Sleeping with Chronic Pain: 4 Helpful Tips
Living with chronic pain, be it from arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, headaches, or any other condition isn’t easy. Things that seem easy and normal to the outside world are usually an uphill battle for someone with chronic pain. For instance, to a pain-free individual, falling and staying asleep is pretty straightforward. But to someone with chronic pain, it’s no easy feat.
According to the Sleep Foundation, insomnia due to chronic pain affects everyone one in five American citizens. The study goes on to show that of the American citizens diagnosed with chronic pain, only 37% get enough sleep. Unfortunately, not getting enough sleep only exacerbates the pain. That is why we took the liberty to outline some tips on how to sleep with chronic pain.
1. Create a Bedtime Routine
Having a bedtime routine can be very helpful to not only individuals living with chronic pain, but also those who struggle with insomnia. Hitting the sheets at the same time every night consistently strengthens your circadian rhythms. As a result, your brain becomes used to relaxing at that particular hour, and in the process, triggers pro-sleep responses that prepare your body for sleep.
To sleep better with chronic pain, start by having a bedtime routine. For instance, take an essential-oil infused bath, meditate and try some relaxation techniques such as meditation an hour before you go to bed. Doing this consistently, at the same hour every day before you hit the sheets triggers physiological responses, enabling you to fall and stay asleep the whole night.
2. Make Dietary Changes
To an individual with chronic pain, getting sound sleep takes more than just avoiding caffeinated beverages. Sure, that helps, but it’s not enough. Make complete dietary changes by eliminating foods that impair sleep and embracing nutrient-rich, sleep-inducing foods. For instance, avoid refined pasta, baked foods, and sugary snacks, especially before bed as they’ve been proven to reduce serotonin, consequently making it harder to fall asleep. Instead, embrace healthier options like fruits, nuts, and complex carbs.
Fruits like pineapples, whole tart cherries, and nuts such as almond and walnuts contain high levels of melatonin, an essential sleep hormone. Taking them as a snack before bed helps you fall and stay asleep. Note, making dietary changes and embracing these healthier options will not only help you sleep better but also improve your overall wellbeing.
3. Make Your Bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary
While the above tips work, having distractions in your bedroom may delay your progress. For instance, having your work desk in your bedroom means there’s a high chance you may end up working instead of taking an essential-oil infused bath and meditating
For instance, having your TV in your bedroom means there’s a high chance you may end up binge-watching instead of taking an essential-oil infused bath and going to bed. The same case applies if you have a work desk in your bedroom. Also, carrying your phone to your bedroom creates distractions as every time you hear a notification ping, you get the urge to check it out, and that’s how you end up on Facebook till 3 am. So, if you’re to enjoy your sleep while living with chronic pain, create a bedtime routine, and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Get a better mattress and pillows, use heavy drapes, diffuse essential oil, and get rid of all blue-light sources.
4. Exercise Regularly
Some forms of chronic pain can be reduced with regular exercise. Also, exercising eases mental disorders that cause brain hyperactivity, such as anxiety and depression, making it easier to fall asleep. On top of that, exercise makes you tired, so the only thing your mind and body want is rest. However, make sure there’s enough time between exercise and bedtime.
Manage Your Pain Today
Doing all the above not only helps you sleep better, but also eases your chronic pain. It’s, however, not enough. Make sure you get your pain under control by seeking treatment from a reputable facility like Maryland Pain and Wellness Center. The sooner your pain is subdued, the easier it’ll be for you to enjoy your beauty sleep. Try the above tips, in conjunction with pain therapy.