World Cup Fever (Australian strain): n. an ailment in which a month of sleep deprivation causes the following symptoms: drowsiness, grumpiness, work absenteeism and fierce debates about the use of the term ‘football’.
You might not have known that sleep deprivation is related to another symptom: pain.
And not just the emotional pain of watching the Socceroos bow out. There is a growing body of research that links the body’s pain experience to quality of sleep. As this can be a vicious circle (pain can make it difficult to sleep and lack of sleep makes pain more noticeable), it is worthwhile considering strategies to assist your sleep if you struggle with ongoing pain.
Experts regularly advise that sleep is improved when your body learns to associate bed with rest. Not with surfing the net, texting, studying, not even with watching the World Cup! So pick up your laptop and get onto the couch, don’t watch screens in bed. Also, if you’re trying to fall asleep and can’t doze off, experts recommend trying to get up and do something relaxing (reading, listening to music etc.) for a short time before returning to bed. This way, you don’t lie in bed for hours on end getting more and more frustrated that you can’t sleep, leading your body to associate your bed with frustration rather than with what it should be: relaxation.
Sleep experts recommend sleeping at a regular time each night and waking at the same time in the morning. While this may seem impossible during the World Cup, perhaps the internet comes to our rescue. Try getting a good amount of sleep from a regular time and then waking in the morning to watch a replay of the match before anyone has told you the score. (This strategy may depend on how well Optus Sport’s streaming is working).
If you’re looking for more help than these simple strategies, a trip to your GP or psychologist could help you to have a more detailed plan for getting your sleep under control. If you’re not sure if sleep is related to your pain, or you’re not sure if anything is related to your pain because it seems completely random or has a mind of its own, then feel free to give us a call on (08) 9364 4073 and we’ll work with you to help to identify things that you might not have known were associated with your pain. In the meantime, enjoy the football!