Chronic pain and insomnia go hand in hand. When you suffer from a chronic pain condition, getting to sleep at night is like fighting a losing battle. Even worse, the more tired we are, the worse our pain gets and we find ourselves stuck in a forever repeating vicious cycle that feels like it will never end.
We know that getting a good night’s sleep can help with pain management, but when the pain keeps us awake at night, how do we make sure we get a decent rest? Here’s some coping techniques that could help manage your painsomnia:
1. Herbal Teas
Drinking herbal teas before bed will help your body to relax. Try Camomile, Peppermint or Ginger.
2. Heat Pads
Placing a heat pad on painful areas will help alleviate some pain - remember to turn it off before you go to sleep though.
Distract yourself from the pain by reading a book. If you use an eReader make sure it’s not one that emits blue light as this will keep you awake.
Take some time before bed to stop, breathe and think. Try downloading an app to take you through guided breathing to help relax.
5. Colouring books
Distract yourself and de-stress with the help of colouring books. Get one that relates to something you enjoy such as animals or flowers and spend a bit of time in the evenings switching off from everything else around you.
6. Blogging / story making
If your mind is full of thoughts that are stopping you from sleeping, try writing them down in the form of a blog. You don’t have to post it publicly if you don’t want to. You can also make up stories in your head to distract yourself from any negative thoughts and feelings.
7. Let it all out
If you’re stressed and feel like screaming, just do it! Release any negative energy that you have built up, you’ll feel better afterwards.
8. Salt lamps
Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps help to purify the air. Place one in your bedroom to help get a better night’s sleep.
9. Use your ears
Play some low volume noise when going to sleep. Download an app that plays rain sounds or listen to an audiobook to mask any outside noise that can keep you awake such as sirens or doors slamming.
10. Comfort is key
Invest in some extra pillows or a larger duvet that you can place between your legs for extra comfort. You may also find some relief with a weighted blanket.
Having something to cuddle instantly makes us feel better. Snuggle up to your partner, your pets or your stuffed animals.
There’s lots of other ways of coping with painsomnia, let us know your methods over on our Facebook page @Nremsleepsystem