We’re not just being nosy!
A rising number of studies are looking at the relationship between sleep and chronic pain. Chronic pain involves pain that persists beyond a tissue’s expected healing time. There are a magnitude of factors behind chronic pain but sleep may be one piece of the puzzle.
Sleep hygiene refers to your habits and sleeping conditions that promote continuous and effective sleep. Improved sleep may not happen straight away, so take the time to find what works for you and stick with it!
1. Avoid sleeping with pets in your bed – they can wake you up multiple times during the night.
2. Ensure a comfortable environment – this involves cool temperatures, in a dark and quiet room.
3. Avoid using technology in bed – blue light emitted from your phone or laptop can actually exacerbate sleeping disturbances by suppressing melatonin (a hormone that helps regulate our body’s clock. Most phones and laptops will have a setting to turn blue light off.
4. Perform regular exercise – even 10 minutes of aerobic activity can improve sleep, but avoid doing strenuous exercise 4 hours before bedtime.
5. Avoid napping during the day, if necessary, limit to 20 minutes and before 3pm.
6. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bed time – aim for 4-6 hours before bed.
7. Eat a healthy diet – steer clear of high fatty foods and carbonated drinks close to bedtime, especially if you suffer from indigestion.
8. Get out of bed after 20 minutes – if you can’t sleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed then get up and read or listen to music in another room to avoid frustration
9. Don’t fill up on lots of liquids before bed – it’s not easy to sleep well when you are up multiple times to pee!
10. With all this in mind, try and keep a consistent sleep schedule (even on your days off).