If you suffer from chronic back pain, the odds are that you also have accompanying sleep-related problems. Unfortunately, this can lead to a frustrating cycle, as a lack of sleep can make your pain worse; and this additional pain can then make it even harder to fall asleep.
Read: Addressing Pain and Medical Problems Disrupting Sleep
No single remedy works for everyone, but we have rounded up a list of snacks, supplements, and scents that many people find helpful when it comes to addressing their sleep-related issues.
Snacks for better sleep
All too often, late-night snacks tend to be on the unhealthy side. And you might be surprised to learn that these greasy and fatty foods may actually make it harder for you to fall asleep. But the following relatively healthy options may contribute to a restful night's sleep:
- Peanut butter
- Whole-grain toast
- Low-fat yougurt
- Chicken breast
One tasty treat that combines several of the above options is to spread a small amount of peanut butter onto a piece of whole-wheat toast.
Before you take any supplements to help with sleep-related problems caused by your lower back pain, you should first consult with your doctor. She or he will be able to advise you of the potential drawbacks and advantages.
Two popular sleep supplement options include:
- Valerian root. Available in herbal tea form, valerian root may provide an overall sedative effect to help you fall asleep.
- Melatonin. This hormone is produced naturally by your body, and helps regulate your body's clock or sleep-wake cycle. Taking a melatonin supplement before bed may help you fall asleep faster.
When it comes to sleep supplements, it is important to note that the safety, risk, and dosage profiles are often unknown since they are not rigorously tested.
As part of practicing good sleep hygiene, a regular nightly routine can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. As part of this routine, you may want to consider enjoying one of the following scents before bed:
Over time, exposing yourself to the same delightful scent can train your brain that it is time for sleep. You can either try sprinkling any of the above scents on your pillow, or using a plug-in, non-flame delivery option.
Of course, all of the snacks, supplements, and scents discussed above are not prescriptive. Rather, they are options that many have found helpful when it comes to sleeping with lower back pain.