Is pain preventing you from sleeping? According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 57% of Americans experience chronic or acute pain on a weekly basis. Pain, stress and poor health can all impact your sleep by making it more difficult to fall or stay asleep. The result is a downward spiral of increased pain and worsened sleep. By focusing on good sleep habits and recognizing sleep quality issues, like snoring, restlessness or even just daytime sleepiness, you can reduce pain and get the rest your mind and body need.
Acute Pain and Chronic Pain
Americans with chronic pain experience, on average, 42 minutes of sleep loss per night and those who suffer with acute pain average 14 minutes of sleep loss per night. Pain control medications and activities, such as heat or cold treatments and massage therapy, can make it easier to get restorative sleep. No matter what, it is essential to establish sleep habits and routines that support the transition from wake to sleep. Here are some suggestions:
- Go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day
- Use a relaxing “wind-down” routine to prepare yourself for sleep
- Exercise regularly during the day, but not within 1-2 hours of bedtime
- Avoid light and stimulation from smartphones and computers 1-2 hours before bedtime
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and cool
- Limit alcohol 3 hours before, and caffeine 7 hours before, bedtime
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
RLS is a central nervous system condition that results in uncomfortable sensations or urges to move the legs, arms or any part of the body while at rest. It affects approximately 10% of adults, but is commonly unrecognized or misdiagnosed. In most cases, RLS can be controlled by a sleep specialist using a combination of vitamins, minerals and medications. You can treat RLS symptoms when they occur by following these strategies:
- Take a quick walk around the house
- Try rubbing or lightly massaging your legs while in bed
- Engage in mentally stimulating activities, like a crossword puzzle
- Use heat, cold or compression for relief
How Healthy is Your Sleep?
The National Sleep Foundation and Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. While your quantity of sleep is essential, it is just as important to have high quality sleep and a regular sleep schedule. Find out how your sleep measures up with our simple, interactive sleep calculator: sleepcharge.com/sleepcalculator.
Should you have any questions or like assistance on your path to better sleep, please contact the FusionHealth Participant Resource Center at email@example.com or 1-877-615-7257.