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Chronic Pain and Sleep

Is chronic pain keeping you up at night? With a little help, it doesn't have to! Natalie Dautovich from the National Sleep Foundation explains why.

Chronic pain effects the way you feel and causes a lot of extra stress. It can also make it difficult to fall asleep and in the long run harm your quality of life. In order to get more sleep, the first step is to make it a priority. People motivated to get enough sleep reported 36 more minutes of sleep per night than those who weren't as motivated. That means more than 4 hours of sleep per week! If you can make sleep a priority, these numbers can add up and improve your sleep quality and well-being despite your chronic pain. 

Here are some tips on making sleep a priority in your life. The first is to limit or avoid caffeine altogether. You should also cut back on alcohol, especially at night. You can also use pain killers or sleep medications when you need them. Make sure to talk to your doctor to see which sleep medication is right for you as well as how and when to use them. You can also practice relaxation techniques which can include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and imagery training. 

Pain can make it extremely difficult to sleep and create a cycle of poor sleep night after night, but there are steps you can take before sleep and throughout the day to improve your sleep time and quality in the long run! 

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This video is part of an ongoing series HealthiNation has created in partnership with the experts at the National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org

Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D.

This video features Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D.. Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D. is the National Sleep Foundation's Environmental Scholar. She is also appointed at Virginia Commonwealth University as an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology in the Department of Psychology. She received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of South Florida.

Duration: 01:54 Last Updated On: 2015-11-03 Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh Review date: June 28, 2015
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