Suffering from and not sleeping with neck, back, or hip pain? You’re not alone. An estimated 20% of Americans live with chronic pain. Many more suffer from acute pain that can interrupt their sleep and make it harder to enjoy life. It isn’t easy to fall asleep and stay asleep when you’re living with pain. Fortunately, there are natural remedies to sleep better and may even help with the pain.
There are several herbs that can help with pain relief while promoting sleep. The benefit of using herbs is that they are all-natural, and you can use them in many ways. Drink them as a tea, diffuse them in essential oil form, or take them in supplement form.
Valerian has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as a sleep aid and sedative. Today, it’s commonly found in sleeping teas, but you can also buy capsules for easy consumption.
One study found that valerian can be helpful with treating insomnia and improving sleep quality in postmenopausal women. The women in this study took 530 milligrams of valerian extract twice per day.
Because valerian can also have sedative effects, it may be effective at alleviating joint and muscle pain that may be interfering with your sleep.
One rodent study found that valerian root extract significantly reduced pain scores in the acute phase compared to a control group.
Valerian can interact with some medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking this herb.
Chamomile flower is a gentle, soothing herb that’s well-known for its calming effects and ability to help you sleep better at night.
The anti-inflammatory effects of this herb and its calming properties may give you some pain relief while helping you drift off to sleep.
Chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which binds to receptors in your brain that help promote sleepiness.
One study found that postnatal women who consumed chamomile tea for two weeks had better quality sleep than the group that did not drink the tea. The women who drank chamomile also reported having fewer symptoms of depression.
Chamomile can be enjoyed as a tea, or you can diffuse chamomile essential oil to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Known for its pleasant scent, lavender has long been used to help with sleep disorders and to soothe pain.
Lavender essential oil contains a compound called linalool. A study out of Japan found that linalool affected the brain and helped ease anxiety by sending signals through the nose. This would help explain why just the scent of lavender can make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
Being in a calmer state can help you get to sleep and stay asleep. In fact, a 2015 study found that lavender helped improve sleep quality in postnatal women.
There is also evidence that lavender can help with pain:
- Lavender was reported to be helpful in treating acute and chronic or intractable pain.
- One study found that foot massages using lavender oil helped reduce pain, blood pressure, and heart rate in ICU patients.
- Another study found that manual acupressure using lavender oil can help alleviate neck and back pain while improving movement in the spine.
Lavender’s ability to help you relax and ease discomfort may help you sleep with pain.
There are several ways to use lavender to sleep with pain:
- Diffuse or inhale lavender essential oil.
- Apply lavender essential oil (diluted with a carrier oil) to your temples or the bottoms of your feet.
- Drink lavender tea.
The strikingly beautiful passionflower has a reputation for being calming and soothing, but it may also help with your pain.
On the sleep front, passionflower helps you feel more relaxed and calmer, which makes it easier to fall asleep.
One 2016 study found that passionflower helped alleviate sleep disorders after four weeks of use. Participants also felt less anxious.
Passionflower can be enjoyed in tea form, or you can find it in capsule form.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the primary cannabinoids in cannabis plants. It’s commonly extracted from hemp and does not produce the same psychoactive effects that THC produces.
Whether applied topically or taken orally, CBD has been reported to help improve sleep quality and help with pain.
One 2018 review looked at how CBD impacted various types of chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain. The review found that CBD was effective at overall pain management without negative side effects.
The body naturally produces melatonin, a hormone that regulates circadian rhythms. Supplementing with melatonin may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
There is also some evidence that melatonin may help with pain relief. Scientists still don’t understand why this hormone has analgesic effects, but some believe that melatonin’s effects on GABA and opioid receptors may play a role in its pain-relieving effects.
Melatonin has been shown to help with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
Melatonin supplements are available online and in stores.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, and it’s also one of the most important for the human body. In fact, magnesium plays a role in more than 600 cellular reactions in the body.
Every cell in your body needs magnesium to function.
As you may have guessed, this important mineral also plays a role in sleep regulation and pain.
When it comes to sleep, magnesium helps the brain relax by activating your parasympathetic nervous system. It also binds to GABA receptors in the brain, which helps quiet nerve activity.
In addition to helping you relax, magnesium also regulates melatonin.
All of these effects work together to help your body better prepare mentally and physically for sleep.
For pain, magnesium affects NMDA receptors, which play a role in pain transduction. The pain-relieving benefits have been demonstrated in patients suffering from neuropathies, headaches, and migraines. Athletes also use magnesium oil and supplements to help with muscle pain or to prevent soreness after an intense workout.
Sleeping with neck pain can be difficult, to say the least. Heat therapy may be able to help. Sleeping with a heated blanket or applying a heating pad before bed can help alleviate the tension that may be causing your pain. It may also help you relax, so you can drift off to sleep more quickly.
If you’re using a heating pad, take care not to place the pad directly onto your skin, and only apply the pad for 10-15 minutes.
The Bottom Line
Neck, back, and hip pain can make it difficult to get to sleep and to stay asleep at night. Poor quality sleep makes it harder for your body to heal and function optimally.
Using one or a combination of these remedies may help alleviate your pain and help you drift off to sleep quickly.
One of our favorites is our Inner Warrior+ Calming Relief DMSO Cream! This product maximizes the pain-reducing, sleep-inducing benefits of magnesium with 9 different essential oils including lavender, frankincense, and chamomile. Get rid of the pesky aches and pains keeping you up and finally sleep soundly!