The Neck/Back Pain & Sleep Edition

It’s tricky to sleep with pain. Like really really tricky.

It’s tricky to sleep with pain. Like really really tricky.

This past week, I messed up my neck & shoulder in a way that left me moving around like I had an invisible brace around my neck. #cute

It was all pretty comical.

...until it started impacting my sleep!

The Orange Line represents “Sleep Efficiency,” or a measurement of sleep quality, which took a total nosedive this past week — contrasted by the skyscraping highs of the Purple Line, which refers to overall “Awake Time,” (which pretty self-explanatorily is the amount of time spent awake in bed).

Pain killers & sedatives tend to prove detrimental to sleep architecture (“Are Back Pain Medications Disrupting Your Sleep?” from USC underscores this point along with a handy drug side effects chart below). Therefore, I have found myself on a mini-quest for natural alternatives.

Through word-of-mouth, trial-&-error, and research, I wanted to share with you some of the pain management methods that I’ve been toying with to get my sleep back on track.

THE NECK/BACK PAIN PRESCRIPTION FOR SLEEP

  1. Poor Man’s Anti-Gravity Chair - aka, hang your head off the end of your bed to let neck muscles relax. This recommendation is a weird one, I know, but I have to say it’s been a lifeline.
  2. Hot/Cold Pad + Aromatherapy - you can choose to utilize warmth & cold for whatever stage of the healing process you are in
  3. Low EMF Heating Pads - if you’re concerned about EMFs, go with these FTW
  4. Migraine & Headache Magnesium Oil Blend with Essential Oils (lavender, sweet marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, and basil) - despite the title targeted at migraines, I found the oils to be a nice upgrade from my usual scentless magnesium spray for sore muscles.
  5. Curcumin - I’m not a big fan of supplements. But when in pain, this is an excellent alternative to NSAIDs.  
  6. Deep Blue - My friend Juliana gave me a trial size amount of this yesterday, and it proved to help me fall asleep.
  7. CBD Tinctures - NYTimes Article, “Can CBD Really Do All That?” (I just ordered CBDistillery since it gets editor’s choice from CBD Oil Users...will report back on effectiveness). Also, I hear great things about this topical cbdMD Freeze, but I haven’t tried it yet.
  8. Chiropractor - just got adjusted earlier today. All those cracking sounds certainly make you feel as if something is getting “fixed”...whether placebo or not. Here is an article from U.S. News, “The Pros and Cons of Seeing a Chiropractors.” I would go back.
  9. Massager Hypersphere - My friend Eddie let me borrow this since it’s quite the investment for a massager. It’s very aggressive.
  10. Gratitude - remember what a gift it is that most of us get to spend the majority of our life pain-free. While this might sound trivial, practicing gratitude is not to be underestimated (I’m on day #1654 of daily gratitude emails). Check out Psychology Today’s, “How Gratitude Helps You Sleep At Night.”