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Sleep is very important. Studies have shown both that pain decreases healthy patterns and cycles of sleep but also poor sleep causes pains – especially diffuse pains. Here are some suggestions about approaches that can help you obtain better sleep. Try to avoid medications as they tend to be easily habit-forming and most if not all actually don’t allow you to have the restorative sleep times that your body needs. SO you might think you are sleeping well and you really aren’t!!! So here are my SLEEP HYGIENE suggestions:

  1. Bed is a place for sleep and intimacy. Avoid reading those books in bed because you will tend to stay awake longer to read to the end of that interesting chapter. Better to read in a seat then when you are tired, go to bed!
  2. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning – even on weekends. We actually live with an internal 25 hour internal clock – where did that come from?? If you shift your schedule on the weekends then sleeping in an hour each morning on the weekend means you are out of sync by Monday by 2 hours!
  3. Avoid Nicotine, alcohol and caffeine after 6 pm
  4. Do not exercise within 2 hours of bed time
  5. Avoid large meals and beverages late at night
  6. NO napping after 3 pm!
  7. Relax for an hour before going to bed. Listen to some soft music for instance
  8. Take a warm bath or shower
  9. The sleep environment should be quiet cool and dark
  10. If there is background noise that is bothersome, put on some gentle background noise as white noise to reduce the interference
  11. If you snore, go see your doctor for assessment. It may be possible you have sleep apnea
  12. If you are unable to get to sleep in ten minutes, get up and do something boring until you get bored and start to feel that slight relaxed grogginess. This avoids anxiety around being in bed. You want a positive association with bed and sleeping not anxiety or your sleep will be even more disrupted!