When Sleeping is a Pain-Literally How to Handle Aches, Cramps & More That Compromise Rest

by on January 26th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Many of us are familiar with or have experienced trouble sleeping, whether falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. The causes are varied and sometimes transient, and may include anxiety, stress, certain medications, or excessive caffeine. However, there is one factor many people fail to consider that contributes to countless sleepless nights: pain.

Research suggests that while pain-related sleep disturbances affect men and women of all ages, women are more likely to be sufferers. The prevalence of physical discomfort is significant, afflicting 25% of women at least three times a week, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Both chronic and short-term conditions can cause pain that disturbs sleep, such as fibromyalgia, back pain, arthritis, headaches and menstrual cramps. And for anyone who has had too many sleepless nights as a result of pain knows, a lowered pain tolerance and fatigue go hand-in-hand, which can greatly affect everything- from mood to functioning.

What You Can Do

It’s important to receive a proper diagnosis to address the underlying condition that is causing pain. Once that is established, you can begin trying various remedies to alleviate pain and help promote restful nights!

  • Stay Active. While you may be limited in activity level, do find low-impact or doctor-recommended exercise you can still participate in, such as walking on the beach (the sand provides less impact on sore knees) or swimming. This will benefit not only your body but your mind!
  • Practice Holistic Harmony. Ensure that you maintain other aspects of your health, including nutrition, stress management, etc.
  • Go Natural. Devil’s Claw is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be very soothing for chronic conditions, as well as Arnica, known for maintaining comfort and health in all body tissues. Many homeopathic remedies are specifically useful for targeted conditions, such as Rhus tox (30C) for addressing musculoskeletal problems, cramps, sprains, and strains. Berberis (6C) is given homeopathically for a particular type of pain, typically described as deep, sharp or radiating outward, in addition to general joint and muscle aches in the arms and legs. Bryonia (6C) is also highly recommended for those who experience inflammation accompanied by pain on the slightest movement and for joints and muscles that are hot, swollen, stiff, and prone to stabbing pain.
  • Don’t Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. As many insomniacs know, there will be good and bad nights, despite your best efforts. Avoid staring at the clock and thinking you “should” be asleep, which will only create anxiety and lessen your chances of falling sleep! Read a book or meditate to keep your mind calm.
  • Get Support. Let your friends, family and co-workers know about your struggles. You may be surprised how willing they may be to help accommodate you once they understand your situation better and may be even deal with it themselves.

There will be restful nights ahead if you continue to practice a holistic approach to health!

Sleep Tonicis a homeopathic remedy reduces sleeplessness associated with insomnia, and increases drowsiness for better sleep.

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