Lack of a good night sleep can have a tremendous affect on our mental wellbeing and physical health. We’ve all experienced that feel of irritability following a disrupted nights sleep and a regular occurrence of this can increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Sleep disturbances often occur hand in hand with the experience of stress. We often see patients complaining of feeling stressed at work, resulting in them feeling constantly tense and exhausted. This can exacerbate any symptoms you might be experiencing and an on going cycle can arise from this, starting either from the disturbed sleep or with pain. Each component can maintain or even augment the other. Whereby, the management of disturbed sleep may alleviate pain, and also pain relief may promote more restorative sleep, which will further assist in long term pain relief.
Why is sleep so important?
While we sleep most of our bodily function rest, apart from the brain, this is when it is very active, processing out memories and experiences.
We go through a number of sleep cycles which occur for 90 minutes each. if our sleep is disturbed then it will be effecting the restorative process of the cycles. resulting in the feeling of lethargy, can affect concentration and decision making, and reduced immune function.
How to improve you sleep
- introduce a regular sleep schedule – getting up and going to sleep at a similar time each day;
- keeping up with regular physical activity will help you sleep better;
- wind down before you sleep – give yourself some time to relax and get sleep, instead of doing too much right before bed;
- certain stimulants to avoid include caffeine, alcohol and large meals late at night;
- invest in comfortable pillows and mattresses to support your body;
- refrain from using your phone or gadgets while in bed;
- complete darkness.