western Kentucky. Dr. Evans has vast experience in outpatient orthopedics, hospital physical therapy, health and wellness, and preventative medicine. Dr. Evans provides peace of mind, reassurance, and hope to people who have previously been told:
Share This