Chronic Pain and “I just can’t sleep doctor!”
Date: 18th November 2021 | By: Dr Lourdes Gaspar
“The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sleep, it can be so elusive, can’t it?
In every clinic, I hear sufferers of chronic pain say the same- their pain keeps them awake and then wakes them up when they do eventually doze off. It leaves them feeling exhausted and overtime, their mental and emotional resilience to fight pain and maintain themselves as an individual becomes eroded.
This article discusses insomnia, in people who don’t necessarily have a chronic pain problem keeping them awake or waking them up.
The article interviews Dr Guy Meadows, a sleep expert from the Sleep School based in London, Sleep School.
Dr Meadows discusses how an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is the foundation to their Sleep School approach to better managing those endless sleepless nights.
In essence ACT has increasingly been used to manage many different struggles that an individual may be facing in their lives. The type of struggles I refer to includes, anxiety states, substance abuse and medical conditions such as irritable bowel disease.
There is also growing evidence in clinical trials demonstrating the benefits of ACT in both chronic pain and sleep.
ACT suggests a different way forward; not to fight the “struggle in your life” but learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with these inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives.
At www.ACTforPAIN.com, we are confident that by learning the principles of ACT and following the program and going through exercises, you will not only find that your pain fades further into the background but the same techniques are likely to give you a better night’s sleep.