Sleep and pain
Does your pain disturb your sleep? Pains appeared following a lack of sleep? Although it's not always obvious, there is a very strong link between sleep and pain.
A lack of sleep can contribute to lowering our pain threshold, which will promote the appearance of pain that would not have appeared under the same circumstances.
A lack of sleep can also put us in a bad mood and make pain that would have been fairly well tolerated in normal times feel very intense.
People with insomnia are at much higher risk of developing chronic pain. A lack of sleep can also be a predisposing factor to a potential injury; whether it is in the sportsman who is no longer quite concentrated and misses a change of direction in football or in a
average person, who for the same reason will miss the last step of the stairs and twist their ankle.
When establishing the treatment plan with your therapist, it can sometimes be useful to include a sleep part. Most patients who manage to improve the quality of their sleep also show better results in terms of pain!
Before resorting to sleep medications or other passive, expensive and potentially risky interventions, try these tips first:
REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO LIGHT BEFORE GOING TO BED
To help you fall asleep, your brain releases melatonin. However, its production will be reduced if you are exposed to a lot of light before bedtime. Dim the light in the room where you spend the evening. This also applies to light from screens,
avoid going to bed immediately after using your computer or smartphone.
Make your bedroom as opaque as possible. Failing that, you can also use a night mask.
REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO NOISE AT NIGHT
Short, high-pitched, loud or unpredictable noises keep us from falling asleep. They can also be a source of micro-awakenings (see just alarm clocks). Reduce this noise at the source if possible. If not, use earplugs or mask the noise with another noise. In effect,
continuous noise (fan) is much better tolerated. There are also smartphone applications that create pleasant background noise (white noise).
RELAX YOUR MIND
Hundreds of thoughts cross your mind and prevent you from falling asleep? It can be useful to keep a notepad near your bed to write down your thoughts and make sure you don’t forget them.
Many people are also anxious about what time it is and the number of hours that separate them from waking up. Reassurance by looking at your alarm clock is not the solution. Conversely, turn it over or store it away from you. It’s okay if you don’t fall asleep quickly. Feeling worried about it can make the situation worse. Allow yourself to relax even if you don’t fall asleep immediately. If you’re not quite close to falling asleep an hour after going to bed, try getting up and reading a few pages of a book (preferably not too captivating…) in low light before trying again.
For more serious or disabling problems related to your sleep, consult our sleep specialist!
We care, u perform.
Cet article est basé sur le cours « sommeil et douleur » du site internet « Retrain Pain » : https://www.retrainpain.org/francais