7 Things That Can Soothe Sleep Issues Related to Chronic Back Pain
Living with chronic back pain can be a challenge. Getting quality sleep with that chronic pain can be even more difficult. Those feelings of pain can make it impossible to get comfortable and feel relaxed enough for deep, restful sleep. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can make the pain even worse, both during the day and at night. So, how do you stop this vicious cycle of pain and insomnia, without turning to prescriptions? Well, you can start by adding these sleep and relaxation essentials to your nightly bedtime habits.
A New Mattress
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can make your pain worse. If your bed feels lumpy or uncomfortable, consider replacing it with a mattress that helps relieve back pain. And keep in mind that your sleeping position can determine which bed you buy; for instance, if you’re a side sleeper with lower back pain, Purple mattresses might be the best choice for you. Be sure to compare reviews for mattresses that will best support your sleep style before making any purchase.
Practicing some gentle yoga poses an hour before bedtime can help relax your mind and body. With a few bends, twists, and restorative poses, you should be able to soothe your way to better sleep at night, but you can also incorporate some calming breathwork for added relaxation. Yoga can also be beneficial for back pain so also think about practicing poses during the day.
Another handy trick for reducing back pain and improving your sleep is to give yourself a massage. Using a tennis ball, you can work through a few different SMR (self-myofascial release) moves that can reduce inflammation and loosen up stiff and sore muscles. Since SMR is similar to a deep tissue massage, you should be sure to drink plenty of water afterward. So, think about performing these self-massage moves earlier during your evening routine.
If you want to maximize the effects of those SMR moves and also improve your sleep, you should take a hot bath. Hot baths also help to relieve tension in muscles and joints, but a relaxing soak can also be good for stress relief and pain reduction. Plus, the drop in body temperature that happens after a warm bath can help lull your brain and body into a deep sleep.
Minimizing chronic pain is a must if you want to cure your pain-related insomnia, and getting regular exercise is one of the top recommended lifestyle changes for reducing chronic pain symptoms. You do want to be careful not to aggravate back pain when getting in those daily workouts, so consider starting with the less intense yoga poses mentioned above. If that helps relieve your pain and improve your sleep, you can move on to more rigorous workouts.
Just like exercise, your diet choices can either worsen or soothe chronic back pain. Health experts and nutritionists have found that patients who opt for more dark-colored fruits and vegetables on their plates tend to have less back pain than other patients. Reducing your pain may help you sleep, but there are also certain bedtime snacks that can increase relaxation, including cherries, nut butters, and whole nuts, all of which can also improve inflammation.
Regular Stress Relief
If you are experiencing chronic back pain that is keeping you from getting the sleep you need, then you may need to focus on relieving daily stress. Stress has a way of exacerbating back pain symptoms and stress can also make it more difficult to sleep at night. Put the two together, and you have a recipe for insomnia, so make stress relief a priority in your daily routines. Yoga, self-massage, and warm soaks can all help reduce stress. If you have pets, recent research has shown that sleeping with your pets can also relieve stress and improve overall sleep quality.
If you suffer from back pain that is interfering with your sleep, you may also be suffering from a reduced quality of life. So, stop letting pain and insomnia take away from your ability to thrive and live your best life, and try using the sleep-boosting, pain-improving habits and tools above.
Photo Credit: Rawpixel