Chronic pain and sleep … I know … you’re thinking I am crazy right?! More often than not it DOES sound like a joke. “Just get more sleep” or “have you tried sleeping more?” So much more easier said than done.
But the thing is, sleep is so important, especially when living with chronic pain. It helps our bodies recharge and re-energise so we can hopefully cope better throughout the day.
Poor quality or lack of sleep can lead to further fatigue, poor coping skills with pain and emotions, poor concentration and attention and so much more.
Here are 10 ways to help get sleep with chronic pain
- Set a bedtime that suits your life and routine and stick to it. Set an alarm and a warning alarm on your phone to prepare for bed time.
- Try and not to sleep during the day. I know this is easier said than done, especially after a few nights rough sleep and combining that with some pain medications. But if you can avoid or limit sleep during the days this will help your body to be more ready at night.
- Keep on top of your pain related medication.
- Have a warm shower or bath if possible. Baths sound nice, but don’t work for me. They make my back pain so much worse. Warm/hot showers however, usually always help and I feel better afterwards. Except if I am in a huge flare -then showers wait until I can manage them.
- Use any topical cream if needed, like deep heat, Ice Blue from doTERRA, ice/cool creams etc
- Try essential oils – diffuse in your room before bedtime to help relax your body and mind and/or use by rolling on using a roller bottle with oils that help you and/or your pain/anxiety/depression etc. Please email me if you would like more info on helpful oils to use or would like to try/buy a blend specifically for you.
- Set up your bedside table is with everything you may need for the night as well as things like water, medications, heat packs, extra pillows etc
- Have a notepad and pen next to your bed. If you are worrying about something, write it down to think about and worry about the next day. Or if something pops into your head you don’t want to forget, write it down for later.
- Listen to relaxation CD’s, YouTube Channels or Apps to help get into a nice and relaxed mood ready for sleep
- Put down all devices preferably 30 mins to 1 hour before bedtime and leave them to charge. Put them out of your room if you’re tempted to grab and use).
What if I am still having trouble falling asleep?
If you don’t fall asleep naturally within 20-30 mins, try getting up and doing something outside your bedroom that isn’t going to wake you right up. Then try again 20-30 mins later to go back to bed.
Changing sleep habits takes time, patience and persistence. Keep at it for at least two weeks. If you continue having real troubles sleeping after trying to improve it, it might be time to visit your GP for further support.
Check out my post on helpful tools for living with chronic pain for more ideas.
What else do you do to keep on top of your sleep routine to help your life, living in chronic pain? Please share any helpful tips below.
Please note: This post or posts attached may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.