Proper sleep is vital to your health, but what happens when your health prohibits you from getting the right quantity and quality of sleep?
An article in MedicalNewsToday states, “Fresh evidence suggests that sleep regulates a mechanism that can help to protect arteries from hardening. The finding reinforces the notion that good-quality sleep is important for cardiovascular health.” In the study, the researchers found that sleep-disturbed mice developed larger plaques in their arteries than mice that slept well. “The sleep-disturbed mice also produced lower amounts of hypocretin, which is a brain hormone that controls wakefulness.”
Sleep and Your Hormonal System
How well you sleep also regulates the body’s hormone levels, which can increase or decrease appetites. Lack of proper sleep tends to lead to hormone levels that cause the body to be hungry and crave food, which leads to excess snacking between meals. As a result, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to increased body fat and weight issues, and even obesity.
People who have chronic pain often experience chronic sleep deprivation due to pain when sleeping. So, the question becomes: does chronic pain cause sleep deprivation, or does sleep deprivation cause chronic pain? The answer can be much like the chicken and the egg — which comes first?
Pain’s Impact on Sleep
Finding out how to sleep well in the right quantities will allow the body to heal, but it does not get the rest it needs due to the pain. A good night’s sleep can also give you the ability to tolerate pain more readily. Therefore, the intensity of the pain will appear less when the body is adequately rested.
The question becomes how do I achieve restful sleep to allow my body to heal? America is in love with pharmaceuticals, and the first answer always seems to be to take a pill. Ironically, many medications that people get to relieve chronic pain also come with the unwanted side effect of causing sleep problems.
An article by Opioid Help explains how well you sleep is directly impacted by opioid use. It states the following:
“According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), individuals that have a Substance Use Disorder are 5 to 10 times more likely also to have a comorbid sleep disorder. Long-term substance abuse physically changes the brain’s sleep architecture, disrupting both sleep patterns and quality. This issue causes people to rely on their substance of choice to function during the day and sleep at night. This problem is remarkably accurate of Opioid addiction as chronic pain can prevent sleep. Many people rely on prescription Opioid medications to numb pain to fall asleep.
Although it may seem like Opioids help patients to induce sleep, the medications themselves can also negatively affect sleep patterns. Research has demonstrated that Opioids can increase wakefulness and decrease total sleep time, sleep efficiency, delta sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. One study found that up to 85% of people taking Opioid medications suffer from some form of sleep disorder.”
How to Sleep Well, Despite the Pain
When asking how to sleep well and get restful sleep, the answer is simple; your body needs to calm down and get ready to sleep. Develop a routine before bed that may reduce the pain and allows your body to get into a relaxed state that allows for proper sleep. The following are some suggested activities to help get your body into a calm state, ready for restful sleep:
- Go to bed at approximately the same time each night.
- Turn off the screen 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing such as having a shower, yoga, read a book, or make a list of your activities and requirements for the next day.
- Avoid caffeine at least 4 hours before bedtime.
- Do your exercising in the morning. Exercising at night before bed increases your heart rate and also your body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep
- Try to lower the temperature of the bedroom. It is a proven fact that the human body can sleep when the room’s climate is at a lower setting.
- Also, several alternative pain relief options allow the body to use its natural pain-blocking abilities.
If you are experiencing pain when sleeping, one alternative pain relief method is Neuromodulation – the regulation of neurons by neurotransmitters or the relief of pain by stimulation of a nerve. Many people have found relief from their discomfort by using these devices, which trigger the body’s pain-blocking abilities.
The SOLIS Pain Relief SystemⓇ harnesses the power of neuromodulation therapy to provide targeted pain relief exactly where you need it the most. Are you ready for restful sleep? Contact us to learn more about how SOLIS can help you discover how to sleep well and be pain-free and give you the rest needed to help your body heal.