Sleep is important. It is when your body heals and is restored. It is vital for every part of your body, especially your brain and nervous system.
But what happens when pain is keeping you up at night? What can you do when you know you need sleep, but pain just won’t let it happen? Maybe it is keeping you from falling asleep or waking you up at night. Whatever the case, sleep disruption is not healthy.
What’s more, it leads to a vicious cycle. The pain keeps you from getting sleep, and the lack of sleep makes your pain worse. This, in turn, makes it even harder to get the precious sleep you need.
How does Sleep Affect Pain?
A study published in the March 2019 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience found that healthy, good sleep has an analgesic effect on the human body. Lack of sleep can increase pain sensitivity, but getting good, regular sleep has the opposite effect. When you get good sleep, it can decrease the pain you feel.
There are natural analgesia centers in the brain and when you sleep, they are activated. When you don’t sleep, the pain center of the brain, the somatosensory cortex becomes hyperactive, causing the body to feel pain and have less of a tolerance to it. Sleep loss also blocks those natural analgesia centers from working as well.
The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Pain
Just as good sleep can help reduce your pain, lack of sleep can increase it. A study published in the August 2015 issue of Pain Magazine found that patients who did not get adequate sleep experienced increased pain sensitivity. In fact, the severity and frequency of insomnia are directly correlated with the intensity of pain.
The study concluded that sleep problems can significantly decrease a person’s tolerance for pain – or increase the risk that pain tolerance is reduced. Basically, the less you sleep or the worse your sleep is, the more likely you are to experience pain and feel it more intensely.
7 Ways to Get Better Sleep Tonight
Getting good restful sleep will help you decrease your pain which improves your quality of life. But when you are in pain, that can seem impossible. The key to overcoming sleep problems is to start small. Try these simple steps to a better, more restful sleep.
- Try chiropractic care to decrease your pain so you can fall asleep.
- Get a sleep routine with a set bedtime and wake time.
- Avoid watching television or working or playing games on your mobile devices.
- Alcohol does not make a good sleep aid because you are likely to wake up too early.
- Maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Create a comfortable, sleep-inducing bedroom.
- Have a warm, caffeine-free drink like passionflower herbal tea before bedtime.
Don’t worry about falling asleep because that puts a lot of pressure on you. Instead, just relax and let it happen, no pressure, no requirements. Just pure, restful sleep.
At Sandstone our commitment to our patients is our number one priority. You shouldn’t have to live with debilitating pain, and it is our goal to help you live your best life. With innovative health solutions and some of the best chiropractic care in the region, our goal is to ensure that you, our patient, have the best quality of life possible.
Call today or make an appointment online and discover the difference innovation and compassion can make. There’s a better way: the Sandstone Way.