Is chronic pain keeping you awake at night?
Pain is an American epidemic. It seems that everyone is experiencing some type of chronic or persisting pain in his or her lives. Among chronic pain, back pain is the most prevalent in our society. Treating pain with medication or proactively with chiropractic or therapy is your choice. No matter how you treat your pain, it could be keeping you awake at night.
2015 Sleep America™ Poll
- 21% of American’s experience chronic pain
- 36% have had acute pain in the past week
- 43% report being pain free
Lack of sleep due to pain is a perpetuating cycle. First pain keeps you awake, and then lack of sleep or fatigue can lower your pain tolerance, making it even harder to sleep the following night.
¼ of people with chronic pain (23%) have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by their doctor
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and waking up earlier than normal. Each of these categories of insomnia can be triggered by pain.
Often when you are trying to sleep you turn of all of the lights, shut out any noise and create a peaceful place to rest. Unfortunately when you eliminate all other distractions pain may seem stronger. Without anything to distract from your pain, it may seem to be stronger or more persistent.
You may already know that sleep takes place in cycles. Each night your body will go through 3-5 sleep cycles. Light sleep, deep sleep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep are the different stages of your sleep cycle. Pain interferes by breaking this sleep cycle and jolting you back into light sleep. Though you are not fully awoken and have no recollection of the disturbance, your pain is keeping you from reaching deep and REM sleep cycles. When you wake up you do not feel rested and you begin another day with chronic pain and fatigue.
Back pain is the most common type of chronic pain, but there are many different types of pain that can interfere with your sleep.
Common Pain Interfering with Sleep
- Back Pain
- TMJ Pain
- Neuropathy or Nerve Pain
- Premenstrual Cramping
- Acute Injuries
- Serious Diseases (Cancer)
Even 15-30 more minutes of sleep per night can make a difference. Sleep problems do not correct themselves. That is why it is important to be proactive. Start with refining your sleep hygiene. Following these simple tips could be just what you need to get back into those deep sleep cycles you are missing out on.
- Keep a regular schedule
- Avoid naps during the day
- Avoid nicotine before bedtime
- Don’t overeat in the evenings
- Stop or limit caffeine consumption
- Do not go to bed unless you are sleepy
- Try to go to bed at the same time each night
- Remove old pillows and mattresses from bed
- Limit alcohol intake, particularly in the evening
- Develop rituals that help with relaxation before bed
- Only use you bedroom for sleep, make it a restful place
- Exercise regularly – but avoid it 4-6 hours before bedtime
- If you are not asleep after 20 or 30 minutes, get out of bed
- Wake up and get out of bed at the same time every morning
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep abdominal breathing
What came first?
If you are practicing good sleep hygiene and your nights are not improving. Try asking yourself what came first, the pain or the sleep disorder? Determine if the pain is a manifestation of, or made worse by a sleep disorder. Or is the pain causing the poor quality of sleep?An underlying sleep disorder may be the problem, not just chronic pain.
Chronic pain and sleep disorders are a vicious cycle as we mentioned before, it is not often cured on it’s own. It is important to be proactive when treating your sleep disorders because without attention they will continue to negatively affect your life, your health and your well-being.
Many people who suffer from chronic pain are not eager to add more drugs to their daily dose. That is why you want to explore natural methods of pain treatment and sleep aid.
IDLife sleep strips are a natural sleep aid that helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep and awake refreshed without that drowsy feeling you get from most sleep aids. Mint-flavored sleep strips melt in your mouth to deliver a complex of nutrients. L-Theanine and 5HTP are used in a tri-phasic approach to support all stages of the sleep cycle.
Escape the disappointment of another sleepless night suffering from chronic pain and awake from a restorative, restful and deep sleep.