So what do you do when you live with chronic pain and need to sleep? Do you give in and use potentially dangerous sleep medications or just suffer? Most authorities recommend practicing good sleep hygiene, along with becoming very familiar with their sleep deprivation problem (i.e. understanding the cause). Sleep hygiene refers to the habits, environmental factors, and practices that may influence the length and quality of your sleep. These include bedtime, nighttime rituals, and disruptions to one's sleep. These are typically represented by simple guidelines meant to effectively promote a good night's rest.
If sleep problems persist after implementing sleep hygiene practices, it may then be the time to seek medical help. But what is sleep hygiene? Below I’m putting 9 sleep tips that I found on About.com , a website devoted to educating people about back and neck pain. If you want to see more about sleep hygiene please go to that website and type in “Sleep Hygiene.”
- Relax before bedtime
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable
- Make sleep a priority: don’t sacrifice sleep to do daytime activities
- Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
- Don’t smoke - in bed or at all
- Exercise every day, but avoid doing it 4 hours before bedtime
- Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex, not for watching television or doing work
- Don’t take naps
I’ve been helping people with this problem for a long time and have actually used most of interventions listed above. One of the tools I also recommend for many of my patients is to use headphones with relaxation techniques, soothing sounds or music to help them to sleep. I also teach people relaxation response techniques that take about 7-10 minutes and one of the positive side effects is a reduction in their sensation of pain.
If you want more information on chronic pain management and sleep problems please go to our website and check out my article Chronic Pain Management and the Role of Sleep Disturbances , that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you or a loved one is undergoing chronic pain management, especially if you're in recovery or believe you may have a medication or other mental health problem and you want to learn more effective chronic pain management tools, please go to our Publications page and check out my books; especially the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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