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Sleep is a biological necessity and good sleep is essential to good physical, mental and emotional health.

Sleep is as important to a healthy life as diet and exercise and you really will look better, feel better and perform better after good sleep. Also quality of sleep is linked with pain perception so the better you sleep the less pain you will feel.

Quality of sleep is also very important therefore sleep should as far as possible be uninterrupted and so it is important to minimise those things that may disturb you. Disturbances to the sleep will result in the feeling of ‘poor’, non-restorative or un-refreshing sleep.

There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. The first step is to look at your life and lifestyle to see if there are things that may be causing your poor sleep e.g.  diet, exercise patterns, sleeping environment, personal habits, stress and worries of daily living. You can find some useful tracks and help on sleeping and relaxation on this free downloadable CD 'Living with Chronic Pain'.

Below are some ideas that may help you to have better nights sleep:

  • Exercise is helpful for getting good sleep, but it should not be done too close to bedtime and always ensure a proper wind-down after exercise in the evening.
  • Establish a regular bedtime schedule. Having a wind down routine or relaxing before bed can help, there is no hard and fast rule that will work for you. Your bed time routine should be easy to do and a pleasure not a chore, whatever works for you is right. It does not matter if you have a few different routines that you use, the most important thing is that they are something that you want to do each night.
  • The body really wants regular bedtimes and wake times even at the weekends. In fact it is the change from the relative routine during to the week to the ‘freedom’ of lie-ins and late nights at the weekend that actually causes the Monday morning feeling. One of the most effective changes you can easily make to your sleep is to fix your wake up time.
  • The bedroom should be a sanctuary reserved for sleep and thus the sleep environment needs to be pleasant and relaxing - get rid of the TVs, computers, mobile phones, etc. It should also be dark, (either use heavy curtains or eyeshades) and it should be as quiet as possible, if this is difficult then consider using the earplugs now available which are comfortable to sleep in.

The information above was written by Sleep Expert Dr Neil Stanley for use on this website. A fuller list of ideas can be found here >>.

If you have used this service in the past, and would like to provide us with feedback as part of the NHS “Friends and Family Test” (FFT) please select one of the links below:

To access and complete the FFT click here >

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