According to Statistics Canada, more than 50% of the population struggles with the occasional or frequent inability to fall and/or stay asleep. Tossing and turning because you just can’t seem to shut your mind off is indeed agitating, however adding inflammation and pain into the mix can make sleeplessness unbearable. Even worse, is the fact that experiencing a loss of sleep due to pain increases your risk for developing depression, a condition known as “Pain Insomnia Depression Syndrome”. If pain is interrupting your sleep, it is absolutely vital that you address the issue and the rest of this article is devoted to helping you do just that.
If the cause of your sleeplessness is pain, then the most logical step to take is to eliminate the pain. Unfortunately, many conventional pain relief techniques, such as prescription medications, come with a high price and a bevy of unwanted side-effects. In addition, prescription and over-the-counter pain relieving drugs do not address the root of the problem and you therefore need to continue taking them, in order to receive their pain relieving effects. So what’s an insomniac in pain to do, if they don’t want to be dependent on drugs for the rest of their life? A multi-pronged approach is probably your best bet.
Firstly, you want to reduce inflammation because inflammation is at the root of most, if not all, pain. Serrapeptase is a little known supplement with dramatic inflammation reducing properties. It is a proteolytic enzyme that helps to thin and drain fluids which surround an injury in the body, whilst also speeding up tissue repair. Serrapeptase is dually beneficial for pain relief because it not only reduces inflammation; it also inhibits the release of pain inducing chemicals known as bradykinin.
Turmeric is another supplement that may help to reduce inflammation, including: sharp pain, joint pain, arthritic pain and surgical pain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that serrapeptase and turmeric, as well as supplement formulas that contain them, can reduce pain and inflammation.
Additional Pain Relief Techniques
There are many natural pain relief techniques out there, and the source of your pain will help you to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition. Below is a list of therapies and some of the pains that they are said to relieve:
Acupuncture – Back pain, joint pain, migraine pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis of the knee and sharp pain.
Biofeedback- Anxiety related pain, back pain, headache pain and Temporomandibular disorders.
Massage Therapy – Arthritic pain, cancer related pain, fibromyalgia, joint pain, lower back pain, muscle tension and surgical pain.
Reiki and Touch Therapy – Arthritis, cancer related pain, fibromyalgia, headaches and surgical pain.
Inducing a Restful Sleep
After you have addressed and reduced or eliminated the pain, a restful night’s sleep should naturally follow. If you are worried that the above techniques will not be enough, the following suggestions may be of use to you:
A Warm Bath – A warm bath with Epsom salt before bed can help to not only reduce pain it will also relax you, and the magnesium you will absorb from the Epsom salts will work as a natural sleep aid.
Deep Breathing – Focus on your breathing and place both hands on your abdomen. Take in deep breaths through your nose and pay attention to how your abdomen rises and falls. As you breathe out, pay attention to your body and try to release all tension, letting your body go loose and limp. According to Dr. William Deardorff, ABPP, 5 to 10 minutes of this should help to reduce your perception of pain and encourage a restful night’s sleep.
Dietary Modifications – According to Phyllis Balch in her book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” you should avoid alcohol and stimulants such as coffee and also avoid eating a heavy meal within three hours of bedtime. Finally, in the evening include a serving of bananas, figs, grapefruit, milk, tuna, turkey, yoghurt or wholegrain crackers because they are high in tryptophan, which promotes sleep, states Balch.