Pain and Sleep

In a way, pain is a good thing: it is the body’s way of saying that something is wrong, and giving you a general idea of where the problem is. But pain can mess with your appetite, concentration, sleeping habits, and more.

Sometimes, pain makes you want (or need) more sleep. If you are sick or injured, you need time to rest and heal!

There are some types of pain that make me want to snooze — mostly headaches. Often, I’ll try taking a nap to see if I can sleep the headache off before resorting to pain relievers. Though in the case of my whopper headaches (which I suspect are menstrual migraines), I often try both together: pain medicine AND a nap.

Sometimes, pain can prevent you from getting to sleep. If you can’t find a comfortable position or can’t relax because of the pain, it can be hard to get the rest your body needs!

Sometimes, pain can wake you up out of a sound sleep. I think I hate this one the most! If I wake up in pain, I often feel cranky and disoriented… and sometimes, it seems like a pain is worse if I wake up with it — maybe because it’s my first impression of the day.

What can you do if pain is interfering with your sleep habits? An over-the-counter pain reliever may be a quick and easy solution. There are different types of pain relievers for different types of pain; you can also find medications with different release times if you want the relief to last you through the night. There’s also the option of pain relievers with a sleep aid included if getting to sleep is your biggest problem.

But if you don’t want to lean on the over-the-counter pain medications too much, there are other options. Acupressure may help. Aromatherapy can help improve circulation, ease pain, and encourage sleep. Meditation or visualization may help distract you from thinking about the pain.

For occasional pain, an over-the-counter or alternative remedy may help you get back on track with your sleeping habits. But for ongoing or chronic pain, you may need a doctor’s help.