Chronic pain affects every aspect of your life. Regardless of your level of disability, it’s likely that your sleep is affected in some way by the pain you experience. Often when the lights go out and it’s time to wind down, your pain ramps up to the next level to keep you awake. Use these tried and tested strategies for getting a good night’s sleep to help your body rest and recover most easily.
Make Your Bed A Safe Haven
Your bed should be a place of total relaxation and comfort. If you’ve been using the same mattress for years and don’t feel like you can get comfortable in your bedding, it’s time to change things up to see if that helps your quality of sleep. Seek out the best memory foam mattress to help reduce pressure on the painful areas of your body – this will help your body stay in proper alignment while you rest and won’t leave you waking feeling more sore than when you went to sleep. Your mattress should support your body, so it can’t be too soft or too firm.
Once you have the correct mattress in place, shift your focus to your pillows and bedding. The position you sleep in will have an impact on the type of pillow you should use. Most people with chronic pain find that sleeping on their back is the most comfortable option as side or stomach sleeping can sometimes increase pain, particularly back pain. If you sleep on your back, you need a relatively thin pillow with extra padding toward your neck to support your head at night. Find soft bedding in breathable fabrics that suit the temperature of your home. Some chronic pain sufferers have found weighted blankets useful when it comes to specialist bedding, but it may help to experiment with different weights and materials to find the blanket that helps you rest easily.
Find Soothing Distractions
Many people with chronic pain suffer at night because they can’t use the distractions they’d turn to in the day to keep their mind off their discomfort. That’s where relaxing distraction can come into play. Meditation apps are a great way to occupy your mind and unwind before bed without waking yourself up further, and breathing exercises or guided visual meditations can also help you feel morepeaceful.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene is important for most people, but it’s even more crucial for those with chronic pain. Strategies like reducing stimulating activity and bright lights before bedtime, avoiding caffeine in the afternoon, and creating relaxing rituals to use in the evening can all help your mind prepare for real rest. Ensuring that your bedroom has a soothing atmosphere is an important part of sleep hygiene, so you may need to consider the temperature, lighting, and décor in your space.
Seek Medical Support
Because chronic pain can wreak such havoc on your sleep cycle as well as your life overall, it’s important to get your illness under control. Finding the right medical treatment can make a major impact on your pain levels, and may result in a proper night’s sleep for the first time in years. Attend regular appointments, follow medical instructions and seek a second opinion if you don’t feel that you’re making progress with your current practitioner.