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Restorative Sleep: Strategies to Maximize a Good Night Sleep

 


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I feel like I have been hit by a truck! Have you ever found yourself muttering these words upon waking from what should have been a good night sleep or a nap that you felt you desperately needed? Feeling worse than when you went to sleep can be a very common experience for people who are challenged by chronic pain especially related to the chronic pain that is a part of fibromyalgia.

There is HOPE and strategies for maximizing a good night sleep in order to achieve the benefits of restorative sleep. Good quality restorative sleep is very important. It is during this time that our bodies are supposed to be able to focus on restoring, repairing, reenergizing and much more. The following are strategies to help improve a good restorative night’s sleep. One very important strategy is to go to bed and get up everyday around approximately the same time. For instance, you can set 10:30 PM as your time to go to bed and 6:30 AM as your time to get up with the goal of not straying by more than ½ hour either way. Avoid big fluctuations in times on the weekends as this can keep your system from recognizing a consistent time schedule. Secondly, develop a routine that encourages your body to wind down. Activities such reading, relaxing in a massage therapy chair, listening to meditative music or taking a warm shower or bath can help prepare your body and mind for sleep. Avoid eating large amounts of food, especially high sugar and/or fatty foods just prior to bedtime. Creating an atmosphere of tranquility to include comfortable room temperature, quietness, aromatherapy and limited light promotes sleep. Another intervention is to have a good supportive mattress and good pillows. A full body pillow can be instrumental in providing support to properly align your spine and legs. As well there are some great pillows to support your neck and head in good alignment; some have a combination of water and padding. Consult your physician, chiropractor or physical therapist regarding which may be best for you. If you are someone who grinds your teeth and/or clenches your teeth in your sleep, which can cause headaches and further tensing of muscles in the area you may find relief with a mouth guard. Again consult your doctor and/or dentist. At times pain and/or sleep meds may be necessary to help a person get on track and/or stay on track to get quality sleep. However, most medications have side effects and long term use may not be recommended, consult with your doctor. Believe it or not sleeping too much or staying in bed too long does not necessarily add to good quality sleep. Being active during the day, engaging in purposeful and rewarding tasks and regular exercise routine can facilitate achieving a better sleep at night. At the same time if you are overwhelmed by stress of day to day concerns or the pain of a past emotional trauma, finding your mind racing with difficult thoughts to control, counseling can assist you in dealing with life stresses. Prayer and surrendering all your worries over to God at the end of each day can be the greatest strategy to obtaining a good night sleep that allows your body to heal and restore itself.

In conclusion, as mentioned above there are many strategies a person can use to obtain a good restorative sleep on a more regular basis. To be sure life will send its curves at times making a good night sleep impossible but we do not have to let it be that way night after night. By incorporating strategies from above we can give our bodies the gift of good restorative sleep to promote healing and reenergizing for living life to the fullest unlimited by chronic pain and stress.

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