Those living with chronic pain can experience a number of problems.
Chronic pain can cause fatigue, sleeplessness, disability, depression, anxiety, and withdrawal from activities and people in order to get relief from the pain.
Lack of sleep due to this pain can have a devastating impact on your health. Finding ways to get a deep sleep with chronic pain is essential to your health and well-being.
Parts of the Body Prone to Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can occur throughout the body, but there are some areas more prone to bouts with chronic pain. The area with the most consistent pain issues is the back. Structural problems with the spine can cause pain and include conditions such as a herniated disk or spinal stenosis.
These problems are typically caused by lifting something improperly or even by a cough or sneeze. A disk can slip out of alignment and the pain will start. These conditions usually present as either back pain or leg pain, depending on the onset and the individual. Sometimes the pain appears without any warning.
Back pain can also be caused by mechanical issues. You can stand in a position too long or stretch and bend in an awkward way that leads to pain. This pain is usually not immediate, but it can make you feel quite awful the next day. Sometimes you’ll experience back spasms or leg pain that make you feel a bit unstable.
These conditions normally respond well to initial treatment, and often the pain is reduced or eliminated. Medicated creme or gel, anti-inflammatories, and gentle stretching can all aid in reducing the pain. After several days of treatment, you should feel better, but sometimes pain can be residual or chronic, lasting longer and causing more issues.
Here are some tips to help you sleep well when living with chronic pain.
Magnesium for Relaxation and Sleep
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that supports sleep and relaxation.
This mineral also helps with a number of other conditions, including:
- Muscle cramps
- Chronic fatigue
- Kidney stones
- High blood pressure
Magnesium is so essential it is even used in life-threatening situations, such as heart failure.
About 65 percent of people admitted to intensive care units have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium can be found in kelp, wheat bran, garlic, barley, beans, rye, tofu, cashews, buckwheat, brown rice, figs, dates, shrimp, avocado, and parsley.
Certain activities can deplete your body’s magnesium, including alcohol, coffee, salt, and sugar consumption. The recommended daily amount of magnesium is 300 mg. Also, some high blood pressure medications can deplete the amount of magnesium in your body.
Making sure you get enough magnesium will promote good sleep and relaxation.*
Other Supplements Available to Help You Sleep
In addition to magnesium, there is a plethora of supplements that can help you sleep through chronic pain. Having a high-fat supplement before bed, such as collagen protein, can get you to sleep.
Also, potassium works in an interdependent way with magnesium to promote sleep. And supplements such as L-theanine, ornithine, GABA, melatonin, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, and L-tryptophan can assist, as well. Another option is chamomile tea.
I have personally tried melatonin when I was having shoulder and neck pain, and the supplement was very helpful in helping me get good sleep. Nonetheless, each person is different and what works for one may not work for another. Trying different supplements and bedtime rituals will ensure you find the one that helps.
Final Tips for Breaking the Cycle
Pain can decrease both the quality and quantity of sleep by making it a challenge to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are many ways you can promote sleep to ensure you get enough deep sleep even with chronic pain. Dealing with the source of the pain can help eliminate pain and foster good sleep.
Additionally, engaging in practices such as an evening bath prior to bedtime can prep you for a good night’s sleep. Relaxation training and breathing techniques are further ways to induce sound sleep.
As a last resort to deal with insomnia caused by pain, sleeping medications can be used. Seek the advice of a physician prior to beginning drug therapy, as it will help you choose the right medicine for you.
Getting enough sleep is imperative to good health. Chronic pain can steal hours of sleep from those living with certain conditions. A combination of pain reduction and natural sleep aids can help you get the deep, fulfilling rest you need.
About the Author: Ann Mulderig is a self-proclaimed health nut who enjoys writing about food, fitness, and health in general. When she’s not writing, she can be found somewhere in the mountains or in her kitchen baking new recipes.
*Individuals who have heart or kidney problems should consult a physician prior to beginning a magnesium regimen.
Featured image courtesy of Jay Mantri
Woman on phone image courtesy of Flickr/kbrookes