Sleep and the direct relationship with pain and recovery.
The effect sleep has on your rate of recovery post injury. Sleep is one of the most underrated factors associated with muscle healing and pain sensitivity. According to the sleep health foundation the average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night to retain normal function.
Ever wondered why your health professional inquired about your sleeping habits during the acute phase of a musculoskeletal injury?
Just like food and water our bodies need sleep. Very important processes are preformed by the body while we are sleeping. The first is the release of the growth hormone that stimulates growth and muscle repair. The second is an increased blood flow through a state of relaxation which enables new oxygenated blood to deliver nutrients to increase healing and repair. Lastly the third is the release of another hormone prolactin which regulates inflammation.
If there are disruptions to sleep because of pain and discomfort in the acute stage of an injury there can be adverse effects to the bodies healing processes mentioned above. Resulting in a delayed recovery rate.
Healthy sleep tips to insure you can give your body the best chance at recovery;
- Firstly your sleep position – ensure your injured area is comfortable and supported. You can achieve this using pillows, wedges, slightly sleeping upright.
- Secondly relaxation – seeking treatment to encourage muscle relaxation.
- Thirdly is a dark room– this helps stimulate the melatonin sleep hormone.
- Then fourth can be pain relief – over the counter pain relief medication.
- Last but not least caffeine– no caffeine after mid afternoon
There are a lot of correlations between good quality sleep and the bodies healing processes. The better the sleep the faster rate of recovery so putting the effort into obtaining enough sleep is not only a key factor for healing acute injuries but also decreasing your risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and chronic inflammation diseases.
Sleep tight zzz
Samantha McKenzie – Myotherapist – Swan Hill Practice