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Key Learnings:

  • How chronic pain affects your sleeping habits
  • The importance of getting a good night’s sleep with chronic pain
  • Tips for improving your sleep hygiene

How Chronic Pain Effects Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is critical to better managing your chronic pain. Sleep and rest calm the nerves and can reduce the inflammation that occurs when you have chronic pain. As such, improving your sleep quality can reduce your chronic pain the following day.

Hear from expert Joyce McSwan

  • How can our sleep be affected over time when we suffer from persistent pain?
  • What can we do to improve our sleep?
  • How can long term sleeping tablets worsen sleep?

Sleep apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a condition where repetitive pauses or reductions in breathing occur during sleep. While it can occur at any age, it is more commonly reported in men than woman and often associated with being overweight. A common symptom of sleep apnoea is snoring, although this symptom is not prevalent in all cases.

Sleep apnoea reduces the oxygen entering the system, which can have detrimental effects on sleep quality and health, increasing the risk of several conditions including:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression

Depending on the cause, managing sleep apnoea may require equipment. There are various tools to screen for disturbed sleep, which are used for identifying sleep disorders relating to sleep apnoea.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, your TerryWhite Chemmart consultant will be able to provide you with the right advice on the best treatment for you. Treatment can vary from person to person and according to the severity of the sleep apnoea. Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) is used to treat moderate to severe symptoms, which prevents sleep apnoea by blowing air into a mask that covers the nose and mouth. Those with mild symptoms may benefit from treatment such as losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption.

Book an obligation-free Sleep Apnoea appointment with your local TerryWhite Chemmart

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Pharmacist Tips

– TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist, Karalyn Huxhagen

“Pain can disturb your ability to fall asleep and you may find that your sleep is disrupted by long periods of being awake throughout the night. As a result of a restless night’s sleep, you may feel tired and drowsy throughout the following day. You may also find that you are not as alert, affecting your ability to focus and work.

Sleep problems and fatigue can contribute to the onset of pain. A lack of sleep can increase your awareness of pain and reduce your ability to tolerate pain. When you are looking at managing your pain, it is important that you are screened for issues related to sleep and tiredness. One cause of disturbed sleep is sleep apnoea.”

Sleep Management

Fifty percent of people suffering from chronic pain experience poor quality of sleep as a result of sleeping difficulties. Addressing chronic pain and sleep depends on the condition, however practicing good sleep hygiene and treating the root of the problem with a GP are the first steps to improving the condition. Below are six tips you can follow to improve your sleep hygiene.

What about sleeping pills to help with my sleep?

Be aware that sleeping pills can cause irregular sleep patterns, as over time, the body can become reliant on the pills to sleep at night. Consult your pharmacist or GP to discuss if sleeping pills are right for you. Alternate options such as drinking herbal teas including peppermint or chamomile can also help the body to relax.

Pain diary

A pain diary can be used to keep a record of how pain is affecting your sleep. Share this information with your pharmacist and GP so they can look for patterns and causes of your disturbed sleep. For advice on how to manage your sleep apnoea, speak with your TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist or GP today.

Download the TerryWhite Chemmart pain diary today.

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