To help you get the sleep you need, here is a simple guide for minimizing chronic pain at bedtime:
Sleep-related problems and chronic pain need to be treated together.
Read: Addressing Pain and Medical Problems Disrupting Sleep
Why is my pain worse at bedtime?
Before we look at how to minimize nighttime pain, let's quickly look at why your pain levels may seem worse when you lie down to sleep.
During the day, you are distracted by any number of things. Work, kids, and so much more keep your mind occupied from the time you wake up until the time you are ready for bed. But when you lie down to sleep, you are deprived of many of these distractions. So then, it is easier to focus on your pain.
Additionally, your pain levels may be worse at night due to factors like poor posture and excessive sitting.
Minimizing bedtime pain
No single treatment works for everyone, but any of the following methods may help minimize your bedtime pain:
- Visualization. In your mind's eye, try picturing a relaxing scene such as gentle waves rolling onto a beach. You can try counting the waves as you slowly drift off to sleep.
- Deep breathing. You can practice deep breathing in any number of ways, but to begin simply inhale until the count of 4, and then exhale for the same amount of time.
- Heat therapy. A disposable heat wrap can deliver pain-relief over the course of several hours to help you fall asleep.
- Dissociation. This technique involves separating your pain from the rest of your body. For example, you can visualize your pain sitting on your dresser, and you can tell it to remain there for the night.
What to do if the pain won't stop
If the above strategies fail to bring you enough relief from your pain so that you can fall asleep, make sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor. She or he can review your sleep habits, and they may recommend the temporary use of sleep medication.
I hope all of the above advice will help you find relief from your bedtime pain so you can wake up feeling rested and ready for your day.