Pain can play a key role in keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. This is according to a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation that finds pain costs Americans sleep time – an average of 42 minute sleep for those with chronic pain and 14 minutes for those who suffer from acute pain.
Sixty-five percent of those with no pain reported good or very good sleep quality, while only 46 percent of those with acute pain and 36 percent of those with chronic pain did the same.
Nearly one in four people with chronic pain say they’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder by a doctor, compared with just 6 percent of all others. Pain and sleep problems present themselves together and aggravate each other.
Experts say there are certain things you can do to overcome this. Some of those include the following:
Take control of your sleep
The best thing to do is to not just accept your insomnia and hope it passes. You can ensure that you start to get more sleep at night by being motivated, setting a routine for going to bed and getting up, and creating a supportive sleep environment.
Don’t stay in bed
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, don’t just sit in bed and wish that you could be sleeping. Instead, get up and read or watch TV and try again when you feel sleepy.
Eliminate environmental factors
Sometimes it’s the little things – noise, light, temperature and your mattress – get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Taking greater care of the bedroom environment may be particularly helpful to pain sufferers. Figure out what environment helps you sleep best, and mold your bedroom to fit this atmosphere.
Americans who said they were extremely motivated to get enough sleep reported sleeping 36 more minutes per night compared with others. Even among those with pain, being more motivated to sleep was associated with longer sleep durations and better sleep quality.
The bottom line is that understanding the importance of sleep and taking a proactive approach to bedtimes can help everyone improve their sleep, even people with pain.