Chronic pain is a major cause of sleep loss and is associated with insomnia. For instance, the National Sleep Foundation points out that if you have lower back pain you might experience intense “micro-arousals” throughout the night.
Micro-arousals are changes in your sleep state to a lighter stage of sleep, and they often lead to awakenings in people with chronic pain. Less widely known, however, is the fact that getting less sleep may also lead to more pain!
According to new research from the University of Haifa, if you have trouble sleeping, you’re 1.5 times more likely to suffer from back pain at some point in your life. Why does lack of sleep increase your risk of chronic pain? There might be a “biological factor” that hasn’t yet been identified, according to the researchers, but they also suggested stress might be involved:
“One possible link is stress; people suffering from insomnia generally describe their lives as stressful, so it’s almost certain that they would suffer from chronic restlessness that will increase muscle tension and reduce the number of micro-pauses in muscle activity, which leads to back pain.”
Separate researched published in Arthritis and Rheumatology in 2014 found that non-restorative sleep was the strongest independent predictor of widespread pain in older adults – even stronger than factors such as anxiety, cognitive problems or osteoarthritis. Specifically, those who reported feeling tired or worn out after a night of sleep were nearly twice as likely to develop widespread pain than people without sleep problems.
The link makes sense, since lack of sleep is known to trigger an inflammatory response in your body, and inflammation is often at the root of chronic pain.
Fortunately, there are several key things you can do to help yourself sleep better
Below are 15 of our top tips to improve sleep and thereby reduce pain (and vice versa.) Of course, the benefits to you of following these top sleep tips extend well beyond reducing pain to improving your health, happiness, and longevity overall!
Overcome Insomnia Tip #1: Relieve Your Pain BEFORE You Sleep
If you routinely experience pain in the evening before sleep — back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, ANY pain — I probably don’t need to remind you that it can cruelly STOP you from falling asleep. That’s why it is important to relieve pain well before you sleep.
Relieving pain before you sleep naturally is very highly, as pharmaceuticals can wreak havoc with your system in many ways. After reading this article, be sure to learn about the #1 bestselling safe natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #2: The Darker the Better
Try to shut off and out all sources of light in your bedroom when you sleep. This includes shutting off or hiding all glowing electronics and using room-darkening shades. If it’s impossible to shut out all light sources, consider wearing an eye mask.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #3: Keep It Cool. But Only Somewhat.
If it is too hot or too cold in your bedroom at night, the quality of your sleep can suffer. According to studies to improve sleep, you should keep the temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #4: Silence is Golden
Here in the modern age, with all of our appliances and electronics whirring and beeping, planes roaring overhead, cars whizzing by out on the highway, etc., true silence is even more rare than Iridium (the rarest metal on earth).
The key is to try to sleep in as much silence as possible. If silence seems impossible — how do you shut off those airplanes? — consider white noise or ambient noise. There are many ambient CDs on the market, for example, that play sounds of waterfalls, shorelines, and the like. And there are multiple white noise machines too.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #5: Don’t Use Your Bed or Bedroom as an Office
If you use your bed or bedroom to do work, socialize with friends, or for anything aside from sleep and intimacy, you are likely sabotaging the quality of your sleep in a BIG way.
That’s because your brain works in part by association, and it will be trained to think about work, planning, etc. wherever it is you do these things. (This is one reason why so many people can’t fall asleep initially, or they wake up and can’t get back to sleep, due to that “monkey chatter” in the brain.)
Overcome Insomnia Tip #6: Kill Your Television
It is very unhealthy to watch TV before bed. It is very unhealthy to fall asleep to the TV. The same goes for working or playing on your computer.
Your brain needs to wind down at least an hour before going to sleep in order to get a deep and healthy night’s sleep.
The visual, aural, and mental stimulation of the TV and computer are the last things your brain needs for healthy sleep. (Best advice — get TVs and computers out of the bedroom for good.)
Try reading a relaxing book about nature or spirituality instead. (But DON’T read thrillers, mysteries, political books, or anything that will charge you up. Allowing your brain to wind down peacefully an hour or more before bed is the big idea here!)
Overcome Insomnia Tip #7: Do What Benjamin Said
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” Ben Franklin said. This goes for women too, of course. And many studies have proven he (again) knew what he was talking about.
You see, we’re not naturally nocturnal creatures. Prior to the invention of artificial light, our ancestors would naturally wind down when the sun did and rise when the sun did. (Ever feel really tired at dusk, such as when driving? This is why!)
Try to follow the sun’s habits as much as possible and you will get a better night’s sleep … and all the health benefits that come with it.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #8: Be Regular
Many know this important sleep tip in theory, but are not practicing it in fact: try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. In addition to breaking the pain and sleep vicious cycle, and the health benefits to the rest of your body, this will enhance your brain clarity during the day.
Watch this Video HERE from Dr. Josh Axe about the all-natural ways to overcome insomnia.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #9: Go to the Bathroom Right Before Bed
Right before heading to bed, go to the bathroom so you reduce the possibility of waking up in the middle of the night to go. Also, limit your liquid intake an hour or more before bed — a few sips of water so you don’t get thirsty is good, but don’t drink so much that you have to wake up at night to go.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #10: Say No to Caffeine Long Before Bedtime
Because caffeine can linger in your system for many hours — meaning it’s stay-awake effects can linger well after that initial ZAP — try not to drink any caffeinated products past the early afternoon.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #11: One Word – Melatonin!
Melatonin is a natural compound that is tied very intimately to your ability to get good sleep (and it has many other benefits, too). Unfortunately due to today’s lifestyles, people’s melatonin levels can be WAY off — this is a key reason for the extreme level of sleep issues in adults today.
You may want to increase your exposure to natural sunlight if possible, and should also consider a safe and natural source of melatonin supplementation — such as in a Natural Sleep Aid.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #12: One Other Word — Exercise!
Exercising regularly is key to your overall good health, including getting a good night’s sleep and reducing your pain. If pain is a serious issue for you that feels like it can prevent you from exercising, don’t miss my Pain and Exercises video.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #13: Make Sure Your Bed is Comfy!
Your mattress is one of the most important investments you can possibly make — many don’t think of it that way, but it impacts your health, happiness, and even your longevity!
If your bed doesn’t feel like your own personal Paradise to you (or close to it), consider switching your mattress as soon as you can.
See our audio sleep tips here.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #14: Eat Light Towards Night
Eat dinner in the early evening. If you are hungry toward bedtime, avoid rich and spicy foods, and opt for smaller amounts of foods containing L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps with sleep.
Some of the best sources of L-tryptophan are turkey and chicken, nuts such as walnuts and hazelnuts, and fish such as salmon, sardines, and cod.
Overcome Insomnia Tip #15: Add Some Passion!
Passionflower, that is. And Valerian Root and the five other natural ingredients shown to be powerful sleep aids.
As in all areas of life, nature has provided just the right ingredients to enable you to sleep well … the key is to follow her advice! You’ll find these ingredients in our #1 bestselling Natural Sleep Aid.
By Jesse Cannone – Creator of the International Best-Selling Back Pain Treatment Program “Lose the Back Pain System” and Best-Selling Book “The 7 Day Back Pain Cure”
Unlike most treatments which only deliver temporary relief, if any at all, muscle balance therapy delivers lasting relief to 8 out of 10 people who use it because it addresses the underlying cause of the pain, not just the symptoms.
If you are suffering from any type of back pain, neck pain or sciatica, I urge you to learn more about this breakthrough new treatment. Click HERE to learn more