Haven Healthcare: Beating Insomnia When You Have Chronic Pain
Chronic pain and trouble sleeping often go hand-in-hand. In fact, pain is one of the most common causes of insomnia, the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. The problem is usually a vicious cycle: pain impacts your ability to get enough rest which causes your pain to worsen. Luckily, you can manage your pain and gain control over your sleep cycle by seeking help from different medical specialists, including a physical therapist. In the meantime, try improving your sleep hygiene by following these tips from Haven Healthcare.
#1. Go to Bed when You are Tired
Forcing yourself to sleep is nearly impossible. If you are feeling anxious or energized, it is difficult to shut off your racing mind and relax. Add on the distraction of your pain, and you may find yourself lying awake for hours. To avoid this scenario, go to bed only when you feel tired, even if this means going to bed a little later than you would like. If you find that you cannot fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of getting into bed, try getting up, going to another room, and doing something different until you are sleepy again.
#2. Develop a Nightly Ritual
Good sleep hygiene is all about telling your brain that it is time to rest. One of the best ways to get your brain to slow down and prepare for bed is to develop a nightly ritual. This can include taking a warm bath, having a light snack, or reading. To create a relaxing atmosphere, dim the lights in your home and shut off any electronics an hour before bedtime.
You can also add a little stretching to your nightly ritual. Your brain associates stretching and yawning with rest, so this will help you power down. Depending on your condition, some light stretching may help with your pain as well.
#3. Develop Daily Sleep Hygiene Habits
Sleep hygiene is more than a consistent nightly ritual. At Haven Healthcare, we recommend developing habits throughout the day that promote better sleep at night. Limit caffeine in the afternoon and evening, avoid alcohol and smoking, and refrain from exercising close to bedtime.
#4. Practice At-Home Pain Management Techniques
By managing your pain during the day, you can improve your sleep at night. At-home pain management can include a broad range of activities, including exercising and stretching, meditation, heat therapy, and other coping mechanisms. If you take prescription pain medication, follow your doctor’s orders. Contact Haven Healthcare to get some advice from a pain management expert.
#5. Contact Haven Healthcare
Haven Healthcare is dedicated to helping our patients make their lives a little easier. Our outpatient physical therapy services at Haven Physical therapy are dedicated to helping you manage your chronic pain and get back to doing the things you love. So, whether you are recovering from surgery, a sports injury, or you suffer from fibromyalgia or another condition, we will work with you to develop a personalized recovery plan. To get in touch with Haven Healthcare, give us a call today at 417-581-1234.