Improving Sleep When You Have Chronic Pain

Overview

If you have chronic pain, such as with fibromyalgia or complex regional pain syndrome, you may have a hard time sleeping or you may wake up feeling tired and unrefreshed. Some experts believe poor sleep can make pain worse.

Getting a good night's sleep may help. Here are some things to try.

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for at least 6 hours or longer before bedtime.

    These can lead to poor sleep.

  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Do not read, eat, work, or watch television in bed.

    Use your bed only for sleeping and sex.

  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
  • Make sure your mattress provides good support.
  • Use a neck support pillow to stabilize your head and neck during sleep.
  • Eliminate or block out all sound and light that may disturb your sleep.

    Try using a sleep mask and earplugs to help you sleep.

  • Get out of bed if you can't sleep.

    If you lie awake in bed for longer than about 20 minutes, get up, leave the bedroom, and do something quiet (read or listen to music) until you are sleepy again.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm DO - Neurology

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