Last week my husband and I were staying at a friend's house taking care of their baby goat and dogs ... after 3 nights of hardly any sleep I noticed that I was a basketcase. I couldnt handle the pain I was having, and was crying at the drop of a hat. This brings me to the pain managment tool of the day: SLEEP. It has taken me a long time to understand that I need a lot more sleep than someone who doesn't have the kind of pain I have. I think being in pain affects how well we sleep - and even when we are sleeping it isn't as deep as one who isn't in pain, so we need more of it to get the same amount of rest. Pls we need a lot more sleep just to help our bodies handle the pain we endure while we are awake. I used to feel so embaraced at my need for 10 hours plus a nap ... but I am learning that everyone is different, and that if that is the sleep I need to be able to function while I am awake then there is nothing to be ashamed about!
Find out what amount of sleep your body needs and also be willing to allow for change. Some nights I don't get to sleep until 3 am and I know that the next day my pain will be greater and I will need more couch time than if I got to sleep at 10. Be forgiving and if you are the spouce of someone in chronic pain allow for them to feel the freedom to sleep.
Another area that this affects is in marriage or when sharing a room with someone. Before we even got married my husband and I talked about my sleep problems and that we would have to be prepared for me to sleep in a different room when I am really sick. My moaning or crying in my sleep (which is common) is something that my husband wants to be able to endure (and he does a great job of putting up with a lot) but sometimes I need to have the grace to go sloeep in the guest room or on the couch when I know that I am in too much pain for him to get a good night sleep. I need to respect his sleep and be humble enough to give up sleeping in our bed for his benefit at times.
Here are some things that help me get the best sleep possible:
1. take medications 1/2 hour before I want to go to sleep - this helps relax my body and control pain so tha I can get to sleep faster
2. have a glass of water and medication, chap stick, inhalers everything that i might need right by my bed so that i don't have to get up at night when it is time for mediation etc.
3. read in bed - this helps me relax right before i go to sleep
4. pray with my husband right before we go to sleep
5. make sure that I have done things that I might need to have done first thing in the morning so that if i can't sleep well I won't feel pressure to get up before i am ready