How to Get Good Sleep When You Have Chronic Pain
It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep when you are in pain and when you are sleep-deprived, everything hurts more. It is a hard cycle to break when sleep and pain interfere with each other.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people in the United States who suffer from chronic pain also experience poor sleep. However, good sleep can help alleviate pain. There are ways to help you improve your sleep if you suffer from chronic pain.
Chronic Pain and Sleeping Positions
Your sleep position has a significant impact on how you will feel the rest of the day. When you sleep, your body needs to be appropriately aligned, and your hip, shoulder, and ear should form a straight line. Sleeping incorrectly will put your muscles in an unnatural position that may make you feel worse in the morning.
- Sleeping On Your Back – This is the best sleeping position to alleviate pain because your spine is in neutral alignment without your body weight causing tension or pressing on the spine. You can make this position more therapeutic by placing a pillow under your legs to elevate your knees or putting a small towel under your neck. This will allow your spine to be in its natural curvature.
- Sleeping On Your Side – If you prefer to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees and under your neck. This will alleviate back pain and help ease a healthy spinal alignment. You should avoid sleeping in a fetal position with your knees bent toward your face because this causes an uneven distribution of weight in your body that may cause sore joints.
- Sleeping On Your Stomach – This is the worst position if you are dealing with chronic pain because it puts a lot of pressure on the spine and muscles. This sleep position flattens the natural curve of your spine and puts extra pressure on the lower angle of the spine. When you sleep on your stomach, your neck is forced to turn to the side, which can cause pain in the upper back, shoulders, and neck. If you must sleep in this position, put a small pillow under your stomach to keep your back slightly arched, which reduces lower back pain.
Tips to Sleep Pain-Free
Besides changing your sleep position, you can also make small lifestyle changes before bed to improve sleep and reduce pain. While some of these changes are minor, others are more significant, like rethinking your pillows and mattress arrangement.
- Match Your Body to Your Bed – How well you sleep depends on what you sleep on. Those who weigh more will need firmer mattresses to get the proper support and alignment when lying down. Your sleep position can also impact what mattress is better for your body. For side sleepers, softer mattresses can cushion their impact points and provide better contouring, while firmer mattresses are more suitable for stomach and back sleepers.
- Stretch Before Bedtime – Stretching before going to bed can help relieve pain. Most chronic pain can be linked to muscle misuse. Stretching your muscles out with light exercises before bed can help you sleep better.
- Maintain Good Posture – Maintaining a good posture throughout the day can help improve your sleep. Good postural alignment helps with chronic pain because it trains the muscles to work correctly.
- Practice Good Sleep Hygiene – Sleep hygiene may play a role in how well you sleep. Having good sleep hygiene means having a bedroom environment and routines that promote uninterrupted sleep. Don’t consume large meals, alcohol, or caffeine before bedtime. Mediating or practicing a relaxation technique before going to bed can help improve sleep. Exercising during the day can also help you fall asleep better. Keep your bedroom cool and dark, avoid screen time an hour before bedtime and have a consistent bedtime schedule.
Watch YouTube Video: Sleep Hygiene: 10 Effective Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. The video below explains more about sleep hygiene and what you can do to get better sleep.
Teas and Natural Supplements for Better Sleep
If you are struggling with insomnia, taking some herbal teas or supplements can help you get some much-needed sleep.
- Herbal Tea – Teas with Valerian Root, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile ingredients can help relax your body and mind and ease you into a comfortable sleep.
- Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone in our body that helps us keep a regular sleep-wake cycle. Being exposed to blue light before bed from electronic devices prevents our bodies from producing natural melatonin. Taking a melatonin supplement is a quick and effective way to help you fall asleep and wake up less throughout the night.
- Magnesium – Magnesium is a muscle relaxant that can help reduce muscle pain. While magnesium is available in foods like leafy greens, milk, tofu, and whole grains, most people do not get enough from their diet. Magnesium supplements are more effective for promoting sleep and muscle relaxation.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – Cannabidiol is made from hemp or marijuana. CBD interacts with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which regulates pain and your sleep-wake cycle. It is widely used to treat anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
- Kratom – Kratom is a popular herbal supplement used by millions of Americans to treat pain and insomnia. Kratom is a powerful plant that has deep roots in natural wellness.
By following these tips and changing your lifestyle, you can set yourself up for success by having good sleeping habits.
Further Reading ~
Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Chronic pain can be excruciating to deal with. If you or a family member is experiencing pain from an injury suffered in an accident, call our experienced legal team today at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Our injury attorneys have helped Sacramentans and Northern Californians get fair compensation for personal injury and wrongful death cases since 1982.
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