Pain isn’t a new thing for us. Everyone has experienced one or another type of pain from time to time. If you are also a part of the club, congratulations! It’s actually a great thing. Pain is important. It tells us that something is wrong. And once you are healed, it goes away.
But chronic pain is something different. Chronic pain management doctors describe chronic pain as a type of pain that may last from a few weeks to sometimes more than a year. After an injury, the pain sensors in our body send signals to the brain telling it that you are hurt. But generally, after you heal, the pain signal stops. But in the case of chronic pain, the signal doesn’t stop even after you heal.
Chronic pain has the ability to make your life very difficult sometimes. And the only thing which helps you heal from all your exhaustion is also disturbed. Yes, I’m talking about a good night’s sleep. And it’s not a small matter. Lack of good sleep can actually worsen your chronic pain symptoms. But don’t worry, experts can help you with this.
Here are the five effective ways chronic pain management doctors suggest that can help you sleep well with your pain.
Go to sleep Only if you Feel like it
Sleeping forcefully might be possible when you don’t have anything to worry about. But you cannot simply force yourself to sleep when you are dealing with extreme pain all the time. Therefore, don’t even try it if you are not sleepy. Try engaging yourself with some other soothing activity instead. You may read a book or knit for some time until you are really tired and feel like sleeping.
Another tip- Leave your bed for some time if it’s been more than 20 minutes and you still can’t fall asleep.
Keep the Environment Cool
The environment around you plays a very important role in your sleep. Have you ever noticed how you sleep better in a cooler environment? Yes, we sleep better when the environment around us is cool. But no single temperature setting works for everyone. You just gotta find out what’s your temperature. You may experiment this over a week. Try different temperatures until you find what’s best for you.
It may not sound right. But it’s actually true. Against a common misconception, exercise can help you a lot with your chronic pain. It doesn’t need to be very heavy. A simple low impact routine like stretching, light aerobics or yoga can have some very positive effects on your medical condition. Exercising helps you heal faster.
Also, exercising is known to make you physically and mentally healthy. It releases endorphins which are considered natural painkillers. Also, they promote a good mood and make you happy.
Exercising can also help you fall asleep easily. But you should avoid a rigorous routine 5 to 6 hours before you sleep.
According to a study, more than 20 percent of Americans consume alcohol to help them fall asleep. But contrary to this popular belief that alcohol can help you fall asleep, it should be avoided all the way. Alcohol is never good for you if you are on any type of medication, especially pain medication. It impacts your sleep negatively. When you consume alcohol, parts of your brain get activated that keep you awake at night and disturb REM sleep. And thus, even if you fall asleep after a glass of wine, the sleep won’t be very restful.
Adjust the Pillow Height
When suffering from chronic pain, your pillow can really make a great difference when you need to fall asleep. Some pillow tips which you can use to help you fall asleep at night are given below.
- Back sleepers should take a pillow to support their neck’s natural curvature. Take a pillow so that your posture stays as it is when you are standing normally.
- Side sleepers need a thick pillow under their head to keep it straight.
- Sleeping on your stomach should best be avoided, but if there is no other position comfortable for you, take a pillow with a minimum thickness of no pillow at all.
Sleeping may seem like an unachievable goal when you are suffering from chronic pain. But chronic pain management doctors say that the above five tips may help you sleep better. And if they can help you sleep even an hour more, they are worth all the time and effort.