Insomnia or sleep disturbance is usually common when you have chronic pain. However, these conditions predominantly influence each other. This means, on the one hand, the pain disrupts your sleep, while on the other, the lack of sleep worsens pain. Is there anything that can be done to overcome it? To help you, here are four effective sleeping tips for chronic pain.
1. Increase your intake of sleep-inducing foods
Adding certain types of food to your dinner increases the body’s tryptophan levels. Tryptophan is a protein necessary for the release of serotonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. Increased tryptophan levels better regulate the time it takes for you to fall asleep. As a result, it promotes more peaceful and restful sleep. This also improves your alertness the next morning. One can include whole foods such as shellfish, fatty fish, pulses, and milk. Fruits such as kiwis and cherries. Carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index, for instance, rice. However, before you make any dietary changes, speak to your doctor. This will help you ensure that any new supplement or food you consume does not harm your health and in no way intervenes with ongoing medication. Furthermore, you need to abstain from drinks and foods that can adversely affect your sleep, such as carbohydrates, tea, and coffee. Such foods have theobromine and caffeine in them that disturbs your sleep schedule.
2. Try some relaxing distractions
A relaxing distraction is a technique that helps you sleep better. Some of the distractions you can use include basic meditation or guided imagery, wherein you imagine yourself in a peaceful and calm location. You can look for something that is appealing and allows you to sleep earlier and better. You can either take sleep education lessons, attend individual or group training, or watch these relaxing exercises online.
3. Have a fixed bedtime routine
One of the best sleeping tips for chronic pain is to set the alarm right before bedtime. It can help you get into a sleeping habit before you retire to bed. In case you have been prescribed sleeping or pain medication, it is recommended that you take it before bedtime. In just a few days of following this routine, your body will get into this habit. Gradually you will automatically start feeling sleepy at that time. You should turn off all the electronics when you go to bed. Instead, read a book or a journal or listen to a podcast or an audiobook.
4. Curtail your fluid consumption
If you drink a lot of fluids before bedtime, you have to wake up multiple times in the night to empty your bladder. This will disturb your sleep. Thus, avoid consuming more than a glass of water before you head to bed.