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.

See Pain Management for Chronic Back Pain

Chronic lower back pain and your sleep disorder need to be treated together.
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.

See Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle


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
  • Milk
  • Whole-grain toast
  • Low-fat yougurt
  • Chicken breast

See Food for Thought: Diet and Nutrition for a Healthy Back

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.

See Lifestyle and Diet Tips for Healthy Bones


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.

See Using Supplements, Natural Remedies and OTC Sleep Aids Safely

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.

See Natural Remedies and Herbal Supplements as Sleep Aids

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:

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Marjoram

Treating Insomnia with Non-Prescription Sleep Aids

Over time, exposing yourself to the same delightful scent can train your brain that it is time for sleep. One popular option is to add the essential oil form of these scents into a diffuser at bedtime.

Psychological Approaches for Insomnia

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.

See Sleep Aids for People with Chronic Pain

Learn more:

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications as Short-Term Sleep Aids

Using Medication to Manage Pain and Reduce Sleep Problems