When insomnia is caused by chronic pain

by Martin Reed on 11 September 2014 in insomnia cures

Unsurprisingly, those living with pain often find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

If your insomnia is caused by chronic pain, you may want try some self-administered shiatsu pressure techniques on your hands.

A small pilot study in Canada found that individuals who were taught basic shiatsu techniques fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer after between 2 and 8 weeks of treatment.

Participants spent between 10-15 minutes each day self-administering the shiatsu treatment.

One woman who had been living with chronic back pain for 15 years said she had not felt well rested in more than 10 years. She continued with the treatment after the pilot study ended.

Researchers suspect this may be an effective insomnia treatment since the process of self-administering the shiatsu takes some concentration. As a result, negative thoughts are less likely to be able to interfere with sleep.

Source: Journal of Integrative Medicine

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Marijuana is not a good sleep aid.

Like alcohol, it can help you fall asleep but that sleep will be of poor quality.

Withdrawal can also lead to rebound insomnia.

Now a new study suggests that marijuana use could be responsible for a variety of sleep problems.

Researchers reviewed self-reported data from individuals aged between 20 and 59 years of age.

Any history of cannabis use was associated with an increased chance of difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, daytime sleepiness and non-restorative sleep.

They found that both current and past marijuana users were more likely to experience problems with sleep, with age of first use being a strong indicator of sleep problems.

Adults who started using cannabis before the age of 15 (regardless of whether or not they still use the drug) were more than twice as likely to find it difficult to fall asleep and to experience non-restorative sleep. They were also almost twice as likely to experience daytime sleepiness.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

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I like to share all the insomnia information and advice I come across here on the Insomnia Land blog – regardless of whether I personally believe the theories and ideas I read.

Having said that, I am a big fan of natural remedies for insomnia (with cognitive behavioral therapy being my preferred treatment).

On a similar note, I think there may be something behind certain aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

On that note, I want to share something I came across recently that uses the theories behind TCM to explain why some individual may wake between the hours of 1am and 3am.

Practitioners of TCM believe that there are 3 main reasons why people wake during the night and all are connected to the liver:

1. Liver problems.

It’s thought that if the liver isn’t healthy, toxins are not effectively processed during the liver’s most active time. This can lead to sleeplessness.

2. Alcohol.

Due to the toxins in alcohol, the liver has to work harder which can lead to sleeplessness.

3. Anger and frustration.

These emotions can affect the functioning of the liver, leading to wakefulness.

Before you convince yourself that you’re suffering from liver disease, bear in mind that new studies are suggesting that waking during the night may be entirely normal.

Source: Liver Support

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Our sleep is often disrupted whenever we feel unwell.

It’s typically thought that the illness is responsible for any consequent sleep deprivation – however a study now suggests that our immune system may be to blame.

Researchers in the UK found that when they artificially activated the immune system in healthy fruit flies, sleep duration fell and memory performance suffered.

This suggests that the immune system itself is capable of reducing sleep time and sleep quality and as a result, memory ability is also impaired.

Not only could this study open up new areas of insomnia research, it also further strengthens the claim that sleep is important for learning and memory.

Source: PeerJ

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There’s no link between insomnia and high blood pressure after all

by Martin Reed 14 August 2014

A couple of days ago I played down the health consequences of short sleep durations. Now a study has found that there’s no link between sleep deprivation and hypertension. It’s often thought that insomnia and high blood pressure are linked. This latest study may have debunked that theory. The Canadian cross-sectional study looked at the […]

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The health risks of getting less than 5 hours of sleep

by Martin Reed 13 August 2014

When it comes to sleep duration, insomnia sufferers often put far too much pressure on themselves to get the mythical 8 hours of sleep. All this does is make sleep harder to come by. Our bodies only really need about 5.5 hours of sleep each night. This is known as ‘core sleep’. Of course, more […]

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