1. No Electronics Before Bed!
As tempting as it may be, try not to use any of your electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime. Whatever is viral before shut-eye will still be relevant in the morning. You can catch up then.
The reason for this is that our pineal gland will naturally start to create melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep patterns) a few hours before our normal bedtime. This is part of our biological clock cycle, which is also known as the circadian rhythm. What regulates this cycle is light. We wake up when it’s morning and bright and go to sleep during the dark of night. Exposing yourself to light past night time slows down your body’s creation of melatonin and tricks your pineal gland.
The blue light in your phones and tablets affect the production of melatonin more than any other light source. According to a Harvard study, the blue wavelength light that emits from our electronics affect human’s levels of melatonin almost twice as much as a green wavelength light.
2. Cut Out the Caffeine
Sorry to burst you mochafrapabubble, but caffeine may be the culprit as to why your nights are so restless. As Americans, we have too much of it. When taken in high doses, caffeine (which is technically a drug), has side effects that result in irritability, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and poor sleep patterns. After all, who can doze off while they are fidgeting and thinking about all the things they need to do tomorrow?
So, cut down on the java or black tea. Sure, it gives you a jolt of energy when you need it, but it also gives you aftershocks at night. Drink just one or two cups a day. Try to substitute coffee with healthy sugars such as fruit. Fructose in fruits gives your body an extra jolt of sugary energy without the jitters.
3. Buy a New Mattress
This may not sound ideal, but it may just be the answer. Mattresses last a long time. So buying a quality one that you are going to spend a third of your day on everyday is an investment in yourself.
Since chronic pain is what is keeping you awake, you should get a mattress that best serves your needs. Typically, people who suffer from back pain will get a medium-firm mattress. You need firm support, but it needs to be soft enough to contour to your body. This especially rings true for those who sleep on their side. You need enough softness to relieve your hips and shoulders from added stress. Stomach sleepers who suffer from lower back pain should invest in a firmer mattress.
4. Get That Heart Pumping
Exercise is a useful tool in combating chronic pain. Keeping joints and muscles engaged won’t allow the pain to settle in. Fighting off the pain before it starts will help you get some sleep. Sleep will then heal the body. Once you are in this positive cycle, the benefits begin to get more apparent.
A study conducted by The Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity monitored the correlation between sleep and exercise. 2,600 men and women from ages 18-85 participated. Those who worked out a minimum of 150 minutes a week recorded improved sleep quality by an overwhelming 65% as compared to those who got less than 150 minutes of exercise a week.
5. Use Lavender Essential Oil
Aromatherapy is a great natural remedy to help you drift asleep. Lavender essential oil contains many natural organic chemical compounds that are both anti-inflammatory and promote sleep regularity.
One of the most prominent compounds in lavender essential oil is camphor. Camphor is a common chemical used in baby lotions, massage oils, and body washes because of its calming abilities.
Another key compound is lavender essential oil is caryophyllene. This chemical gives lavender essential oil anti-inflammatory properties. Rubbing lavender essential oil directly to the area of pain may help relieve discomfort.
Other ways to incorporate lavender essential oil through your nighttime routine is to place a few drops on your pillow or use an oil diffuser for aromatherapy. You can also draw a bath and place a few drops into the water.
Sleep may seem like it will never come, but experimenting with these tips may help get you to sleep sooner than you think. Once you get on a regular sleep cycle, you are one step closer to defeating some of the unpleasant side effects of chronic pain once and for all.
Pain Making Falling Asleep Harder? Try These 5 Tips for Better Sleep
It’s no secret that we all need sleep. Lack of sleep will affect our health negatively, as well as our day-to-day activities.
If you suffer from chronic pain, chances are you are suffering with bad overall sleep. This is because according to Spine-Health.com, “50-80% of people with chronic pain suffer from insomnia.”
Rest is essential for the body to repair itself. Piling on sleep debt is detrimental to the overall well-being of those who suffer from chronic pain. Here are a few tips to help you try to catch a few extra Z’s of sleep.