Woman lying exhausted in bed with hair on face

3 tips against insomnia

3 tips against insomnia: What helps against tension and pain?

If you are in pain or tense, you sleep badly or cannot fall asleep at all. The difficulty in falling asleep is particularly severe with chronic pain. It is a vicious circle: sleep would give the body time to "heal" - but this is hard to find with pain. Moreover, poor sleep makes the body even more susceptible to pain. Therefore, one should always try to overcome the difficulty in falling asleep and develop good habits that help in falling asleep. Only when good sleep is cultivated despite the pain and the difficulty in falling asleep is overcome by the habits can improvement take place. This should be an absolute priority in the nightly regeneration process for chronic pain.

For example, many people complain of difficulty falling asleep due to neck pain. Causes are sometimes age, arthritis or even herniated discs. These factors are difficult to influence. So it is advisable to see a physiotherapist to be shown exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles of the neck. But there are causes of certain pains that we can influence - for example, the way we lie in bed or the pillow we use. If you can identify these very simple adjustments for yourself, you may be able to overcome the difficulty in falling asleep and significantly improve the overall quality of your sleep.

Tip 1: Using the pillow to combat insomnia

A pillow should position the head so that it is in a healthy, neutral position. This means that the nose is in line with the centre of the body or the spine. If the pillow is too thick, the neck and head will be bent upwards. If the pillow is too flat, the head and neck will be bent downwards. A good pillow is filled either with down or with memory foam, which comfortably adapts to the shape of the neck - so that tension doesn't stand a chance in the first place and pain in the cervical vertebrae is ruled out. A good pillow thus works against a difficulty in falling asleep, but also prevents potential tension.

Tip 2: Prevent pain and difficulty falling asleep with the right sleeping position

Most people have a favourite sleeping position and such habits are hard to break. But as a stomach sleeper, you're not doing your neck any favours. Lying on your stomach twists your head and neck and puts pressure on your nerves. If you want to wake up without pain, it is better to sleep on your back or side. In the long run, this will not only have an effect on the quality of sleep, but will also help you to fall asleep, as the body is now in a favourable position from the start and can regenerate properly. A difficulty in falling asleep due to tension can be effectively prevented.

Tip 3: Relaxation and breathing exercises against stress

Pain is associated with stress and worry. People who are plagued by chronic pain are usually worried about not being able to sleep and that the lack of sleep will in turn affect their health. Regular relaxation or breathing exercises can help alleviate these worries. If you consciously choose to sleep well every day, you have a good chance of fulfilling your need for sleep despite the pain. This simultaneously cultivates a habit that can help the person concerned overcome a difficulty in falling asleep due to pain and stress.

With all the tips, one foundation must not be disregarded: A good mattress. If you don't invest in a proper mattress that supports the body effectively and ergonomically, you won't get much out of the tips. A difficulty in falling asleep can possibly be related to a chronically bad sleeping experience in which the body can never fully relax. Therefore, the tip of all tips: Buy a proper, really good mattress!