Waking Up with Aches and Pains? Here’s What You Can Do
No one likes waking up from a full seven or eight hours in bed to a headache and neck pain. Sleep is supposed to be your body’s time to rejuvenate and heal. However, far too many people don’t spend enough time in the deep sleep stages necessary for full healing because of pain, which in turn may prolong and increase chronic pain symptoms.
More Sleep Leads to Less Stress about Pain
A good night’s rest can not only help your body heal but help you manage the stress that comes from dealing with chronic pain. Without adequate sleep, the emotional center of your brain becomes more susceptible to negative emotions, thoughts, and stimuli. Lack of sleep also causes the reasoning and logic center of the brain to become less active. Consequently, the stress of pain and discomfort can be even more challenging to deal with when you’re functioning on less than seven hours of sleep.
How to Get Better Quality Sleep
When you’re dealing with aches and pains, your mattress can be an asset in your quest for relief. Research has shown that many people who have neck and back pain do well with a medium-firm mattress. However, keep in mind that your sleep style, height, weight, and personal preference can all make a difference in your comfort.
You can also work towards developing healthy sleep habits. To help yourself fall and stay asleep try:
- A Tension-Relieving Bedtime Routine: If you have troubling falling asleep, a bedtime routine can help signal your brain to release sleep hormones. Bedtime routines are also a good time to address stress, muscle tension, and pain before bed. Yoga or gentle stretches that are doctor-approved for your condition can be good ways to prepare for bed.
- A Consistent Bedtime: Going to bed at the same time every night helps your body support a regular circadian rhythm, the natural 24-hour cycles used to control your sleep-wake pattern.
- Turning Off Screens: The bright light given off by some electronics and high-efficiency (HE) light bulbs can suppress sleep hormones. Keep HE bulbs out of your bedroom and turn off electronics at least two to three hours before bed.
Pain Management that Brings Relief
Healthy pain management can help improve the quality of your sleep. Some methods are simple while others are more aggressive. Finding the right one for you might take some trial and error.
- Get checked by Chiropractor: Chiropractic is the practice of improving health and wellness by improving overall function in the body. If there is a lack of function within the spine it can lead to symptoms that challenge healing as cause pain, which both can lead poor sleep and rest.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are the most common form of mild pain medications. Acetaminophen works best for mild to moderate pain while Ibuprofen handles more severe pain and inflammation.
- Hot/Cold Treatment: These simple but effective remedies address different kinds of pain. Ice constricts blood vessels which numb the pain. If you have swelling, ice it first. Heat, on the other hand, works as a muscle relaxer. Tense neck muscles may loosen after some time with a heating pad.
- Massage: Massage directly manipulates the muscle to reduce pain while also relieving stress, anxiety, and tension. Some methods target specific points while others work for large muscle groups.
Addressing your pain can allow you to sleep better, which, may, in turn, decrease your perception of pain.