Why Is Neuropathy Worse at Night? 3 Ways to Find Nighttime Relief
Peripheral neuropathy affects more than 20 million Americans. This condition involves damage to one or more nerves, including those responsible for walking and pain perception. Its symptoms range from mild to severe and can develop over days or years.
But why is neuropathy worse at night? A possible explanation is that there are fewer distractions around. As a result, you may become more aware of your surroundings.
Stress, cooler temperatures, and some medications may worsen nerve pain during sleep. Certain lifestyle habits, like smoking and alcohol consumption, may contribute to this issue too.
Interested to find out more? Here’s what you should know about managing nerve pain at night so you can enjoy better sleep.
Why Is Neuropathy Worse at Night?
Neuropathy symptoms vary from one person to the next and depend on which nerves are affected. Some people experience numbness and tingling in the limbs, while others report shooting or stabbing pain. What most sufferers have in common is that their symptoms tend to get worse at night.
Individuals with nerve damage are more sensitive to external stimuli than the average person. Cooler temperatures, for example, may worsen their pain.
If your neuropathy is due to diabetes, you may also experience sleep apnea. A 2009 study has found that more than one-third of subjects with diabetes had moderate obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that may lead to awakenings at night.
Physical and emotional stress can further worsen nerve pain during sleep. Even simple things, such as worrying over an upcoming exam, may increase stress and amplify your symptoms.
Luckily, there are ways to address nighttime neuropathy without resorting to sleeping pills. Consider using these strategies to prevent or reduce nerve pain and get proper rest.
1. Change Your Sleeping Position
Many sufferers find relief from nerve pain by sleeping in a different position than usual. Sleeping in a recliner with a pillow underneath the thighs may reduce neuropathic symptoms in patients with spinal stenosis.
If you’re sleeping on your side, place a pillow between the thighs. Stomach sleepers, on the other hand, may benefit from placing a pillow under their bellies to maintain the spine in proper alignment.
2. Reduce Your Stress Levels
As discussed earlier, stress may worsen nerve pain and other symptoms of neuropathy. It also contributes to anxiety, depression, and other conditions that can further affect your sleep.
Chamomile or valerian tea may help — just make sure you drink it at room temperature. Any beverage that’s too hot or too cold can make your symptoms worse.
Consider getting a massage after work to relax your mind and body. Massage therapy helps lower the stress hormone cortisol levels. At the same time, it promotes the release of serotonin and other “feel-good” hormones.
3. Try Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care can make it easier to manage the symptoms of neuropathy. Early treatment may reduce the severity of nerve damage and prevent complications.
This form of therapy targets your body as a whole. Over time, it may help improve nerve function and decrease pain, leading to a better night’s sleep. When combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, its benefits are even greater.
Restore Your Sleep and Energy Levels
Still wondering “Why is neuropathy worse at night?”
At Amazing Life Chiropractic and Wellness, we can identify the cause of your symptoms and help you restore your sleep naturally. We use a holistic approach to neuropathy treatment, which involves good nutrition, chiropractic care, and other non-invasive therapies.
Contact us today and start your journey to better health! We’re here to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.