Good sleep practices
Take some time to think about some of the reasons why you might not be sleeping well. Pain might be one of the main reasons but there could be others.
Look at the ideas below. These are all the things that can stop you from getting to and staying asleep.
- I don’t exercise regularly
- I often lie in bed awake for hours
- I drink a lot of caffeine or energy drinks
- I use my phone or a device when I can’t sleep
- I go to bed and wake up at different times daily
- I get anxious when I can’t sleep
- I watch TV or other devices before I go to sleep
- I sleep in if I don’t sleep well
- I worry a lot during the night
- I don’t have a regular routine before bed
- I drink alcohol close to bed time
- I don’t spend much time in the sunlight
- I sleep with the light on or a light nearby
- I sleep with the TV or radio on
- I go to bed at 1:00 am every night
- My pain wakes me during the night
- I nap longer than 30 minutes during the day
- I sleep in a room that is too hot or too cold
- I don’t sleep on a bed/ my bed is uncomfortable
Now look at the ideas below. These are all things that can help you get to and stay asleep.
Pick five things you could do to help your sleep.
- I will give myself two weeks to adjust to changes
- I will stop watching the clock when I can’t get to sleep
- I will stop having drinks with caffeine by 2pm
- I will fill in my sleep diary each morning
- I will wake up at ______am every day
- I will make sure my bedroom is quiet or use white noise
- I will turn off all devices at least one hour before bed
- I will get out of bed if I’m awake for more than 20 minutes
- I will make my room dark before bed
- I will start a relaxing routine 30 minutes before bed
- I will limit alcohol at night
- I will spend 15 minutes in the morning sun every day
- I will remove all technology from my bedroom
- I will stop drinking an hour before bed
- I will go to bed at _______pm every day
- I will make sure my bed is comfortable
- I won’t nap for more than 30 minutes
- I will make my room a good temperature
- I will only use my bed for sleep and sex
Be sleep smart by training your brain to sleep better
Often you can spend a lot of time in bed awake trying to get to sleep. When this happens every night over a long period of time (weeks, sometimes months), your body starts to learn that bed isn’t a place for sleep, but a place to be awake. Sometimes this becomes stressful. So be sleep smart and help train your brain to sleep better by following these easy steps:
Step 1. Get up if you have been awake in bed for more than 20 minutes.
Step 2. Go and do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy (for about 20 minutes).
Step 3. Go back to bed and try to go to sleep again.
You could sit quietly on the couch with the lights off or read something boring. Don’t watch TV or look at your phone or tablet, or do anything that is too interesting – you don’t want to wake up more. It sounds strange but this really works. It teaches your brain that your bed is just for sleeping and not for lying awake! Take the time to read through the Sleep practices guide and put some of the tools and tips in place so you can sleep better and learn to Be Pain Smart.