Among the most common psychological techniques used to help with sleep problems are relaxation training, meditation, hypnosis, and cognitive restructuring. These techniques are similar to those used for stress management as well as chronic pain management, and rely on a common set of skills:
Deep muscle relaxation
Focus elsewhere rather than on the pain
Visual, sound, or other relaxing sensory imagery
Distancing oneself from the chronic pain
These skills, coupled with the deep breathing technique discussed next, can be very beneficial in improving sleep and decreasing the perception of pain by retraining the brain. Many of these skills are coupled with exercise in techniques such as yoga and Tai Chi.
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