If you’re living with chronic pain, sometimes your only respite is when you’re asleep. But people with chronic pain are often so uncomfortable that they develop sleep problems and sleepless nights become the norm. These problems can range from difficulty falling asleep to difficulty staying asleep; in turn causing heightened pain and worsening sleep. Ongoing lack of sleep increases your risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and chronic pain. Some medications, including over-the-counter medications, also can contribute to insomnia. When you’re not able to obtain effective levels of sleep your pain can actually worsen. It’s a vicious cycle: pain prevents you from sleeping, and not sleeping makes the pain worse.

Pain and the conditions that cause it require a specialized approach to ensure that you learn all you can in order to cope with your not only your symptoms but also sleep and insomnia. Pain management that addresses sleep should be part of your care if you have a condition which causes significant pain. Sleep medications might help short-term but behavioral changes can last a lifetime. Effective treatment can be crucial to getting the sleep you need. Explore these safe, effective, non-drug treatments:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Mental health therapists, in group sessions or one-on-one counseling, and also some self-help programs, can help you learn to change patterns of thinking and replace worried or fearful thinking with more pleasant, relaxing thoughts. This type of mindset is beneficial in achieving healthy sleep habits http://naturalpainrelief.org/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/

Relaxation Techniques

Progressive muscle relaxation helps you calm your mind and body. Approaches include and guided imagery breathing exercises and meditation. Because of the way the mind and body are connected, guided imagery can make you feel like you are experiencing something just by imagining it. You can do guided imagery with audio recordings, an instructor, or a set of written instructions to lead you through the process. The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax. You can do them whenever you want, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do them. Meditation is helpful to focus your attention on the things that are happening right now in the present moment and help calm mind and body https://sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/content/relaxation-exercise

Biofeedback

This method helps you to observe and self-control certain internal bodily processes that normally occur involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature and brain activity. Through trial and error you learn to identify and control your mental activities and bring about a result that will help with pain and sleep. If you seek a specialist, they may have you take a biofeedback device home to record your daily patterns. This information can help identify patterns that affect sleep and develop a biological rhythm http://www.div12.org/psychological-treatments/treatments/biofeedback-based-treatments-for-insomnia/

Additional Natural Treatments for Insomnia

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