Tips to Reduce Peripheral Neuropathy Pain and Improve Sleep Quality

Ezekiel Lim avatar

by Ezekiel Lim |

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Pain from peripheral neuropathy can become severe enough to disrupt sleep patterns and cause poor sleep quality for patients. Those with familial amyloid polyneuropathy may experience painful symptoms including burning sensations and pain aggravation at rest.

Because neuropathic pain and quality of sleep are correlated, patients struggling with them may be looking for ways to improve their overall physical well-being. 

Why neuropathy patients may have poor sleep quality

The pain associated with peripheral neuropathy symptoms can make it difficult for patients to fall asleep. Concurrently, this lack of sleep may cause pain symptoms to worsen. A patient’s sensitivity to pain may be directly correlated to the severity of their insomnia.

How neuropathy medications may affect sleep

For most patients, pharmacological agents may be part of their daily treatment for neuropathy. Treatments such as pregabalin and gabapentin are two of the most 8common pharmacological agents used in treating neuropathy. A 2017 review of previous studies that was published in the journal Pain and Therapy found that pregabalin improved quality of sleep in 77 percent of treated patients, while patients who took daily doses of gabapentin reported better sleep scores than those who took a placebo.

Still, patients who use gabapentin should be aware of the medication’s potential side effectsAlways consult your doctor before taking any medication.

Changing habits to improve sleep quality

My mother-in-law has struggled with disrupted sleep patterns due to her neuropathy pain. Some of her struggles with this pain may have been related to her tendency to stay awake until 4 or 5 a.m. when extended family came to visit. Her excitement at having her mother or siblings visit led her to stay awake and talk, play board games, or watch television with them until around the time my father-in-law woke up from his previous evening’s sleep. 

This sleeping pattern may not be advisable for patients who struggle with neuropathy pain, especially at night. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic sleep deprivation may increase the risk of high blood pressure, which also may increase neuropathic pain. Patients who suffer from neuropathic pain and disrupted sleep should maintain a healthy sleep pattern and not go to bed too late.

Other ways to help

Advising patients to improve their sleep patterns may be easier said than done. Still, following are some ways in which neuropathy patients can improve their quality of sleep and potentially reduce neuropathy pain symptoms. 

Alter sleeping position

Patients with neuropathic pain may improve their overall quality of sleep by simply changing their sleeping position. A 2005 study found that patients could treat their nocturnal pain by sleeping in a position that extends the spine, potentially decompressing the nerves that control sensations in the lower limbs and feet. Some recommended sleeping positions include sleeping in a recliner, sleeping on the back with a pillow underneath the legs, and sleeping on one side of the body with a pillow between the thighs.

Reduce daytime nerve compression

Daily physical activity may cause the nerves in a neuropathy patient’s legs to compress, potentially increasing evening neuropathic pain. Patients with neuropathic pain in the lower extremities may alleviate evening pain by reducing the amount of walking they do during the day. Using a wheeled walker or a wheelchair may help to decompress the spine during the daytime, possibly making it easier to sleep at night.

Stress reduction

Patients may find it easier to sleep when the amount of stress in their lives is reduced. Stress reduction may come in the form of counseling, spending time with friends and family, and partaking in enjoyable things.

Tea

Sleep-inducing teas such as chamomile may help patients fall asleep faster. Still, neuropathy patients must be mindful of the temperature of the tea, as numbness may cause a patient to misjudge the actual temperature of the liquid. When taking a sleep-inducing tea, patients and caregivers may find it best to let the tea cool down to room temperature or serve it as iced tea.

Do you have methods for improving your quality of sleep? Leave a comment below to share how you approach improving your sleeping pattern.

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Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

Comments

Deborah Jean avatar

Deborah Jean

Any articles related to my Neuropathy in my feet is a welcome read. I wish I could find a cream that would help with the night time throbbing. Any suggestions?

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Maureen Moore avatar

Maureen Moore

I’m 87years& don’t remember when I had more than a few hrs sleep ! The burning feet is like effecting my brain like nerve sensations.. Had these feet for 20 years & got worse. . I do exercises & gardening & feel fit & healthy. Had all the blood tests clear& normal BP. Take painkiller going to bed,but of no great help. Thank you Maureen

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Victor avatar

Victor

I use Magnilife DB Cream for my feet (Available at Walmart.com

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James Gichai avatar

James Gichai

For those who feel extreme cold on their feet, they can buy "hot water bottle"

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Athena avatar

Athena

Hello! I have supposedly severe Peripheral Neuropathy in my feet and calves!? It’s going on 3 years now. I see a Neurologist at Barrows in Phoenix AZ. My pain is so severe in my feet, both. Unbearable pain! I have had 4 expensive mattresses, 3 air mattresses, 2 custom beds. And the floor numerous times. Only the air mattress seemed to work if it was deflated where my buttocks are? With my feet raised and my but low in a sunken position. But there has to be no pressure on my buttocks? Tried expensive Lazyboy recliner and my ankles swelled? Unbelievable! The opposite of what it should be! When I got the peripheral neuropathy, I got mine over a period of 24 hrs, and it started in one foot and it was full blown pain and severe swelling, and then the other foot started and it happened exactly like the other foot? Uncommon! So, I get no sleep and still confused of whether or not the Doctors have missed something and it’s something else? MRI’s , EMG’s, but I haven’t had the Nerve MRI ! There are only a few of them in the United States! It took the Emergency room visits, over a period of 6 months to finally bring in a hospital specialist ????. I was in a wheelchair by the time I was diagnosed. I started having severe pain in my hands in the morning, but they did another EMG and said it wasn’t the Peripheral neuropathy? “Don’t know WHAT that is?” Hmmm? So, I have tried everything to get sleep and I have run out of ideas. Seriously, I should write a book on it!! I still think they have missed something, or an injury from my past, and aren’t reading the MRI of my back correctly! Or, SOMETHING! It came on to fast! If any doctor reads this or has any input, please contact me , no spam! Thankyou for reading this and my heart goes out to anyone suffering from this.

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Pramod Rai avatar

Pramod Rai

Very use ful information

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Eligah Thomas avatar

Eligah Thomas

Could I get the shot for my nerves in my arm

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Colin M Gibbons avatar

Colin M Gibbons

i suffer from RLS restless leg syndrome
what do you suggest for me to do about the pain from this??

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Freda G Lovell avatar

Freda G Lovell

None of these things help me, none! I have tried heat and ice too, SCS, injections, back surgery, blocks, the only thing left is ketamine and I am looking into that. It is very expensive, but I have nothing left to try. I want to try INF but I can't get to the clinic. I can't sleep at all. I am going insane!! They have me on opioids but they give me insomnia. Emg shows S1 and S2 is compressed but the MRI shows nothing. I hit my head on my hardwood floors a TBI from Bradycardia and this started after the pacemaker went in. I often think the pacemaker caused this!! It took them 2 and half hours to get the pacemaker in my chest. That short 30 minute surgery was a nightmare!! My foot started to burn 4 days after that surgery!! I feel like having the damn thing removed!! They say I have CRPS now!! Nothing is working my life is a nightmare and I know why they call this the suicide disease!! A girl in Canada had her leg removed but the US will not. She is doing well now. I am also diabetic, but my A1C has been under control for years with diet. It's only been in left leg, but now spreading in right a very little. I wonder if I have PAD but they say no. I will go again and have it checked. Any suggestions.

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FAYE Lorraine Gray avatar

FAYE Lorraine Gray

I have suffered with peripheral neuropathy for 10 years. I am totaly sick of the meds I have been given. Especially the antidepressents and those for epilesy that dont really help.So I have taken myself off these and am just looking for something to help with nerve pain and sleep problems.

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Deepak Sheth avatar

Deepak Sheth

I am suffering from peripheral nephropathy since last 2-3 years. have no Diabetes no B-12 deficiency but affected from depression. Is there any natural tips for control it.I have also used Pregason tablet & Cream but no effect.But DETOX foot patch affect good when I am using but economical costly for common man. can you suggest to solve this problem permanently ?

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Maureen Robichaud avatar

Maureen Robichaud

I had a L4 L5 fusion done I left side 22 months ago. My pain and sciatica pain is gone. Unfortunately I woke up with my right foot numb Was told repeatedly it’s normal. That numbness on my foot has turned into numbness burning sensory horrid feelings sharp nerve pain stabs sometimes electrical type pain. I’m on Gabepentin tried it with an antidepressant that I took myself off which did nothing. I have had a spinal cord stimulator implanted in my spine. Not having luck with that either. I cannot understand that at this day and age they have not conquered this horrible nightmare. I consider myself a strong woman but I am beginning to weaken. I had a slipped disc repaired and woke up with this. So disheartening. Has this happened to anyone?

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Reggie, avatar

Reggie,

Sadly, I'm the spouse of a 70yrs women who has only recently been inflicted by PN, Almost all the comments would apply to my wife. I have investigated many options;( outside of dr meds which don't work) one approach that sounds promising is ultrasound theaoy ? Has anyone tried this method of pain relief (with success or failure) thxs very much Reggie.

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Roberto avatar

Roberto

Hi Deborah, if you are looking for a cream basis for your feet have you tried Vickey Vapour by rubbing and massage the bottom of your feet? It may give you some form of relief, why not try see how it goes. Good luck and best wishes

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Mary Alexopoulos avatar

Mary Alexopoulos

Pls help me. I have 24/7 pins and needles in my private and pelvic area. No meds doctors therapy hospitals can't help me.

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Eleanor Hawkins avatar

Eleanor Hawkins

I Am Eleanor King Hawkins Diagnosed With Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy known As, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome,Since 1988.
Yes, Due To RSD, The Musc University Hospital In Charleston, South Carolina,USA Had To Amputation My Left Leg AboveThe Knee, Later RSD And My Bones, Muscles And Nerves Was Destroyed. Leaving Me Paraplegic And Spinal Cord Damage.
I Just Had My 5th Medtronic Spinal Cord Implant At 76 Years Young.
My Physicians Took Me Off Lyrica 150 Mg. X 3. At My Request,Due To Excessive Rapid Weight Gain.
I Am Currently Back On Balofen 10 Mg. X 3.
This Was Given To Me In 1988.
I Still In Moderate Pain With High Blood Pressure, During Fairly Well At 76 Years Young.

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