Getting a good night’s sleep is really important to improve overall well-being in patients suffering from chronic pain. It is very important to practice proper sleep hygiene, particularly if you struggle to either fall asleep or stay asleep. The following are nine tips to improve your sleep quality.
- Develop a routine. Go to sleep at around the same time each night.
- Do not use your computer, phone or watch TV for one hour before your bedtime. For 2 hours before bedtime, set your phone to “Night Mode” under settings or dim the lighting on the screen. The light emitted from these devices interrupts sleep.
- Do not drink caffeine after noon.
- Do not drink alcohol in the evening. It interferes with the quality of your sleep.
- Do not nap after 3 PM.
- If you feel stressed despite meditation, try to journal your thoughts or make a list of what you have to do the next day. And then put it away and know you will take care of it all tomorrow.
- Make sure where you sleep is cool, comfortable and dark. If you need to wear earplugs or an eye mask, please do. If you suffer from neck pain, make sure you are using a good supportive pillow.
- Try to incorporate at least 5 minutes of meditation in the hour before bedtime. Headspace is a great phone app to do this with.
- If you choose not to meditate, try an even shorter option. You can do the 4-7-8 breathing exercise right before falling asleep. It was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil and based on pranayama, an ancient Indian practice that refers to regulating your breath. Watch a video of Dr. Weil performing this exercise under References.
- Exhale completely through your mouth
- Inhale quietly through your nose while counting to four
- Hold your breath for a count of seven
- Exhale completely through your mouth, slowly, to a count of eight
- That was one breath. Repeat 3 more times
Here are some additional resources and questionnaires to address sleep issues. Please discuss results with your doctor.
Sleep Apnea Screening Questionnaire
Disclaimer: This website (including all pages and blog posts) is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. To schedule an appointment at Revitalize Medical Center, please call (847) 834-4018.