Pain and lack of sleep affects quite a number of people, mostly at the same time. What is the relationship between the two? Pain can take over your thoughts and impair the quality of life. Chronic pain not only leads to difficulties in falling asleep and staying a sleep, but also depression and anxiety. There are several techniques and remedies that can help you relieve pain and get a good night sleep.
What about over the counter medications?
Over the counter medications seems like an excellent short-cut out of pain, but the long-term effects can be fatal. Avoid buying drugs without your doctor’s advice. Most of the pain-relieving medication can cause insomnia. It is important to consult your doctor so that they can apply a double approach on you; treating your pain and helping you deal with sleep problems
Chronic pain control techniques
Some of the techniques are better learnt with the help of a professional, but again it takes a personal effort to be able to learn these chronic pain management techniques. One is advised to work on pain copping strategies at least 45 minutes for 4 days a week.
With intense practice, you will realize that they are easy and effective at last. Here are the most effective techniques to take into consideration when dealing with chronic pain. Here are most effective pain relieving techniques to try today for better sleep:
This chronic pain management technique involves detachment of the painful part of the body from the rest of the body by just imagining it separate. For example imagine your painful lower limb on the other side of the room and tell it to stay there away from your mind.
2. Sensory splitting
This technique involves dividing sensation into separate parts. For example if the back pain feels so hot to you, focus on the sensation of the heat and not the pain or the hurting.
3. Mental anaesthesia
The technique involves imagining an injection into the painful area such as an imagery of a pain –relieving injection into the upper back. Similarly you can imagine a soothing and cooling ice pack being placed on the pain area.
4. Altered focus
Altered focus is a powerful technique that excellently shows how the mind can alter body sensations. All you need to do is focus you mind on a non-painful part of the body and alter sensations in that part of the body. For instance you can imagine your hand warming up; this will take your mind away from the pain you are experiencing elsewhere in the body.
Use the mind to produce altered sensations such as heat, anaesthesia or cold in non-painful limb and place the limb on the painful one. Imagine yourself transferring this pleasant altered sensation into the painful area.
By using your mind’s eye to project yourself forward and backwards in time to when you had no pain at all. Instruct yourself to act as if the image was true.
7. Symbolic imagery
Imagine a symbol that presents your chronic pain such as an irritating noise. In slow progress reduce the irritating qualities of the symbol for example reduce the noise in the symbol thereby reducing the pain you are experiencing
Counting deep breaths, floor tiles or mental images is a good way to deal with painful moments. This technique helps your mind focus away from your pain thus helping you fall asleep again.
9. Pain movement
It is possible to mentally remove your pain from one area to the other where you find the pain easy to cope with. For example mentally move your back pain to your hand where you are able to touch and massage.
10. Breathing exercises
Controlled breathing helps the body relax .It takes practice to teach your body to relax. Here is how to carry out relaxed breathing exercises:
- Put yourself in a relaxed position in a room, close your eyes and focus at a given point
- Begin by slowing down your breathing. Breathe deeply using your chest. You can speak to yourself the word “relax” to help your mind focus.
- Continue with controlled deep breaths for about 3 minutes.
- Begin to use imagery techniques above once you find yourself-relaxed enough.
11. Soothing sounds
Listening to music before going to bed can promote good night sleep. A soothing sound slowly relaxes your mind and drifts it to sluberland.
12. Cognitive behaviour therapy
Because the brain is a powerful tool for wellness, it is essential to keep your thoughts positive. With help of a doctor, cognitive behavioural therapy teaches you to change thought patterns for a better sleep.
Cognitive therapy helps you get rid of anxiety and depression related symptoms. If you happen to worry a lot about sleeplessness as a result of pain, you need to talk to your doctor about it; it can help you focus positively.
13. Practice Healthy sleeping habits
There are several bad and good sleeping routines.A good night sleep irrespective of the pain highly depends on your night time routine. The following night time tips can help you lessen fatigue and pain:
- Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. It is essential that you make sleep a priority. With a relaxed body, you are less likely to perceive pain.
- Try to avoid day time naps which can affect your good night sleep. Get moving as soon as you find yourself sleepy at any time of the day.
- Avoid stimulant drinks such as coffee and tea which can mess with your night routine. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which stimulates your nervous system rendering you sleepless for the better part of the night.
- Consider taking a warm bath at least 2 hours before bedtime to help release the body’s natural pain relievers known as endorphins.
- Make your room dark and quiet. Keep the temperatures moderate not too hot or cold to avoid waking up due extreme temperatures.
- Do not use electronics during bedtime. They induce sleeplessness by keeping your mind stimulated.
Natural remedies for pain
Regular use of drugs can lead to long –term side effects such as kidney and liver compromise. Consider the following home remedies to help you alleviate pain causing insomnia:
Capsaicin a compound found in hot chilli peppers is a natural excellent remedy for pain. It works by temporarily desensitizing nerve receptors known as the c-fibers which cause pain response. Add chill pepper to your diet to get rid of chronic pain hindering you from sound sleep. Alternatively you can buy capsaicin ointment which is said to reduce pain intensity even that associated with migraine.
Cherries contain compound called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins block processes of inflammation and inhibit pain related enzymes. Cherries work in the same ways as non-steroidal drugs to help decrease and deplete pain.
Bromelain are compound enzymes found in pineapple stems. Research has shown that bromelain reduces levels of prostaglandins which are the hormones responsible for inducing pain. It is an excellent remedy for people with arthritis and trauma-related inflammation. Bromelain enzyme is also essential in promoting faster tissue healing.
Cloves are common spices in households. As medicine cloves are found in power form, capsule or in oil form.
Cloves like other natural remedies can be used to treat different condition successfully. Besides treating nausea and colds it also alleviates arthritic and migraine pain.
Eugenol is the active ingredient that is used in some pain relieving ointments. Rubbing some amount of clove oil helps relieve pain significantly. Always try this remedy regularly before going to bed to help decrease pain that might render you sleepless.
5. Heat and ice
Applying heat and ice to the site of pain has been found to be highly effective for years. Ice pack helps reduce inflammation and swelling while heat helps reduce muscle stiffness that may be accompanied by strains and sprains.
Ice packs are also effective in reducing headache when wrapped in a piece of cloth and placed on the forehead for some time. Heat on the other hand works better for people with arthritic chronic pain. Simply massage the joints using warm cotton cloth or pad to help promote blood circulation in order to reduce joint stiffness.
Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin, an anti-oxidant that helps protect the body against processes of inflammation. Additionally, turmeric protects the body against free radical molecules that damage cells and tissues.
7. Devil’s claw
Forget the name; devil’s claw is a great remedy against several ailments. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that blocks induction of pain in cases of arthritis, headaches and back pains.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
- Get better sleep when you have fibromyalgia
2How to get to sleep (June 2015)
- Tips for better sleep (June 2010)