Millions of Aussies suffer from insomnia and seek treatment on how to keep pain from ruining their sleep. Did you know that a huge chunk of the population is suffering from chronic pain?
According to a research done by the University of Sydney, one out of five Australians is suffering from chronic pain. Needless to say, they all have a hard time sleeping at night.
About $34 billion are used to cover health care and hospitalization costs in one year for patients suffering from acute pain. An estimate of 36.5 million lost workdays are attributed to chronic pain, says from the same report.
Relationship of pain and sleep
Back, neck, or shoulder pain – whatever it is, it always causes sleep difficulties. What most people don’t know that sleep and pain have a give-and-take relationship. You can’t sleep well when you have pain, and those who don’t sleep well are at risk of chronic pain.
Reasons for not getting enough sleep:
- Use of technology at late nights
- Stress and anxiety
- Sleeping hot
- Body pain
- Too much exercise and adrenaline rush
- Eating too much at too late
- Uncomfortable bed
Meanwhile, here are possible reasons for having chronic pain:
- Multiple ailments
- Poor posture
- Wrong mattress or pillow
- Weight gain
Researchers argue that a lack of sleep can be an indicator of chronic pain. Sleeplessness can cause cloudy cognitive functions that lead to stress, anxiety, and loss of concentration. With that being said, it can further beget problems such as obesity, low muscle recovery and growth, aggressiveness, and body pain.
Types of pain
Any types of pain can cause sleepless nights. For instance, dysmenorrhea for women can have them suffer night sweats and endless fidgeting. Back pain can have you wince and moan through the whole ordeal. Even headaches or migraines can give you a hard time getting that good night’s rest.
Acute pain and chronic pain. Most classifications of pain are often intertwined with these two. Here’s a brief description of each and their differences.
Acute pain. This kind of pain usually stings, but of short duration after an injury or other short-term incidents. It’s often caused by burns, muscle, tissues, or bone damage.
Chronic pain. Chronic pain is long-term and lasts more than three months despite attempts to cure the pain. It can be a symptom of another illness or incur additional to the original soreness.
Other types of pain classified
While pain is classified into two major types, many doctors further categorized pain according to their causes.
Abdominal pain. Your bellyaches can be a nuisance when you sleep. Common causes can be gasses, food allergies, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramps, or constipation.
Central nervous system pain. This includes damage to the spinal cord, brain, and brainstem. Causes can be from injuries, poor posture, improper beddings used, strokes, or multiple sclerosis.
Musculoskeletal pain. These are pain associated with muscle sprains fractures, or dislocation due to injuries, accidents, or normal daily activities. It happens when your body does repetitive motions, overuse a limb, or prolong a certain area of immobilization.
Neuropathy. It is a type of nerve damage caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, myeloma, amputation, thyroid, and shingles that leads to a burning, tingling, or numbing sensation. Symptoms can include heartburn, bloating, constipation, vomiting, and nausea.
Psychogenic pain. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional and mental factors are associated with psychological disorders. These pain and problems may continue long-term and may not match to any physical pain a person is facing at the moment.
How to keep pain from ruining your sleep
Sleep is vital for people suffering from pain. We understand you’ll be going through a whole night of discomfort, as you toss and turn to find the perfect position. So, here are tips to keep pain from ruining your sleep.
Find the right mattress for you
There are different kinds of mattress that cater to your needs. For instance, memory foams are best known to alleviate joint pains and pressure points. Side sleepers or people suffering from shoulder and hip pain may benefit from its contouring properties to relieve soreness.
Meanwhile, back sleepers with mild lower back pain might find comfort in dense mattresses, unless supervised by a doctor. Stomach sleepers with stomach problems will benefit from an adjustable bed and mattress. Never sleep on your stomach while suffering from pain.
You can also opt for cool mattresses to reduce some pain. Women who suffer from dysmenorrhea or hot sleeping can benefit most to cool mattresses. Many people reported having their stress and depression lessen by just sleeping on these kinds of beddings.
Use pillows accordingly
Furthermore, those with neck and shoulder pain should do with a contouring pillow appropriate to their sleeping positions and body sizes. Most body pains acquired when sleeping is due to awkward sleeping positions. That’s because your sleep posture throws your spinal alignment out.
You can check out our guide on pillows based on your sleeping positions.
Consider bedtime routine
Is there anything on your mind that gives you a hard time sleeping? You can practice good sleep routine like drinking warm tea before bed or reading a book. Take a warm bath, turn off the television, put away your gadgets, and turn off the lights in the room.
Modulate your pain
You can alleviate pain with low-impact habits like taking a hot bath, using a hot or cold compress, lighting aromatherapy, or meditation. They can induce your body to sleep and relieves you from stress and anxiety.
Invest in an adjustable bed
Finding a comfortable position is simply daunting. Investing in an adjustable bed lets you prop your head or feet to get the best position for your body. With that, it can ease heartburn, stomach aches, neck and back pain, or more.
Do low-impact exercises and stretches
Exercise can help induce sleep at night and prevents stiffening of muscles and joints, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. What’s more, it helps reset your body clock – giving you an energy boost during the day and inducing melatonin at night.
Talk to your doctor about medications
Pain killers are the things you’re going to ask to dull the pain. However, you should seek treatment and keep pain from ruining your sleep. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments.