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The Sleep Issue
Topic Started: 1 Jul 2013, 08:57 AM (784 Views)
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The Sleep Issue
by Jan Sadler

a sleepless night
There are many issues around our sleeping habits. Perhaps you find it difficult to drop off to sleep, or maybe toss and turn all night, or possibly you wake up early and can't go back to sleep?

Pain can stop us from going to sleep easily and, of course, can wake us up during the night. However, most sleep experts consider stress to be the main cause of sleep difficulties.

One reason for poor sleep is being awake because of worrying about a particular problem. Or maybe our body and mind are so revved up during the day that we can't slow down and relax when we need to at night. Then, when the lights go out, there is nothing to focus upon except your whirling thoughts, which give you no peace.

There is a simple way you can stop the worries and thoughts that run round and round in your head. Try the following suggestion to clear your mind and to keep your mental chatterbox in control.

The 'Next Step' method

Early on each evening write down any unfinished tasks and worries you may have.
Then write down the next step to be taken, the next step only. Even if you aren't sure what the next step could be. The next step could even be just to think about the problem the next day when you may have a fresh perspective on it.
On your notepad or on a separate piece of paper write these instructions,

"There's no need to think about that now. I know what I'm going to do. I'll deal with it tomorrow."

Read those words often and especially before you go to bed so you know them off by heart. Then at night, if anxious thoughts appear you can quickly stop them by repeating the 'instructions' to yourself inside your head.

Try this 'Next Step' idea and add it to your 'tool kit' of ideas and techniques for getting a good night's sleep. Practice with it over the next few days and you will soon be on your way to a better night's sleep. Then, rather than face the day fretting and fuzzy, you can start your day feeling rested and refreshed.

Sleep and pain
woman sleeping
Another technique to add to the one described above is a simple relaxation routine. This routine is especially helpful if you have difficulty in going to sleep because you're uncomfortable and in pain. The method will lull you to sleep, it's easy to do - and it works.

All you need to do is to think about each part of your body in turn. It's best to start with your feet to take your thoughts out and away from your head.

Take your time with this exercise, don't rush. It will help to learn the 'instruction' words below so they come to your mind automatically.

Make sure you do take those few moments with each part to allow it to relax and let go before you move on to the next part. You may not always feel the muscles relax, but if the intention is there, it is enough and it will happen.

Take your mind to your left foot and say to yourself,
"My left foot is peaceful, my left foot is peaceful and calm, my left foot is going to sleep..."
Spend a few moments with your left foot to allow it to soften and relax and let go of tension.

Then take your thoughts to your right foot,
"My right foot is peaceful, my right foot is peaceful and calm, my right foot is going to sleep..."
Spend a few moments with your right foot to allow it to soften and relax and let go of tension.

Continue on, all around your body, in any order you like, allowing each part to relax in turn. Some suggestions: feet, lower legs, knees, thighs, buttocks, lower back, stomach, upper back, shoulders, arms, hands, your eyes, jaw, your head and your mind.

If you do get as far as your head, which is very unlikely as you're sure to be fast asleep by then, just start all over again with your feet.

Natural therapies at bathtime
steaming bath
Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Three times a week try 6-10 drops of peppermint oil in a bath of warm water to relax those muscles.

Or try this...
Lavender or marjoram essential oils are ideal choices for relaxation at bedtime. Add 6 8 drops of your chosen oil to a warm bath before you go to bed.

Please check with your doctor before using essential oils, as some oils may not be suitable for you. For best and safest results, it's best to see a qualified aromatherapist.

It worked for me
kennedy cup
PainSupport member BB, from the UK, says she has a very dry mouth at night. She says she always uses a straw to take sips of water from a glass several times at night to save sitting up in bed.

However, she quite often knocks the glass over when replacing it on the bedside cabinet - with predictably wet results. She says has now found the answer the Kennedy cup.

This perfectly designed litte cup has a hole in the lid where you can place a straw, so you don't drink directly from the plastic. It's designed so it doesn't leak if you knock it over and so, best of all, no wet carpet in the morning!
Founder of this board 24th February 2007
Slow and Steady Wins This Race
Over 23 Years experience and research into spine surgery and over 2500 surgeries discussed and recorded

ADR L5/S1 Surgery with Dr Zeegers 26th July 2002 in Munich
8 facet joint ablations 28 8 12 with Dr Baranidharan and Jake Timothy in Leeds Diagnosed Forestiers disease
Your Best Asset Is Your Health
I live in West Yorkshire aged 81 now

Knowledge is power
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Alastair,Jul 1 2013
08:57 AM
Pain can stop us from going to sleep easily and, of course, can wake us up during the night. However, most sleep experts consider stress to be the main cause of sleep difficulties.

Shame the experts are so dismissive of waking up in pain every night! Stress might be the cause for those not suffering with chronic pain but for alot of us here that is the case, not worrying about things.
Std Meds Gabapentin, MR Tramadol, Paracetemol, Laxatives
2011 Sept PLIF L4 - S1
2010 May Discogram L2/L3 & L3/L4 both looking ok.
2009 May PLG Fusion L5/S1 Charite in situ
April Dismissed
2008 Caudal Epidural failed to work
2007 Deterioration L5/S1 Facet arthritis, Loss of disc height.
2004 Returned to Work
2002 Aug - physio
March 2 level ADR Charite L4/5, L5/S1
2000 Broadbased disc prolapses L4/5, L5/S1
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Dear Jan Sadler,

You are no doubt a self declared expert on the primitive and human experience of pain - but I have one small tip you may have not yet stumbled across.

Once it is 4am, and you are still awake, despite being loaded up to the gunwales on medications that turn you into someone you are not and never were.

You have imagined each part of your body so many times that you are starting to question if they are really there - and you are more than a little worried that if you keep talking to them they might start talking back. You are so drenched in majoram oil that you are struggling not to slide out of bed; and if you have one more peppermint bath the neighbour's will start to complain about the smell.

In such a situation I have found giving yourself a good, solid uppercut can do just the trick.

Let me know if it helps.

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