It’s no secret that sleep is essential to good health. Sustained periods of insufficient sleep have been linked to many serious health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and diminished immunity. Lack of sleep also decreases attentiveness and focus, thereby increasing your likelihood of being seriously hurt in accidents involving motor vehicles or machinery. By getting a healthy amount of sleep each night, you increase your body’s ability to ward off sickness and disease, as well as improve your memory and decrease your overall pain.
How to Create a Healthy Sleep Routine
Getting into a healthy sleep routine is worth the effort. According to Mayo Clinic, there are a few easy ways to establish a pattern of quality rest, including:
- Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule: This one is pretty self-explanatory. While it may be tempting to watch one more episode or snooze your alarm on mornings when you feel especially tired, getting into a routine helps your body prepare for sleep and, over time, may prevent you from waking up or experiencing other interruptions during the night. Sleeping in the same place as often as possible is also important because your brain prepares for sleep based on environmental cues.
- Watch what you eat and drink before bed: Drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep during the night, so it is important to limit your consumption during the late afternoon and evening hours. Also be sure to create a buffer of several hours between dinner and bedtime, in order to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort, which can prevent you from sleeping altogether. While eating a heavy meal and sipping a glass of wine in the evening may make you feel drowsy, they will likely come back to haunt you during the night.
- Stay fit and stay awake: Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can increase your need for sleep, make you more tired at bedtime, and help you stay asleep throughout the night. Daytime naps, however, have the opposite effect and are to be avoided as much as possible. However, if you do take an occasional nap, do not sleep for more than 20-30 minutes.
How Regular Sleep Patterns Can Help Your Recovery
Your body’s defenses are most effective when you are well-rested. While you are asleep, your body is using less energy and requires less blood flow to the brain. This allows the body to increase blood flow to the site of your injury and expend more energy to repair your muscles, ligaments, bones, etc. During deep sleep, the body also secretes a hormone called prolactin, which decreases inflammation and related pain, aching, and soreness.
Getting enough sleep is especially important while you are undergoing physical therapy after an injury or procedure. If you are getting around 8 hours of sleep per night, your injury is likely to recover more quickly due to better blood flow to the affected area and reduced inflammation. If inflammation around the site of your injury is decreased, you will experience less pain when re-learning functional motion patterns and working to regain use of the injured portion of your body.
Experienced Physical Therapist in Aberdeen
Getting enough sleep is only the beginning. There is so much more to be done in order to help you bounce back after an injury or procedure—and that’s what our team at ProFysio Physical Therapy is here for! Let our Aberdeen physical therapists come alongside you and be your partners in recovery.
Call us at (732) 333-6360 and schedule your free assessment right away.