5 Tips for Sleeping With Chronic Pain

  1. Consume foods that may help promote sleep

Consuming certain foods in your evening meal may help increase the level of tryptophan in your body.

Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, such as rice.

Fruits, such as cherries and blueberries.

Whole foods, such as milk, fatty fish, and shellfish.

Also, consider abstaining from foods and drinks that may adversely affect your sleep, such as coffee, tea, and chocolates. These foods contain caffeine and theobromine that may disrupt your sleep cycle.


  1. Practice yoga daily

Yoga is a mind-body therapy and through the physical poses, rhythmic breathing, and meditation, yoga may help relieve chronic back pain and improve sleep.


  1. Take a short walk in the evening

When you walk, your core body temperature increases. This temperature then begins to drop due to the heat dissipation mechanisms of the body (such as increased blood flow to the skin). The resulting lower body temperature then helps trigger your sleep cycle. Walking may also reduce anxiety, promoting better sleep.


  1. Take slow, deep breaths to get to sleep and fall back asleep

Slow, rhythmic breathing has calming mind-body effects and may help alleviate pain and stress, promoting sleep. Research indicates that taking slow and deep breaths before bedtime can help you get to sleep faster and fall back asleep in case you wake up during the night.


  1. Consider taking a sleep aid

Several sleep-enhancing preparations are available over the counter to help promote better sleep.

Herbal preparations: Valerian capsules and chamomile tea

Fruit extracts: Cherry juice or capsules of tart cherry extract

Micronutrient supplements: Zinc and/or magnesium

Synthetic preparations: Melatonin capsules or tablets



These supplements may help improve the onset, duration, and quality of sleep in some people.

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