Developing Good Sleep Hygiene
So what do you do when you live with chronic pain and need to sleep? Do you give in and use potentially dangerous sleep medications or just suffer? Most authorities recommend practicing good sleep hygiene, along with becoming very familiar with their sleep deprivation problem (i.e. understanding the cause). Sleep hygiene refers to the habits, environmental factors, and practices that may influence the length and quality of your sleep. These include bedtime, nighttime rituals, and disruptions to one’s sleep. These are typically represented by simple guidelines meant to effectively promote a good night’s rest.
If sleep problems persist after implementing sleep hygiene practices, it may then be the time to seek medical help. But what is sleep hygiene? Below I’m putting some of the information I found on www.about.com a website devoted to educating people about back and neck pain. If you want to see more about sleep hygiene please go to that website and type in “Sleep Hygiene.”
- Relax before bedtime
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, cool, and comfortable
- Make sleep a priority: don’t sacrifice sleep to do daytime activities
- Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants
- Don’t smoke - in bed or at all
- Exercise every day, but avoid doing it 4 hours before bedtime
- Bedrooms are for sleeping and sex, not for watching television or doing work
- Don’t toss and turn
- Don’t take naps
I’ve been helping people with this problem for a long time and have actually used most of interventions listed above. One of the tools I also recommend for many of my patients is to use headphones with relaxation techniques, soothing sounds or music to help them to sleep. I also teach people relaxation response techniques that take about 7-10 minutes and one of the positive side effects is a reduction in their sensation of pain.
To learn about resolving other problems while undergoing chronic pain management please check out my article Overcoming Obstacles for Effective Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are once again presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on November 11-13, 2010 this time in our new office space in Sacramento CA. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are working with people undergoing chronic pain management and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing their chronic pain and coexisting psychological disorders; including depression, addiction and other coexisting psychological disorders effectively; please consider my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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