Top 5 tips for getting better sleep with night pain
01/11/2016 by Pivotal Motion
Some injuries can be known to be problematic even at night. At the time when the body is due to shut down for replenishing, there is nothing worse than having to deal with constant nagging pain. It quite often keeps people up resulting in less rest, increased tiredness, low mood. Furthermore, can even increased likelihood for aggravating the injury or sustaining new injuries! Being able to deal with night pain better is crucial in recovery for injuries.
Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy shares these sleeping tips with you:
Tip 1. Use heat
Quite often with night pain, the issue is constant stimulation of the nerves responsible for causing pain. Applying heat such as a wheat bag or a hot water bottle for about half an hour before going to bed can be a good way to override the pain stimulus. The heat can also cause increased blood flow to the injured areas which can help flush away the chemicals irritating the nerves responsible for pain.
Tip 2. Exercise
Your physiotherapist will often prescribe a home exercise program aimed at reducing your symptoms and improving your overall function. Whilst it may seem odd to exercise right before you go to bed, it can often result in an increased state of relaxation post exercise. It will also result in a reduction in your resting symptoms, which allows you to get some good rest without having to tolerate pain or discomfort.
Tip 3. Adapting the right sleeping position
If your arms or legs are injured, elevating them in bed by using a pillow can be a brilliant way to achieve comfort to allow for better sleep. Through the use of gravity, elevation promotes the removal of toxins and inflammatory chemicals that cause pain. If it is the arm that has the night pain, a pillow underneath the arm can reduce compression on the shoulder joint itself.
It may be obvious but always good to remind ourselves to adapt a position that promotes less pain. Quite often, it’s better to sleep away from the injured side so that you avoid compressive forces on injured or sensitive structures. For spinal pain, avoiding over flexed and extended positions is key. For example, for neck pain, avoid an over-flexed neck posture by sleeping with one pillow as opposed to two. Sometimes sleeping on a slight incline with a U-shaped pillow can assist with neck and shoulder complaints.
Tip 4. Self massage
This is a great way to override pain stimulus to the nerves and flush away inflammatory chemicals. Spending about 10-15 minutes before bed gently massaging injured areas can be a great way to lessen pain and promote better sleep. Using adjuncts like deep heat can also be helpful.
Tip 5. Make changes to your sleeping environment
To induce a sleepy state, making some vital adjustments to your sleeping environment is important. Sleeping in a darkened sound-proof room helps as well as controlling the temperature in your room making sure that it’s not too hot or too cold.