A Blog For Those Affected By Environmental And Invisible Illnesses Written By Fellow Survivors
Little-Known Tips for Sleeping With Chronic Pain
Good sleep is absolutely necessary for proper functioning during the day. Moreover, lack of sleep will not only make you feel tired, but moody as well. Also, this can be linked to weight gain as well. Now, if you suffer from chronic pain, it’s time to try out some little-known tips, as lack of sleep can actually worsen your chronic pain, which is not the cycle you want to be stuck in.
Don’t force yourself to sleep
In case you don’t feel sleepy once it’s bedtime, there’s no reason to stress over it or force yourself to sleep. If anything, doing this will only make you more anxious and aggravated, and then you definitely won’t be able to fall asleep. So, when something like this happens, simply try to engage in a soothing activity such as reading a book or something else that you find relaxing. Do this until you actually feel sleepy, and only then go to bed. If you happen to lie in your bed for more than 20 minutes without falling asleep, get up!
Keep your bedroom cool
You should never cool your bedroom so much that you risk getting a cold, but, as a general rule, it’s easier to fall asleep in a cooler than a warmer environment. In that sense, you may want to try out different temperatures on the cooler side in order to find one that feels the best and helps you drift off to the dreamland most effectively.
Your body needs exercising
When you suffer from chronic pain it may seem that you should avoid exercise at any cost. However, it’s quite the opposite. Long bed rest can only make your chronic pain worse. On the other hand, regular exercise can help you stretch and strengthen your muscles and joints, which will in turn also minimize the pain in time. Essentially, exercise is responsible for the endorphin release in your brain, which is beneficial for you both physically and mentally. Not to mention that you’ll definitely sleep better and sounder when your body is tired as well. Still, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t exercise too much 4-6 hours before the bedtime.
Find the best sleeping position, pillow and bed
What position you sleep in, as well as the quality of your pillow and comfort of your bed, all have a great effect on your sleep schedule and rest, especially if you suffer from chronic pain. For starters, it’s important that you invest in a bed with proper support, and an ensemble bed base is a great way to do just that. Secondly, you should pinpoint the best sleeping position for you. Different positions are better for different kinds of chronic pain (fetal position for osteoarthritis, sleeping on the stomach for degenerative disc disease, pillow between the knees for hip pain, etc.). This will also help you decide what pillow is best for you. If you sleep on your back, you need a pillow that will support your neck and keep it in a natural position. Side sleepers will benefit the most from thick pillows while stomach sleepers should opt for a thin or no pillow at all.
Write down your worries and feelings
This may sound strange to you at first. After all, what does journaling have to do with your sleep and chronic pain? Well, in order to fall asleep quicker and sounder, you should do everything you can to empty your mind. Plenty of people only stop to think about their concerns and emotions when they lie down. This won’t do as thinking about these things will prevent you from falling asleep, stress you out and probably worsen the pain. Therefore, give journaling a short. A few hours before bed, write down (and think) about things that worry you, your feelings, concerns, exciting news, etc. so that there’s no mental burden or pressure on you when you actually want to sleep.
It’s important not to give up when you suffer from chronic pain. Consult your doctor for possible solutions as well. It may take a while, but with healthy habits and effective tips, you can improve your sleep and maybe even minimize the pain.