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The Importance of Sleep for Healing

We know sleep is essential for emotional health, immunity boosting, weight management, productivity and so much more. But, did you know that sleep is also crucial for healing from injury and/or surgery to reduce pain? It’s true! There is a direct link between getting adequate sleep and reducing inflammation in the body. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair, get fitter and be ready for another day.

When it comes to sleep and pain, you need sleep to heal but pain may prevent you from getting it. A good night’s sleep improves your ability to tolerate pain. The subjective intensity of pain actually decreases when you sleep well. The opposite is true for bad sleep. Poor sleep quality is correlated with more severe pain.

So, how do you fall asleep with severe pain? Here’s some suggestions:

Sleep routines can decrease pain and help you fall asleep. Your routine should be to go to bed around the same time every day and get up at the same time every morning. Spend 30 minutes or more before bed doing the same thing, such as showering, reading a book or getting ready for the next day. The body loves a routine.

Your body needs to calm down in order to sleep. To fall asleep, your nervous system has to calm down. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you have a much more active nervous system. This can affect how quickly you fall asleep and how deep of a sleep you experience. Taking your pain medications right before bedtime can help calm you and the pain, and likely help you fall asleep.

Avoid heavy and sugary foods. And, stop all caffeine 3-4 hours before bedtime. All of these will stimulate you and keep you awake.

Reduce the light, noise and temperature in your bedroom. Your body sleeps better when it’s cooler and darkness increases your melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.

 

Getting enough sleep is essential for helping a person’s well-being. When it comes to your healing health, sleep is as vital as therapy and exercise.