Sleeping with chronic pain can be a challenge but there are many non-medicinal steps we can take to help us sleep a better nights sleep.
Take a look at the following examples and see if there are any steps you could incorporate into your bed-time routine. I feel funny calling it a bed-time routine. Reminds me of settling my daughter at night when she was a little girl. But really? It's not much different is it? Just like we got our kids into a routine when they were little...we need one too sometimes.
In the spirit of an impatient woman awaiting the sunshine, I had to share a picture of what I use as a part of my visualization exercises. Picturing myself at the beach, remembering the smells, sights and sounds, are like a lullaby.
- go to bed at the same time each night - getting into a regular routine helps to settle our bodies easier
- avoid long naps in the afternoon - if you need to lay down, try and keep your lay down to under 30 minutes
- minimize the noise and light in your bedroom - some find ear plugs and black out blinds to be helpful in keeping it dark and quiet
- keep your bedroom cooler - I personally use a ceiling fan to help and have also closed off one of the heating vents in my room - sleeping in a cooler room prevents from waking up hot and uncomfortable
- try a relaxing bubble bath or hot shower just before bed - if you have a pool, go for a dip just before bed, some even find hot-tubs to be of benefit
- keep your bedroom for sleep and intimate times with your partner - which is a natural and beautiful way to put each other to sleep even if you live with pain
- turn off the distractions like radios, TVs, computers etc when going to bed - you could even try just removing the TV altogether from your bedroom
- keep your pets out of the room - I know we all love our pets, but they are terrible bed partners. When I dog-sit for my parents I'm stuck sleeping with a dog that has to be right up beside me or even on me and he wants to sleep with his head on my pillow! makes me long for the cat who ignores me at home.
- avoid stimulants such as colas, coffee, tea, and chocolate ( I know, I love my chocolate too), at least 2 hours before bedtime
- try relaxation exercises like Visualization or Progressive Muscular Relaxation while you're laying in bed
- don't go bed with your mind racing, it'll get you no where - settling our thoughts is easier said than done some days I know but when we go to bed with our heads full, sleep is the furthest thing from our mind's thoughts
- although this is really not a step, some people do use alcohol to help them go to sleep - now this may help you in the short-term to solve your sleep issues, consistent alcohol use to sleep is an indicator of other issues you need to face
A good healthy deep sleep is something we all dream about from one time or another. There are things we can to do to help us achieve that. What do you do to help you sleep? What is your bed-time routine or do you even have one? Give it some thought and see what you can do to help yourself sleep better.
take good care of you...kick the pets out for the night...and get some sleep...you need it!