If you’ve been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, you know how difficult it can be to get a quality night’s sleep. Unfortunately, sleep disturbances, insomnia, nighttime flare-ups, and other unfortunate side effects of neuropathy can make rest seem next to impossible.
Ready to take back the night? If you’re wondering how to sleep with peripheral neuropathy, we have 6 tips that may be able to help you finally get the rest you’ve been missing.
Why does neuropathy impact my sleep?
As if neuropathy wasn’t already bad enough, it’s not uncommon to have painful flare-ups in the evening and at night. So, not only do you have to deal with bouts of pain during the day, but you also have to worry about losing your much-needed sleep! What’s going on here?
There are several reasons that your neuropathy pain might seem unbearable at night. Here are a few of the most common:
- There are no distractions to help take your focus off of the pain.
- Hypersensitivity to touch or temperature makes it difficult to stay comfortable.
- Stress or fatigue from dealing with neuropathy during the day makes it hard to fall asleep.
- A lowered pain threshold amplifies even the smallest pains and discomforts.
- Certain medications are affecting your ability to fall and stay asleep.
How to help peripheral neuropathy at night
Unfortunately, there is no cure for peripheral neuropathy. However, there are still plenty of ways to manage the condition and its symptoms. Here are 6 of our top tips to help you get the sleep you need if neuropathy pain is keeping you awake.
1. Create a soothing bedtime routine
Create a relaxing routine that you can employ before bed to help you wind down for the night and signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Your routine can include things like:
- Taking a warm bath or shower
- Brushing and flossing your teeth
- Reading a chapter in a book (not on a device)
- Doing a few minutes of yoga or stretching
- Writing in a journal
- Laying out your supplies/clothes/etc. for the next day
Try to start and end your bedtime routine around the same time each night so that you develop a regular sleep schedule.
2. Steer clear of caffeine when possible
When it comes to caffeine, diabetics should limit themselves, especially at night. Caffeine is a stimulant, which can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Some caffeine drinks — such as energy drinks, non-black coffee, and sweet teas — can also raise your blood sugar levels due to all the added sugars. So, steer clear of coffee and other caffeinated drinks for at least 6 hours before bedtime.
3. Stop smoking
Whether you have diabetes or not, smoking isn’t just bad for your health — it’s bad for your sleep schedule as well. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it more difficult for your body to relax and sleep, especially if you smoke close to bedtime.
Additionally, dependent smokers are likely to wake up during the night to smoke, further disrupting their sleep. Add to that a variety of other smoking-caused sleeping issues (e.g., snoring, sleep apnea, sleep latency, slow-wave sleep, etc.), and you can see how ditching the cigarettes can help improve your nights.
4. Limit screen use right before bed
Screens can act as stimulants in much the same way as caffeine or nicotine — all that light during the evening sends signals to your body to produce cortisol (a hormone that makes you feel awake). So, turn off your TV, computer, phone, or tablet at least a few hours before bed to allow your body to start producing melatonin (the sleep hormone).
5. Take some time to relax
Living with diabetes can be stressful, so rather than heading straight to bed, give yourself some time to relax at the end of the day. Take at least 20 minutes before you go to bed to do something you enjoy. Whether you spend this time for meditation, deep breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, or something else entirely is up to you.
6. Make sure your sleep environment is comfortable
Creating a comfortable place to fall asleep in can work wonders for insomnia. Ensure your room is cool, dark, and quiet. Keep screens out of the room or turn them off when it’s close to bedtime.
Treat neuropathic pain with diabetic socks
Diabetic neuropathy can wreak havoc on your feet, leading to uncomfortable and painful days and nights. Your feet need protection, so let us help you find the pain management aides you need to combat painful neuropathy symptoms.
Here at Viasox, we’re proud to distribute some of the best non-binding diabetic socks and compression socks in North America. Our socks are specially designed to offer superior support throughout the day and provide gentle pressure to encourage better blood circulation and help with neuropathy.
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