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Help yourself to sleep.
Sleep problems are common. They can start for all sorts of reasons e.g. stress, shift work, a new baby or health or pain problems. But there are ways that you can improve your sleep pattern. Click on the green boxes below or download our factsheet.
Do you and your partner roll towards each other unintentionally? Is your bed too small to give an undisturbed night’s sleep?
Do not rush into buying a bed. Do you need to replace the complete bed or only the mattress? If you are only buying a mattress do make sure that you test it on an equivalent base to your own whilst in the show room.
Sleeping during the day is not generally helpful when you have a sleep problem as it can affect your sleep pattern.
However, if pain wakes you frequently a shorter, better ‘quality’ sleep at night may be helpful. If it suits your routine you can supplement this with a short daytime nap. If you do, this nap should be no longer than 20 minutes and taken no later than early afternoon otherwise it will affect your ability to sleep at night.
For people who sleep well, the bed and bedroom act as a signal to feel sleepy and to fall asleep quickly. For people who have problems sleeping, the bed and bedroom may have become a signal for other activities such as watching TV, lying awake, worrying or feeling frustrated about not sleeping.
Learn to associate the bedroom only with sleep and sex.
Do not use the bedroom for work related tasks or leisure activities such as watching TV.
You spend a large part of your time in bed. So make sure that your bed is as comfortable as it can be.
Check that the mattress is OK and that the pillows are right for you.
Make sure that the bedroom is a comfortable temperature, slightly cooler is better than too warm.
Your bedroom should be peaceful, if you cannot get rid of outside noise, consider using earplugs.
Many of the things that people do in the few hours before they go to bed can interfere with a good night’s sleep. If you are having trouble with sleep, the following can help:
Worry can get in the way of sleep. It is common to worry about not being able to sleep, which in itself can make the problem worse. It is also common to lie awake at night worrying about particular problems, and they often seem worse at night. This is not helpful.
Remember, the bedroom is for sleep and sex only.
Try to set aside a time to deal with worries earlier in the day.
Write down the problem and what you are planning to do about it.
If worries still bother you during the night, it can be helpful to jot them down on a piece of paper at the side of the bed and then “disown” them until tomorrow when you can consider them more clearly.
Still cannot get to sleep or back to sleep?
If after 20 minutes in bed you cannot get to sleep, or you have woken in the night and cannot get back to sleep – GET UP.
Go into another room and do something else that is quiet.
Go back to bed only when you feel sleepy.
Initially it may feel as if you are spending more time getting up than asleep. However, you are doing this so that your brain learns to associate the bedroom with sleep and not with tossing and turning and getting frustrated. In the long term this technique should help you establish a better sleep pattern.
Pain Concern produce podcasts on all aspects of pain research. In Airing Pain Programme 14, they and a team of experts look at various types of pain research, and how chronic pain affects and is affected by sleep.
Disturbed sleep is a common symptom for people with fibromyalgia. This includes insomnia or difficulty falling asleep as well as episodes of waking frequently in the night. Not getting enough good quality sleep is also called non-restorative sleep.
While most aches fade away quite quickly, painful and sleepless nights can be the norm for people living with chronic pain. The good news is that there's a lot that you can do, either on your own or with the help of your GP, to break the cycle. By changing your lifestyle and possibly any medicines you take, you may finally get the good night's sleep you crave.
Long-term chronic back pain can stop a person from getting a good night's sleep. A lack of restful sleep can also make a person wake up feeling more tired and sore. Boots and WebMD have teamed up to provide some useful information on how to combat this problem.
NHS Choices has lots of tips, stories and advice to help people deal with insomnia, as well as recommendations for therapies that might help.
Insomnia is difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you've had enough opportunity to sleep. Most people experience problems sleeping at some point in their lives. It's thought that a third of people in the UK have episodes of insomnia.
Sleeping well is a habit that you can learn! Small changes can have big effects. The worksheet will give you more information to help you cope if you're struggling to get a good night's sleep.
With thanks to the team at Somerset Community Pain Management Service for agreeing to share this factsheet that includes a sleep diary and covers:
1 Beech Road
Tel: 01252 835016
Tel: 01252 317551
159 Frimley Road
Tel: 01276 20101
73 Cumberland Road
Tel: 01276 64758
All Saints House
All Saints Road
Tel: 01276 538600
Website: Park Road and Old Dean Surgery
Tel: 01276 29119
Tel: 01276 476333
143 Park Road
Tel: 01276 670056
Tel: 01276 62622
37 Upper Gordon Road
Tel: 01276 459040
Your clinician may decide you need some physiotherapy after your session with our service.
NHS physiotherapy is currently being provided by Ascenti Physiotherapy. They will contact you directly if physiotherapy is required. Their telephone number is 0330 678 0850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org