Living with Chronic Pain


Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep often accompanies life with chronic pain. Exhaustion can increase the perception of pain, weaken cognitive function (brain fog), and compromise the immune system.

Lack of sleep can worsen pain, and pain can cause lack of sleep. It’s a cyclical, complex relationship. Chronic pain can cause frequent waking during the night, affecting both sleep quantity and quality. Sleep deprivation lowers pain thresholds and tolerance, which can worsen and intensify existing pain symptoms and sensations.

Tracking sleep in a daily log can help identify any patterns that are preventing quality sleep. In addition to tracking sleep patterns, assessing the quality of the mattress and pillows that are used for sleep can help. Consider dietary choices and make sure that caffeine consumption is not a nightly ritual. A variety of other solutions to help improve sleep include walking, meditation, deep breathing techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication.