AlzU Blog

Tackling Sleep Problems for Seniors with Chronic Pain-Part I

For seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, getting plenty of sleep every night is a must.  But if your loved one has chronic pain, sleeping can be a real challenge. Not only is it difficult to get to sleep when suffering from chronic pain, frequent waking during the night may also interrupt healthy sleep patterns.

The National Sleep Foundation reports chronic pain disturbs the sleep pattern in as many as 1 in 5 Americans at least 3 nights per week.

Simply moving from one position to another is enough to trigger pain for those who suffer from back problems, knee pain, headaches arthritis or other types of discomfort.  Here are some tips for getting to sleep and staying to sleep despite chronic pain:

Take pain medication right before bed time (provided it is prescribed as part of the bedtime medication regime).

If pain meds are not prescribed at bedtime, consult with the physician to ask about changing the scheduled medication time.

Try listening to a meditation or relaxation CD such as Therapy for Memory, Tranquil Sounds for sleep, CLICK HERE to purchase CD.

Maintain a regular sleep schedule, go to bed around the same time each night and get up the same time each morning.

Avoid stimulating technology before bedtime such as, tablets, computers and smartphones.

Create a relaxing environment with dim lights, soft music and perhaps try aroma therapy for sleep induction (such as lavender oil).

Listen to CD’s or tapes with monotone speaker to drowned out ruminating thoughts.

Try guided imagery, breathing exercises or other meditation techniques.

A recent report published by Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials stated, “For chronic pain conditions, what you need is good sleeping habits from the beginning — things that will last,” says Dr. Padma Gulur, a pain medicine specialist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. In other words, it’s advisable to get into the habit of counting on one’s natural sleep drive (instead of taking medications to induce sleep) most of the time, if possible.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s prevention and sleep by CLICKING HERE to join our free 25 lesson course at today.

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