How Chronic Pain Fosters Insomnia, And What You Can Do to Get Better Sleep - Better Health Solutions

How Chronic Pain Fosters Insomnia, And What You Can Do to Get Better Sleep

How Chronic Pain Fosters Insomnia, And What You Can Do to Get Better Sleep

Those who suffer from chronic pain often battle insomnia. It just makes sense that this is the case. The definition for chronic as it relates to illness or sickness is “persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.” So if constantly recurring pain exists in your life, showing up daily and/or nightly, your sleep cycle could definitely be disturbed.

The chronic pain which promotes insomnia and sleeplessness can hit you for a lot of different reasons. Just a few conditions which cause persistently painful experiences are:

• Lower back problems
• Arthritis, predominantly osteoarthritis
• Frequent headaches
• Shingles
• Fibromyalgia
• A lifetime of poor posture
• Traumatic injuries
• Being overweight

Obviously, these are only a limited number of physical conditions, ailments and diseases which can cause frequently recurring aches and discomfort. Since proper sleep depends on you being comfortable, insomnia frequently is a byproduct of the chronic pain you experience.

Fortunately, there are some intelligent and proven ways to treat and even cure your pain related insomnia, which do not involve taking dangerous sleeping pills and drugs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to effectively reduce or even eliminate sleeplessness. This is a short-term psychotherapy treatment, which is in most cases provided by a psychologist or a chronic pain rehabilitation professional. Over time you learn to break the vicious cycles of insomnia and create new patterns of sleeping. Many studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy is considered one of the best treatments for insomnia, even when chronic pain is the cause (1).

In some cases, curing the nighttime irritation which keeps you from sleeping is as simple as changing your mattress. And chronic pain is sometimes created by negative emotions, including anxiety, sadness and even loneliness.

Whether your persistent agony is caused by your emotional state or a physical illness or disease, retiring to your bed at the same time every night and waking on a regular schedule can help you sleep better.

Alternative chronic pain remedies can include massage, acupuncture, osteopathic or chiropractic spinal manipulation and mindfulness meditation. Some chronic pain insomniacs have even found relief from biofeedback technologies. This requires you to wear special sensors attached to important areas of your body. The information that is recorded is then studied, and a treatment prescribed to alleviate your chronic pain, and your insomnia.

Physical therapy, nerve stimulation and psychological therapies can also help alleviate the insomnia and sleepless nights that your pain is creating. Your first move is to contact your doctor and explain how you feel your poor sleep patterns are related to your pain. Just remember that because you are experiencing pain, you do not have to “grin and bear it”. Take a proactive stance in your battle against insomnia and cyclical discomfort, and your efforts will be rewarded.
(1) Mitchell, M. D., Gehrman, P., Perlis, M., & Umscheid, C. A. (2012). Comparative effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia: A systematic review. BMC Family Practice, 13, 40.