Chronic pain is a big deal. Not only does it affect every second of every waking day, at least one in five Americans have their sleep disrupted by chronic pain for a few days per week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. For such a frustrating and relatively common experience, chronic pain and sleep disturbance is not often talked about in the sleep health conversation.
There are methods to counteract pain-related insomnia, however not many cut-and-dry kinds. It is recommended that if you are dealing with pain and insomnia, a sleep specialist is your best bet. If you suffer from chronic pain you know it is very a very complex issue and it is so important to get treatment with or without medication just right so as to avoid the traps of medication dependency but provide some relief. Therapy is, maybe surprisingly, one of the most common and effective ways to increase your sleep quality.
The usual methods employed by a therapist to assist with chronic pain and insomnia would be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [CBT] addresses all the thought patterns and related behaviors that could be interfering with sleep. Those who have chronic pain will find themselves with racing thoughts and a tense body even before they get under the covers, further contributing to the pain state. The aim of CBT is not to directly stop the pain, but to allow the thoughts to relax and reduce any factors outside of the pain that might disrupt sleep, such as apprehension.
The reality for those experiencing insomnia of any kind is that they must be attentive to every little activity that may affect their sleep. What used to be effortless must now be thoughtful and planned. This is difficult and requires close attention however, a little can go a long way in improving sleep and with some focus and determination results in a big payoff. These proper sleep hygiene habits include:
- Avoiding TV before bed;
- Taking on relaxing activities before bed;
- If unable to fall back asleep, get up, change rooms and come back later;
- Maintaining regular sleep and wake times;
- Avoiding coffee, alcohol and any other possibly caffeinated foods before bed.
The Harvard Health Blog also encourages relaxation meditation as a practice to induce thoughts that distract one from pain. Basic rhythmic breathing meditation and guided visual meditation can help prepare the mind for a night of sleep that is free of racing thoughts. The best thing one can do for a mind that does not sleep is to encourage breaks in thinking too often and too much.
Zenbev Drink Mix
Chronic pain can increase through the creation of a negative spiral set off by increasingly poor sleep leading to more daytime pain, leading to even poorer sleep and so on. Zenbev Drink Mix customers who suffer from chronic pain describe that Zenbev helps them relax and set the stage for sleep. The nightly ritual of preparing Zenbev is part of a good habit that prepares the whole mind, body and bedroom for sleep. These customers tell us that the increase in quality REM sleep that comes with Zenbev assists with overnight body repair that makes facing the next day a little easier. Best of all, Zenbev is an over-the-counter solution that can never lead to tolerance or dependence. It cannot take all the pain away but Zenbev can be a tool that helps you manage your pain better, especially when you really need it.