Good Quality Sleep

Getting good quality sleep is important for the body’s restorative functions. A large majority of patients who experience chronic pain naturally find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep disturbances resulting from chronic pain may make coping with pain more difficult.


(Video courtesy of Pain Management Network)


Although frustrating, it is important to be reassured that lack of sleep can be managed and the main focus should be on the quality of sleep, rather than the quantity. Establishing a good sleep routine will assist in minimising sleep disturbances.

Create good sleeping habits by:

  • Start by tracking your sleep with a Sleep Diary for 2 weeks.  This is a good way to see if there are any patterns to your “good” and “bad” night sleep
  • Routinely going to bed at the same time each night (your body craves routine and will maximise sleep quality when it can predict your pattern)
  • Eliminate day-time napping and sleeping in of a morning to try and catch up on lost sleep
  • Go outside in the sunshine, this helps regulate your body clock
  • Do some form of movement during the day to help reduce stress and physically fatigue you
  • Moderate caffeine intake, particularly in the afternoon and evening.  It may be worth a 1 month trial of reducing your caffeine to one a day and then stopping it all together
  • Stop using backlit screens by 6pm (this includes TV, mobile phones and other devices), these act light sunlight, reducing melatonin (your sleep-inducing hormone)
  • Ensure your bedroom is a good environment for sleeping by minimising noise, removing clutter, choosing comfortable bedding, turning off all lights and blocking out any other light sources.
  • You sleep better when you are cool, research shows the ideal temperature for sleep is 16-18 degrees.
  • Avoid lying awake watching the clock as it only increases anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, it is best to get up and read a book, have a cup of calming herbal tea or use relaxation techniques and then try falling asleep again.
  • Try mindful meditation to stop your racing thoughts


Medications prescribed for the treatment of pain can cause both sedation and disturbed sleep. If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping, discuss this with your doctor. For more information on all of the above click here to download the Pain Management Networks Fact Sheet on sleep and pain.


Why do we sleep?

(Video courtesy of TEDtalks)


What are the benefits of a good night’s sleep?

(Video courtesy of TEDeducation)


How can you trick your brain into falling asleep?

(Video courtesy of TEDtalks)


Is sleep really a superpower?

(Video courtesy of TEDtalks)


Interesting facts about sleep – one more reason to get a good night’s sleep

(Video courtesy of TEDtalks)


Some useful resources


Photo by Logan Nolin on Unsplash