For Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers, Here’s Why Insomnia is a Serious Symptom that Can’t Be Ignored
Did you know that more than 70 percent of people with neuropathy also struggle with insomnia? When chronic pain and tingling in feet or hands is keeping you awake at night, it’s a good bet that you’re not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep that you need for good overall health.
There are mixed reasons why neuropathic pain is tied to sleep problems. Pain associated with peripheral neuropathy has a tendency to feel more intense at night, when you’re tired and when there are fewer distractions available to break your focus on the pain.
What’s more, there may be another strong tie between insomnia and neuropathy. Sleep apnea is a very common cause of sleep disorders, and research has indicated that untreated sleep apnea can actually lead to peripheral neuropathy symptoms. And if you’re diabetic and resistant to insulin, sleep apnea may be even more likely to affect your neuropathy.
Of course, it stands to reason that lack of adequate sleep can make your peripheral neuropathy symptoms seem even worse than before. It’s a fact that lack of sleep tends to lower one’s pain threshold significantly.
Here are some of our guidelines for improving sleep when dealing with peripheral neuropathy.
- Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
- Institute a sleep routine that helps you wind down at night and go to sleep at about the same time every evening.
- Don’t eat a large or heavy meal late in the evening. If your body is hard at work on digestion, it’s not resting.
- Make any needed changes to your bedroom to induce restful sleep, including temperature, darkness, and noise.
- Limit electronics at night, including television, computers, and any handheld devices. These have a stimulating effect on your brain. If you need an activity to help you sleep, try reading an actual book!
These are simple guidelines that can help you institute lasting positive change in your sleep patterns, hopefully leading to reduced peripheral neuropathy discomfort. But true relief can come only with the support of a trained NeuropathyDR clinician who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Click here to find a NeuropathyDR clinician in your area.