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Tips for Getting Better Sleep When You Suffer from Chronic Pain

Our sleep is a key component of our overall health and wellbeing. When we lose sleep, we suffer in ways far beyond just having a tough time getting up the next morning. The real effects of sleep deprivation are quite frightening and enough of a warning to make you want to head to bed immediately to catch up on your ZZZs. 

Making the effort to work on improving your sleep can have huge impacts in your life. Not only will you feel better physically, but you will also have a better and stronger mindset. Improving your sleep helps empower you to tackle each day with your full effort, enabling you to create a positive change in your life. 

Unfortunately, some people stand at a disadvantage when it comes to the ease with which they can fall and stay asleep, and these are usually the people who need their sleep the most. That’s right. I’m talking about chronic pain sufferers.

When you deal with chronic illness or pain, you know the importance of your rest. Those precious nighttime hours are critical to helping you restore energy to get through the next day. But often, your pain can get in the way of your sleep. 

All hope is not lost. There are strategies you can test out to help get past your chronic pain and get the rest you need. Everyone’s journey will be unique and personal, but these tips can hopefully be helpful as you start working to improve your sleep.

Get in the right headspace.

Is bedtime something you look forward to each night, or do you tend to neglect it? Having the correct attitude towards your rest is the first step in improving it. Before you can work to correct your bedtime habits, you’ll need to go into it with a positive attitude. 

Look at your rest as something that you value. By the end of the day when you’re exhausted, don’t feel down because your energy levels are low. Instead, appreciate the restoration your sleep can bring you. By valuing and prioritizing your rest in a positive mindset, you’ll be able to more joyfully reap the benefits of a good night’s rest. 

Start a wind down routine

Stress on the brain is one of the leading reasons people have trouble falling asleep at night. You’ll need to implement some relaxation time in your evening to help clear your brain of any stressors, frustrations, or anxieties. 

Add a wind down routine into your daily schedule. In the evenings, find ways to help calm your mind. This could be accomplished by taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing meditation. Mindful meditation may be something you’ve considered to help you cope with your pain anyways as it has been shown to reduce chronic pain by 57 to 90 percent in clinical trials. Taking time in the evenings for meditation may be the element you need to help calm your mind and body before bedtime rolls around. 

Optimize your sleeping environment

An improper environment will not be conducive for good sleep. Adjust yours accordingly to fit your needs. First focus on making sure you have a bed that provides comfort and helps alleviate your pain rather than aggravate it. Next consider other environmental factors such as lighting, sound, and temperature. You may want to implement pieces such a blackout curtains, sound machines, or fans to help you adjust your environment for your comfort. 

Find a method to soothe the pain

Long-time chronic pain sufferers know there is no one-stop shop for curing your chronic pain. If there was, you would’ve used it by now. 

One important factor is coping and learning ways to soothe your pain as much as possible. This may include getting regular massages, trying stretching exercises, using aromatherapy, or even out-of-the-box remedies such as CBD. You may even find that something as simple as getting lost in your favorite TV show, a good book, or your favorite artist’s music is enough to help distract your thoughts and bring you a moment of relief. 

Find the strategies that work best for you, whatever they may be, and continue them consistently. The more of a routine you build, the easier it will be for your body to adjust and fall into a rhythm. Getting to sleep comfortably may not be 100 percent achievable each night, but you should be at least a few steps closer to sweet dreams. 

Author’s bio: Ashley Little is a writer from Mattress Advisor, a leading mattress review site that helps others get their best night of sleep each night. Her wind-down routine includes dimming the lights, burning a few candles, and reading a great book each night. 

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