You’ve probably heard the term or worse yet suffer from Painsomnia yourself. If the term is new to you, here’s the short version. A person experiences insomnia due to pain preventing them from falling asleep or staying asleep.
“Sleep helps our bodies rest and heal, so good-quality sleep is vital for people with chronic illnesses. However, painsomnia can make a good night of sleep feel like a pipe dream. Fortunately, medical researchers are starting to learn more about the condition and how patients can cope.”
I have the type of Painsomnia that keeps me up after waking from pain and makes it impossible to go back to sleep. My sleep medicine has worn off by then and no it’s just pain against sleep, and sleep rarely wins.
I have tried several hacks to help go back to sleep with mixed results. I have an essential oil stick with a Lavander fragrance that’s supposed to relax you but I can’t tell it does any good. The one item that has worked this past week is Delta 8 gummies. I take one right after waking up and they do relieve stress and keep my mind from wondering allowing me to go back to sleep.
I have to point out that I’m living without pain medication right now so it can be a challenge when I have to sleep on my shoulders and hips. No back or stomach sleeping for me.
What can you do if you are struggling with Painsomnia?
Better Sleep Habits
The MD Anderson Sleep Center recommends that people adopt new habits into their nightly routine. These habits help form the foundation for good sleep hygiene:
- Don’t use phones or computers before bed, as the blue light from the screen can disrupt sleep and cause eye strain.
- Avoid taking long naps during the day.
- Make your bedroom cool and dark.
- Avoid eating heavy foods or exercising right before you sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping, your healthcare provider may prescribe sleep aids or encourage you to try over-the-counter medications. These drugs can help regulate your circadian rhythm and lull you into slumber. Melatonin supplements help regulate your sleep cycle.9
A study from Cureus journal found that ashwagandha, a medicinal herb, can help people fall and stay asleep.10
Prescription drugs may include benzodiazepines, which are often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Before you try any new supplements or prescriptions, make sure to consult your healthcare provider.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a treatment that encourages people to rethink and change their behaviors. For people with insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy may help,11
For example, a person without a sleep routine can work with a therapist to start better habits before bed. If anxious thoughts are keeping you up at night, cognitive behavioral techniques can teach you to stop those spiraling thoughts and focus on other, more restful thoughts.
If your painsomnia makes you feel helpless, those worries can make it even harder for you to get sleep. You may blame yourself or blame your body if you’re struggling with painsomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you cope with some of that frustration.
While hypnotherapy is not a proven cure for painsomnia, some researchers have found that hypnosis might improve insomnia.12Hypnotherapy is an alternative medicine where practitioners use hypnosis and the power of suggestion to guide patients through various concerns.
Hypnotherapy is not a replacement for your healthcare provider or your current medications. Some researchers describe hypnotherapy as a sort of placebo. In either case, hypnosis can lull you into deep relaxation. This relaxation may help people with painsomnia fall asleep.
What are some of your hacks to help you go to sleep?