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Improving Sleep When You Have Chronic Pain

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Topic 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.

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  • Practice good sleeping habits. Go to bed only when you are sleepy, and get up at the same time each day, whether you are rested or not.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine for 4 to 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.
  • If you lie awake in bed for longer than 15 minutes, get up, leave the bedroom, and do something quiet (read or listen to music) until you are sleepy again.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 09, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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