Morning back pain is often attributed to sleeping position or mattress quality, but studies suggest that some back pain may be associated with the length and quality of an individual’s sleep cycle. When we sleep, our body takes the time to heal and recuperate from the day. When we get poor sleep, we are getting poor rejuvenation. Poor sleep also increases inflammation and makes the brain more receptive to pain signals.
So, consider evaluating your sleep during this Festival of Sleep Day!
So how can we get better sleep?
- Maintain better sleep habits
- Consider foods and drinks that aid sleep
- Use various sleeping postures
- STOP READING AT NIGHT
General Sleep Hygiene
- Have a Fixed Wake-Up Time
- Keep Your Routine Consistent
- Dim Your Lights
- Unplug From Electronics
- Be Physically Active
- Don’t Smoke
- Reduce Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption
Foods and Drinks that May Help with Sleep
Nuts are a natural source of melatonin, which is responsible for helping your body maintain its internal clock. Adding walnuts, pistachios, cashews, and/or almonds to your diet is thought to help
2.) Chamomile or Passionflower tea
Chamomile contains the antioxidant apigenin. Apigenin binds to certain receptors in our brains that promote sleepiness. Passionflower tea has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Studies suggest that this is due to the concentration of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which reduces the activity of our nervous system and helps the body to relax.
3.) Cherry juice
Tart cherry juice is high in melatonin which is the chemical our brains produce in response to darkness. Melatonin helps maintain our sleep and waking cycle. Adding more melatonin to your diet (or supplementing with over-the-counter melatonin tablets) can help your body maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Cherry juice may also have an antioxidant effect that is helpful to get better sleep.
4.) Certain Fruits
Certain fruits like red grapes are high in melatonin which is a natural sleep aid. Research shows that fruits that have antioxidant properties such as kiwi’s can help improve one’s quality of sleep.
5.) Foods Containing Tryptophan
If you are familiar with the “itis” that happens after a large Thanksgiving turkey dinner, you are familiar with tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases the production of melatonin. Some dairy products, such as milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt, are also known sources of tryptophan.
Tips for Supported Sleep Positions
- Back Sleepers
If you choose to sleep on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees. You’ll also want to use a pillow for head and neck support, this will help you to maintain spinal alignment as you rest.
- Side Sleepers
When sleeping on your side, place a firm, flat pillow between your knees. This pillow placement will reduce the stress on your lower back by aligning your hips and lower back while reducing the pressure of your top leg on your back. It is also important to align your ribs and pelvis when you sleep on your side.
- Chest Sleepers
Sleeping on the chest is the least recommended position for spinal health. However, you can still support your lower back by placing a pillow under your lower belly.
Whether or not you choose to make changes to your sleep habits, take some time during Festival of Sleep Day 2023 to recharge with a nap.
#FestivalofSleepDay, #SleepTips, #SleepPositions, #SleepHealth, #SleepWell
- Chesak, Jennifer. “Best Sleeping Positions for a Good Night’s Sleep.” Healthline. June 29, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/best-sleeping-position#your-best-position
- Okoye, Afy. “Best Sleeping Positions.” The Sleep Doctor. Dec 13, 2022. https://thesleepdoctor.com/sleep-hygiene/best-sleeping-position/
- Staughton, John. “8 Impressive Benefits Of Passionflower Tea.” Organic Facts. Jul 23, 2021. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/passionflower-tea.html
- Suni, Eric. “The Best Foods to Help you Sleep.” The Sleep Foundation. Sept 19, 2022. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep
- Zwarensteyn, Jill. “Does Chamomile Tea Make You Sleepy? Benefits & Side Effects of Using It.” Sleep Advisor. Oct 10, 2022. https://www.sleepadvisor.org/does-chamomile-tea-make-you-sleepy/