Sleep, stress and environmental factors
Chronic pain can vary from day to day and can sometimes flare-up dramatically (see also ‘Coping with flare-up’). Those we talked to explained how pain could affect their sleep patterns. They also discussed the impact that fatigue and everyday stresses had on their pain. Pain could also be affected by other illnesses and environmental factors such as temperature.
Living with pain and coping with daily life can be tiring and many people that we talked to complained of fatigue. Getting to sleep and being disturbed at night were big issues for most people. Lack of sleep could often lead to increased pain.
Some found that taking sleeping tablets or pain medication at night was helpful while others preferred to use relaxation techniques (see also ‘Pain management’ relaxation and distraction’). Having a good bed was important and several people said that their electric blankets were “indispensable”.
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