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Originally Posted On: How to Reduce Pain and Improve Your Sleep? – VirtuClean
In general, chronic pain is more noticeable and less manageable at night which affects your sleep to a large extent. Having difficulty sleeping due to persistent pain is quite challenging and makes people frustrated and helpless. Luckily, there are certain things you can do, especially when it comes to lifestyle, to alleviate your condition and help you get a good night’s sleep. Just read on and find out more.
Tips to Manage Chronic Pain to Improve Sleep
Be Physically Active
Although many people believe that physical activity can make the pain worse, being physically active during the day for at least 20 minutes can actually improve both your pain and sleep. However, ensure you listen to your body and avoid strenuous exercise and also avoid physical activities for three hours before bedtime since exercise keeps you awake.
Keep Your Mind Occupied
Another technique to manage pain is by occupying your mind with other things rather than the pain you experience. That said, engage in some fun activities and take up a hobby during the day to keep your mind busy. On the other hand, try some relaxation exercises and techniques like meditation at night when pain is more difficult to manage.
Limit Screen Time Before Bedtime
Sometimes, watching TV or using your phone can take your mind off the pain you feel, but screen time isn’t good for your sleep, especially before bedtime because screens emit blue light which imitates daylight and keeps us awake. Therefore, try other activities like reading, listening to music, etc. if you want to get quality sleep.
Follow a Strict Sleep Routine
In general, people tend to underestimate the importance of following a strict sleep routine, but it is definitely crucial for getting a good night’s sleep. So, try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even at the weekends, to set your body clock and eventually go to sleep and wake up at the same time naturally.
Avoid Napping or Limit Napping Time
To manage chronic pain, doctors usually prescribe certain medications which are quite likely to make you drowsy during the day. This leads to frequent napping which then interferes with night sleep. Hence, avoid napping, or if you really can’t, limit your napping time to a maximum of 20 minutes.
Get High-Quality Pillows and Mattress
Suffering from chronic pain, especially shoulder or back pain, and sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress and pillow will only make your pain worse. So, you’d better invest in quality sleep aids specifically designed to relieve shoulder pain. Such aids will also allow you to sleep in your preferred position without aggravating the pain.
Have a Dedicated Relaxation Space
As we already mentioned above, practicing some relaxation exercises or techniques before going to bed can relieve pain and encourage sleep. But, your bedroom should only associate you with sleeping and therefore you should have a dedicated relaxation space to meditate and relax before bedtime.
Improve Your Sleeping Environment
Last but not least, you should pay attention to the bedroom atmosphere so that you can promote better sleep. In other words, you should ensure that your sleeping environment is quiet and dark, not too hot or too cold, and ventilated. Plus, to get your mind off the pain, you can use a sound machine as a form of distraction and sleep stimulator.