There are many medical problems that can cause chronic pain and a lack of sleep. Just a few of these include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), chronic jaw pain, and chronic headaches, or migraines. While these medical conditions are commonly treated by a medical professional, there are additional things you can be doing to reduce your pain and improve your overall sleep quality.
Keep up with your physician?s appointments
Dealing with chronic pain can be extremely overwhelming. There will be days when it seems like nothing is working and you can get frustrated, even with your physician. However, it is important to keep up with your physician?s appointments. The best way for them to help with chronic pain and insomnia is to monitor your current health. Additionally, when dealing with OSA, it is even more important to keep up with routine physician?s appointments for your safety. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, approximately 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis that related to cardiovascular problems that in one way or another are connected to sleep apnea.
Monitor your own health and sleep changes
It can be difficult for a physician to accurately monitor and track your health and sleep improvements or changes. As a patient, it is important to also monitor these conditions yourself too. It can help with your overall treatment. It can also give your physician the necessary information they need to make proper medical recommendations. For example, those suffering from OSA can benefit from CPAP machines. You will want to document your current symptoms and how using a CPAP helps or hurts.
Be consistent with your treatment
Whichever treatment method you and your physician agree on, you need to be consistent. Consistency is key in improving symptoms and protecting your overall health. If your physician recommends a CPAP machine, use it every single night. If your physician recommends following up with a dental specialist for chronic jaw pain treatment, schedule your appointment as soon as possible. You cannot fully evaluate the effectiveness of a medical treatment without first giving it a full attempt.
Always be safe
Chronic pain can lead to a lack of sleep. Sleep apnea can make it feel like you are not getting a good night of sleep. If you are struggling to get an appropriate amount of sleep, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery. A National Sleep Foundation Poll shows that 60% of people have driven while feeling sleepy (and 37% admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel) in the past year. Until you are able to find an OSA treatment that effectively works, avoid driving a vehicle.
Implement a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can also support an improvement in your health. Eating right and exercising goes well with chronic headache treatments and chronic facial pain treatments. When you are not getting sufficient sleep, you are already at risk of other medical problems. For example, people that suffer from sleep deprivation are 27% more likely to become overweight or obese. Obesity then leads to other medical problems. Additionally, exercising and eating right can encourage sleep. A good night of sleep can produce pain relieving effects. If possible, work with a nutritionist and physical therapist on creating a healthy lifestyle.
Dealing with chronic pain and OSA can affect many areas of your life including sleep quality, work productivity, and even lead to added pain levels. While you and your physician work on medically treating your chronic pain condition, make sure you are assisting with a healthy lifestyle, remaining consistent with checkups and treatments, and being safe overall.