Getting a good night’s sleep so that your body can rest and repair is imperative if you want to live a happy, healthy life.
Ensuring you can get the rest you need should be at the very top of your list, especially if you have a chronic illness or injury. However, trying to sleep with chronic pain or an injury can be one of the most challenging things to actually accomplish.
Pain in your body can interrupt your sleep cycle like no other, and it’s no small matter. Lack of sleep, in turn, can make chronic pain worse—leading to a cycle of frustration for anyone trying to heal.
While you sleep, your energy consumption is lowered, thereby allowing your energy to go towards healing your body or refueling for the next day.
Your body will detoxify, and your muscle and bone tissue will start to regenerate. Furthermore, your body floods with HGH (human growth hormone), which repairs your muscles and bones.
While you sleep, your body fights infections, as your immune system is able to work it’s hardest at night. Your hormones also re-regulate themselves, which can lead to an improved mood during the day.
Moreover, your heart gets some much-needed relaxation during your sleep cycle, as your heart rate slows to between 10 and 30 beats per minute.
How to Sleep With Pain
So, how do you get to dreamland if you’re in pain? Well, if your head is in pain, such as with a toothache or a headache, you can elevate your head with an extra pillow to decrease blood flow to the head. Also, sleep on your back so that your neck isn’t strained or twisted.
If your neck is in pain, you may be putting extra strain on it with more than one pillow. Sleep with a flat or memory foam pillow (or no pillow, if you can) and place a pillow under your knees to even out the pressure. Be sure to sleep on your back in this case, too.
For back pain, you should first ensure that you have a newer mattress—after eight years it’s usually a good idea to get it replaced.
From there, using one or no pillow is key, lying on your back, with a pillow under your knees. If the pain is in your upper back, try to lie on your side with your pillow between your knees.
Shoulder pain should be dealt with by lying on your side, with a pillow between your knees and elevating your injured arm with a pillow. With rib pain, it may be the most comfortable to sleep in a recliner, but if you’d rather sleep in your bed, then the approach is similar to back pain. Sleep on your back with one or no pillow with a pillow under your knees.
We’ve covered these positions and a few more in this infographic about the best sleeping positions from Dromma below. Follow our guide to get some much-needed sleep and help your body repair itself properly.
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