1.Choosing the correct pillow: When choosing a pillow, the main thing to consider is getting your head and neck into a neutral alignment. Having your head and neck in a neutral positions prevents excessive pressure in different areas and can help you feel less pain.
2.Turn off nightly distractions: The national sleep foundation recommends turning off your TV and putting down your tablet or smart phone 30-60 minutes before bed. Studies show that using devices that emit blue light suppress the release of our bodies natural sleep aide, melatonin, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
3.Using a weighted blanket: Weighted blankets are a specially designed to provide a gentle pressure known as deep touch pressure (DTP). DTP is a tactile sensory input which can be obtained through firm holding, stroking, hugging or squeezing. This type of pressure has been shown to help release a neurotransmitter in our brain called serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate sleep and calm the body. In addition to serotonin, the DTP of a weighted blanket has also been shown to release oxytocin which can help relieve pain and reduce stress, while also boosting your immune system.
4.Mindfulness Meditation: Meditation is another great tool to help improve our ability to get restful sleep. The deep relaxation of meditation has been shown to improve sleep time and quality, and makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Some popular free smart phone mindfulness applications are : Calm, Headspace, Aura, Stop Breath &Think, and Insight Timer.
If you find that you are consistently having pain throughout your body while you are sleeping or when you wake, the issue may be larger than just adjusting sleep habits. Consider seeking professional help from a physical therapist or doctor to figure out the cause of your pain. Physical therapy is a great resource in managing multiple conditions throughout the body, including chronic pain. For more information on how Action Potential can help you, request an appointment today.