Ask Us Answers - Napping

Q. Why do I feel worse after taking a nap?

A. We know that being in pain makes it harder to stick to a good sleep routine. In fact, many individuals with chronic pain find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep and in turn, develop poor sleep habits- including daytime napping.

Research shows that napping is associated with increased pain, daytime fatigue and long-term sleep problems. This is because napping (especially for 45 min or longer) can make it very difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, which we know makes pain worse the next day!

So, whether you’ve had a long day at school or a rough night’s sleep, we suggest that you avoid taking naps and instead try to maybe get to bed a little bit earlier in the evening. You may consider replacing daytime napping with some relaxation strategies such as diaphragmatic breathing (belly breathing), guided imagery, aromatherapy or engaging in another activity that relaxes you.

We understand that once sleep habits are in place, they can be very difficult to undo! So take a look at the list below to learn how you can slowly start reshaping your sleep habits.

  • Eliminate all naps
  • Get daily exercise
  • Keep a regular daily schedule including going to bed and waking up at the same time
  • Reserve your bed for sleep only (do homework and other activities somewhere else)
  • Do something relaxing before bed
  • Turn off all screens (phones, ipads, computers, TV’s) at least 30 min before bedtime

We call this good sleep hygiene! Better sleep means better mood, less stress and more comfort.

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