Chronic pain and sleep problems can feel like the chicken and egg debate for those who suffer from both. It’s a vicious cycle wherein if you don’t sleep well, it results in more pain, subsequently making it even harder to sleep the following night.
On the other hand, coping with chronic pain is more manageable when you’re sleeping consistently. Sadly, most people suffering chronic pain depend on sleeping pills to rest well. But it doesn’t have to always be like this. Here are seven snooze-worthy tips for sleeping with chronic pain.
Try a sleep chair
Your night’s sleep is only as good as where you lay your head. If traditional beds aren’t chronic pain friendly, you might want to consider investing in a sleep chair to enable restful sleep.
The Perfect Sleep Chair is one such chair design. The chair’s design ensures that your sleep experience is completely customizable depending on your pain levels and which positions feel best. That way, you’ll be able to count sheep no matter where you fall on the pain scale on any given evening.
Sleep chairs are particularly beneficial for those with chronic back or joint pain.
You’ve heard people say that you are what you eat, but you might sleep how you eat, too. Foods that boost tryptophan levels can help you sleep at night. Tryptophan is a protein that helps promote the creation of serotonin (sleep-regulating hormone), so it’s a natural remedy for insomnia.
Consuming foods that increase tryptophan levels means you reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. The faster you fall asleep, the more likely you are to stay asleep through any midnight flare-ups.
Rice, milk, pulses, cherries, fish, kiwi, and shellfish are excellent examples of sleep-inducing foods. At the same time, avoid foods that negatively affect your sleep, such as chocolates, tea, and coffee.
Exercise is also suitable for alleviating chronic pain. Exercise and regular sleep can be a chronic pain management dream team if you play your cards right.
Establish a routine to perform low-aerobic exercises, stretches, and strength training with some light resistance styles such as Pilates. This movement will promote your body’s natural healing processes as it repairs tired muscles.
Exercising also promotes the release of endorphins, causing you to feel better both physically and mentally.
Contrary to what many think, exercising does not exacerbate pain so long as you listen to your body’s cues and make adjustments to your set where necessary.
Only go to sleep when exhausted
Tossing and turning in bed only worsen the situation, adding to the stress of handling your tasks the following morning.
If you’re not tired, don’t go to bed. Instead, engage in a high-energy activity if your sleep is time-sensitive. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can also help you fall asleep at the same time each night.
Keep your bedroom cool
Optimal sleeping temperatures range from sixty to sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. That’s typically cooler than in other spaces in your home.
You can open the window or use a window AC or a fan to help cool your bedroom during warmer months.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that’s good for people suffering chronic pain. It alleviates pain by releasing tension in the muscles and improving your balance.
Yoga is a body-mind exercise that includes rhythmic breathing, gentle poses, and mindfulness. It brings tremendous body benefits, including promoting sleep and relieving chronic back pain.
Take sleep aids, but with caution
Sleep aids will do when you have tried all the above tips to no avail. However, these should be your last resort.
Don’t just take any sleep aid. First, consult your doctor, who will prescribe the best medication for you.
Chronic pain is stressful. But with a good night’s rest, you can have a better day the following morning. Using the tips mentioned above, you can finally put your chronic pain insomnia to bed.
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