How to Minimize Chronic Pain at Bedtime

Do you experience chronic pain at night when trying to fall asleep? Many chronic pain sufferers may report higher levels of pain at night. The biggest reason this happens may have to do with fewer distractions at bedtime. During the day, you are busy with work, family, friends, errands, and other tasks. These tasks keep our mind occupied and distracted from our pain. However, when you lie down for bedtime, these distractions go away. Pain can then become more noticeable.

Another reason your pain may be worse at night is due to poor posture and other physical tasks you performed during the day. These may contribute to your pain and make it worse.

4 Ways to Minimize Chronic Pain at Night

Here are a few different ways to reduce chronic pain at night. It is important to note that one approach may work for one person and not another. It may even beneficial to try a combination of techniques.


Ice or Heat Therapy

Depending on your condition, ice or heat therapy may work for you. Ice is useful for reducing inflammation and swelling. Heat therapy is often used for stiffness, arthritis pain, and muscle spasms and aches.


Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is a type of breathing exercise where you breathe in for 4 seconds and then breathe out for 4 seconds. You continue to repeat this breathing cycle for a few minutes. This helps you focus on your breath, rather than the pain. It also helps you relax and unwind. After a few minutes of deep breathing, you can move into mindfulness meditation or visualization techniques to increase your relaxation.  


Try a New Pillow or Sleeping Position

Depending on the location of your pain, a new pillow or sleeping position can lessen the pain. If you have back pain, for example, a pillow under your knees can take pressure off your spine and reduce pain. If you sleep on your side, a pillow placed between slightly bent knees can also help align your hips and take stress off the lower back. People who have osteoarthritis may benefit from sleeping on their side.

Sleeping on your stomach is not usually considered an ideal position for pain relief. In this sleeping position, the lumbar region is not supported and therefore places strain on your spine. Sleeping on your stomach can also strain your shoulders and neck. However, there are some circumstances where stomach sleeping may help with relieving pressure on the disc space in the spine: degenerative disc disease and paracentral disc herniation. If you do sleep on your stomach, try a firm mattress with a small pillow under your stomach for support.


Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves putting yourself in a neutral frame of mind. This is done by lying or sitting comfortably. You should focus on your breathing. Thoughts of pain may come to mind, but you don’t have to act on them. During meditation, don’t label these thoughts as good or bad. If a thought about your pain pops up, acknowledge it and then let it be and pass. Return your focus to your breath. When you don’t tie yourself to stressful thoughts and you let them pass, you allow your body and mind to relax.



Pain Still Won’t Stop?

If your pain is keeping you up at night and nothing seems to bring you relief, consider visiting a pain clinic. Pain clinics specialize in the diagnosis and management of pain.

Apex Medical Center is a pain clinic in Las Vegas and Henderson that provides innovative pain management treatment. Our focus is on finding pain relief and improving the quality of your life.





Author
Apex Medical Center

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