With the start of the new year, one of your many resolutions could be to get more sleep. However, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who deal with acute or chronic pain, getting a quality night’s rest is no easy task. In addition to not being able to sleep well at night, the relationship between pain and sleep can be a vicious cycle.
When an individual doesn’t get enough sleep due to pain, they are susceptible to a variety of issues, including increased stress, depression and a weakened immune system. Unfortunately, all of these issues could inadvertently affect your ability to manage your pain, which you become more sensitive to when you are low on rest. Today we will discuss the relationship between pain and sleep, as well as ways to help you sleep better at night if you suffer from frequent pain.
Acute pain refers to temporary pain that generally lasts no longer than six months, and results from instances like broken bones, surgery, burns and more. Chronic pain is a type of pain that could last months, even years. Chronic pain stems from instances such as previous surgeries, cancer treatments, arthritis, nerve damage and more. If acute pain is not treated properly, it could potentially lead to chronic pain.
Minimizing Pain to Help You Sleep Better
Whether you’re suffering from acute pain or chronic pain, there are a variety of solutions that don’t necessarily have to do with over-the-counter medicine or pain relievers. It’s important to note that if you’re frequently in pain, consult your doctor to explore your options.
Good Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene refers to regular habits and practices that allow you to sleep well on a regular basis. This includes regulating your exposure to natural light, avoiding stimulants such as alcohol and coffee close to bedtime, getting regular exercise and more. It’s important to regulate your sleep hygiene habits as it helps to prevent the development of sleep issues and disorders. Even if pain affects your ability to fall asleep, regularly practicing a healthy sleep routine could help you combat the negative ways in which pain affects your sleep.
While some rely on altering sleep habits, others have decided to take a more psychological approach, essentially “mind over matter”. A few practices many find helpful include meditation, positive visualization or even hypnosis. Positive visualization and meditation could improve an individual’s outlook or help to compartmentalize worry, pain and overall stress. Hypnosis may help individuals associate certain actions with falling asleep. Again, it’s important to note that different tactics work for some more than others. Always speak with your doctor before trying something new or changing your regimen.
Improved Sleep Environment
In addition to creating healthy habits and taking unique measures to reduce pain or simply help you fall asleep more easily, it’s also important to focus on your sleep environment. Take time to evaluate the fabrics and products in your bedroom. Consider purchasing something like a neck pillow or support wedge to help you sleep more comfortably. Depending on your desired sleep temperature, consider things like the fabric of your pajamas, sheets and general room temperature. If your chronic pain or illness results in the inability to regulate your body temperature, consider a product like the ChiliPad. With the ability to control sleep temperature from 13-46°C, people are able to use this mattress pad to create a more ideal sleeping environment, helping them gain quality sleep for longer periods of time.
If you’re suffering from chronic or acute pain, consider solutions like these. As we mentioned, always consult with your doctor before seeking additional treatment or changing your routine. However, just because you’re experiencing pain, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to get a good night’s sleep. If you’re interested in learning more about sleep, temperature control and the benefits of sleeping at certain temperatures, please visit us at ChiliSleep.