A woman lays in bed, very unsettled

Tossing and Turning: How Pain Keeps Me Awake at Night

Pain agitates insomnia, and insomnia agitates pain. These 2 things combined make it very difficult to get enough sleep.

I have enough trouble falling and staying asleep without adding pain. When I hurt, I toss and turn even more. It's hard to fall asleep when you are in pain. It's hard to stay asleep when the pain wakes you and forces you to reposition yourself.

Trying to find a comfortable position while in pain

I have spent the past few nights tossing and turning as I tried to find a comfortable position. Each way I turned I had pain bad enough that I could not remain still. I kept moving and turning and twisting trying to find a position that was bearable.

Spending several hours throughout the night trying to get comfortable is never fun. Constantly moving and trying to find a way to minimize your pain is even more frustrating.

Refusing medication for pain and insomnia

I do not take any kind of medication for pain. I also don't take any medication to help me sleep. Taking medication is something I prefer to avoid. Over-the-counter medications do not help, and I refuse to take anything prescribed unless it is absolutely necessary.

Because my idea of coping with pain and insomnia is to just deal with it, I lie awake at night and ponder the consequences of my decision. Would medication help me sleep? Possibly, but I worry about dependency after bearing witness to addiction. I opt to continue tossing and turning and staring at the ceiling.

Coping with pain without medications

Since my preferred method of pain relief is telling myself over and over to suck it up and deal with it, I am certain I will spend many more nights tossing and turning and hoping for sleep. I have discovered that the heat from my electric blanket does help ease the pain, but the heat coupled with night sweats won't allow me to sleep.

It seems no matter how I try to remedy the situation there is always a downside. There is always something that will keep me awake. If I fix one thing, it causes another and that thing keeps me awake. Add all of this to my insomnia, and I have a lot of sleepless nights.

Using pillows and blankets to minimize pain

Much of my pain is in my legs, and if I cannot get my legs comfortable in a way that doesn't hurt, I can't sleep. I use a pillow to try to help with positioning, and it does help. I use my electric blanket when necessary, but I try to avoid heat because of night sweats.

Sometimes I am able to find relief, and sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I move back and forth all night only to find relief a short time before it's time to get out of bed. I don't get much sleep when I'm in pain.

How do you cope with pain and insomnia?

Pain keeps a lot of people awake at night. I'm certain of that. Are you one of those people? How have you managed your pain? Have you been able to control your pain levels to get enough sleep? Do you have any tips or tricks for someone dealing with insomnia and pain? I would love to hear about your experience.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.