Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Quality Sleep For Nerve Pain Patients

Today's post from (see link below) is a really useful one for the vast majority of neuropathy patients who have more pain and therefore more problems, with sleeping at night. One of the features of neuropathy, is that the pain and discomfort can be worse at night. Nobody seems to be quite sure why this happens but it does and can reduce the quality of people's lives considerably. Consistent sleep deprivation leads to a gradual running down of the body's ability to get through the day and that's without taking the pain itself into consideration. Constructive articles with useful links like this one are therefore always welcome. Even if you don't follow through on all these tips, maybe one or more will help you gain more quality sleep and as most neuropathy patients know, quality sleep is like gold dust!

7 Sleeping Tips for Patients with Chronic Pain
By Stephanie Burke |

Pain doesn't end when the sun goes down. Studies show a majority of those with chronic pain have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Unfortunately, poor sleep can make pain worse—so pain and insomnia can set a damaging cycle into motion that makes it harder and harder to find pain relief or a good night's sleep.

See Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle

Smart sleep practices known as good sleep hygiene can help you get a better night's rest.

Learn more: Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

The first step in breaking this cycle is to talk with your doctor and make sure you have a multi-disciplinary approach to treating the pain itself. Even if the physical cause is not treatable or is unknown, there are treatments for the pain available, including medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

See 11 Chronic Pain Control Techniques

You don't have to focus on pain treatments alone before you treat insomnia though—in fact, they're best tackled together.

We've compiled some sleep tricks that seem to help many of our Spine-health Forum members:

1. Only go to bed when you are tired

Do not allow yourself to toss and turn in bed. This only makes things worse, and usually you'll end up stressing out about the fact that you're not sleeping.

If you can't fall asleep within 20 or 30 minutes, get out of bed and engage in something that makes you tired.

Once you figure out your optimum bed time, do your best to keep a regular sleep schedule.

See Sleep Aids for People with Chronic Pain

2. Cool the room

Simply cracking the window in cold weather or turning up the air conditioner a little more is a great way to make the room temperature colder and to have deeper and more restorative sleep.

3. Check your bedroom "equipment"

Ask yourself these questions: 

Does my mattress provide me with enough lumbar support? Check out these mattress guidelines.

How does my pillow support my neck? Is it too high or too firm? Read these suggestions for pillow support and comfort.

What position is most comfortable when sleeping? Am I relaxed on my back, side, or am I curled up? How do I feel when I wake up in the morning after having slept in these positions?

Certain sleeping positions are recommended for different types of pain.

For example, patients with pain from osteoarthritis are advised to sleep in the fetal position (on their sides, with knees curled up), while patients with degenerative disc disease may prefer to sleep on their stomach. Those with hip pain may achieve relief by placing a pillow between the knees.

4. Drink herbal tea

Avoid coffee after dinner and minimize or exclude caffeinated soda and other stimulants like alcohol and nicotine.

Chamomile tea is an excellent choice to help you relax.

5. Work up a sweat

While many people with chronic back and neck pain worry that exercising will only exacerbate their pain, the opposite is actually true: Being active often decreases pain.

Engaging in regular exercise, stretching, and strengthening programs can promote the body's natural healing process and make you feel better both physically and mentally. And, as a bonus, it will make it easier to fall asleep at night.

6. Write down your worries

Why is it that when your head hits the pillow, all your worries become so intense? To cope with this phenomenon, try "forced worrying." Before you go to bed, take 15 minutes or so to write down your worries. Then put the list away and tell yourself that your time to worry for the day is over.

If you find yourself in bed worrying about other things, keep a notebook and pen nearby and write these down as well.

7. Visualize something peaceful

With your mind free of worry, gently close your eyes and think of something tranquil and relaxing. Consider incorporating a sound relaxation machine or even aromatherapy.

What helps you get a good night's rest? Find out what our community members think in our Sleep Forums.

Learn more:
Natural Remedies and Herbal Supplements as Sleep Aids

Modern Ideas: The Gate Control Theory of Chronic Pain

Related Articles

Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Aids for People with Chronic Pain

How to Evaluate a Mattress

Psychological Approaches for Insomnia

Related Videos

Video: What is the Best Mattress for Back Pain?

Mattress comfort can help patients recover from their back pain. Learn how to choose the best mattress to avoid back pain.

Best Pillows for Neck Pain or Back Pain Video

Knowing which pillow to use when you have neck pain can make your days easier and the recovery time shorter.

Pillows and Positions for Easing Neck Pain Video

Explore the process for selecting a correct support pillow and which body positions may help alleviate neck pain during sleep or during waking activities.

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