Chronic pain is termed as pain that persists for more than a few months, such as arthritis, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, and recurrent headaches. When this pain occurs at night, it interrupts your sleep leading to prolonged sleep deprivation. It also leads to other health complications because your immune system depends on adequate rest to stay healthy. Therefore, getting sufficient sleep can enhance the quality of your life and reduce chronic pain. Here are ways of sleeping well if you suffer from chronic pain.
Manage Your Pain:
Management of your chronic pain enhances the chances of getting adequate sleep. The majority of patients that acquire effective treatment for their condition are reported to improve their sleep patterns. The medication is based on the underlying cause of your chronic condition. Relaxation techniques, acupuncture, drugs or surgery, are applied in managing different types of chronic pain. You should talk to your physician or a specialist in chronic pain before attempting a different form of insomnia treatment with other pain treatments.
Eat Foods That May Promote Proper Sleep:
Eating particular foods before bedtime may increase tryptophan levels within your body. It is a form of protein necessary in generating serotonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. Therefore, high levels of tryptophan promote adequate sleep, minimize the duration of falling asleep, and enhance your attentiveness in the morning. Some of the foods that promote proper sleep are:
- Fruits such as kiwis and cherries
- Carbohydrates that contain an increased glycemic index, such as rice
- Whole foods such as fatty fish, milk, shellfish, and pulses
Before changing your diet, it is advisable to consult with your physician to ascertain that the new supplements or foods do not interfere with your medications or an existing condition that you may have. Avoid drinks and foods that may interfere with your sleep patterns, such as tea, coffee, and chocolates. Such foods have theobromine and caffeine that may cause sleep deprivation.
It may sound unrealistic, but working out four to eight hours before bedtime usually enhances sleep quality in individuals with insomnia. Exercising may help minimize anxiety, which might contribute to your insomnia. Physical activity may also reduce some types of chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. However, you should take adequate time between your workout and bedtime because exercising just before bedtime may interfere with your sleep.
Consider Taking a Sleep Aid:
There are various remedies over the counter that enhance the quality of sleep. Some exist in tea bags and can be brewed, while you can take others orally in capsules or tablets. Below are some of the general examples:
- Fruit extracts – Capsules of tart cherry extract or cherry juice
- Herbal Preparations – Chamomile tea and Valerian capsules
- Synthetic Preparations – Melatonin tablets or capsules
- Micronutrient Supplements – Magnesium and or Zinc
These supplements may aid in enhancing your quality of sleep. Therefore, if you suffer from sleep deprivation due to chronic pain, it may be worth trying the above supplements to improve your sleep pattern. Trying different options will enable you to understand which works best for you. If you still do not get adequate sleep even after taking the supplements, visit your doctor to prescribe better medications or treatment. Talking to your sleep apnea dentist may also help with your insomnia.
Check Your Medications:
Some of your prescribed medications may usually promote your improper sleep. Cortisone, for example, is a steroid hormone utilized for inflammation and can interfere with your sleep. Over-the-counter cough medicines, certain thyroid medications, and levodopa (a drug used to manage Parkinson’s conditions) may also lead to insomnia. If you realize that your medications affect your sleep, consult your doctor for alternative treatments.
For many individuals, not only does chronic pain make it difficult for them to sleep, but it also interferes with their sleep patterns. One of the strategies in dealing with this is taking your pain medication just before going to bed. You can also try reading a book with reduced light to enable you to fall back to sleep. It would be best to stay away from loud music and bright lights from your smartphone and computer. Having a regular sleep pattern may also improve the quality of your sleep, even with chronic pain.