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Sleep and Pain

Pain is usually associated with illness and injury but sometimes it can also stem from simple reasons such as tiredness, or nothing at all. Whatever is causing the pain, it remains that if you are in pain, then you can not sleep and this brings us to wanting to find out if there is a relationship between sleep and pain.

The most obvious relationship that sleep and pain have is that the two can not exist together. If you are in pain, it is very difficult, in fact almost impossible to sleep. Yet, for your body to recharge and heal itself, you need to rest which is best achieved in deep sleep. So it goes that the less sleep you get, then the more pain you are likely to be in the next day.

While most pain may deprive you of sleep, there are kinds of pain that will rob you of sleep at every turn and make it impossible for you to have a single peaceful hour of sleep. These include:

  • Skeletal and muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the back
  • Pain associated with menstruation in women

It may seem that dealing with the pain is the best way to get some sleep, but for those suffering from chronic pain, it may not be so easy. The pain can become an impediment to any activity in life, and so here are some ways you can get yourself to sleep, despite the pain

  • Most people would go for sleep medication, but this is only advised as a last resort and not something you should consider as a first option.
  • Stay away from adrenaline boosting foods or drinks at least four hours before you are to go to bed. You do not want to be overly hyper by bedtime; adrenaline plus pain will make it impossible to sleep.
  • Keep all distractions out of your bedroom. This includes computers, television sets, work stations etc. Ensure that you have a silent sleeping area, this way your system can relax before eventually falling asleep.
  • Do not for any reason, stay in bed turning if you can not fall asleep. Instead get out of bed, read a book or listen to some soothing music. Tossing in bed makes it almost impossible to fall asleep and only makes your pain worse.
  • Create a sleep and waking up schedule and stick to it. If the body gets used to a pattern, it will respond to it and if you have to be asleep by midnight, pain or no pain your body will automatically shut down. Sporadic sleeping times are not good for those who suffer from pain conditions.
  • Exercise, especially when done early on in the day has been known to help improve sleep for those with pain. However, be sure that you do not exercise in the night when you are almost ready to go to bed. Exercise is known to increase blood flow and you will not be feeling so sleepy if this happens. Yet, you need to rest. You are healthy and you can sleep.

Sleep and pain are not friendly to each other and one is advised to be wary of pain, especially that caused by fatigue and stress. This is pain you can control and so you should. Getting home every day ‘dog tired’ such that you can not even summon the energy to fall asleep is not good. This will create a vicious cycle which will leave you on pain medications and sleep medications. Yet, what you really need is to get some rest. You can not cheat your body, so get some rest or you will be in pain.

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