Living with Chronic Pain


Individuals living with chronic pain often have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. Exhaustion can increase the perception of pain, weaken cognitive function (brain fog), and hurt the immune system.

Pain can be the main reason someone wakes up multiple times a night resulting in a decrease in sleep quantity and quality. Sleep deprivation lowers your pain threshold and pain tolerance to make existing pain symptoms and sensations feel worse or more intense.

First, try to figure out if the lack of sleep is causing pain or if the pain is causing lack of sleep. Track your sleep patterns in a daily log -- if the problem persists, this information will be extremely important for a sleep specialist to evaluate.

In addition to evaluating how old your mattress and pillows are, there are many other treatment options that may help you stay comfortable in bed and sleep through the night. Consider your dietary choices -- making sure that caffeine is not part of a nightly ritual. A variety of other solutions to help improve sleep include as walking, meditation, or deep breathing, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.