The importance of restorative rest cannot be over emphasized. Restorative rest refers to the state of deep relaxation and sleep where the bodily processes of identifying, neutralizing, and eliminating toxins occur. In addition, the processes of cell regeneration and tissue healing occur during periods of restorative rest.
The quality and quantity of your rest patterns can make all the difference in the world in how you feel and function. Here are ten tips to a good night’s rest:
1. Make sleep a priority.
2. Unwind by dealing with distractions early in the evening.
3. Develop a sleep ritual.
4. Synchronize your biological clock by going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning.
5. Create a restful place to sleep.
6. Use a comfortable and supportive mattress.
7. Exercise regularly.
8. Avoid caffeine in the evenings.
9. Don’t smoke.
10. Reduce alcohol intake.
Depriving yourself of sleep night after night can result in sleep debt. Signs of sleep debt may include:
• Falling asleep in the middle of the day
• Falling asleep while watching TV
• Falling asleep while reading, or…
• Falling asleep while sitting in traffic.
Scientific research has linked sleep debt to the following conditions:
• Impaired glucose tolerance.
• Decreased production of growth hormone and leptin, leading to obesity and
altered appetite suppression.
• Diminished immune response and white blood cell production leading to
increased possibility of infection.
• Increased cancer risk.
• Diminished reaction time
To reduce sleep debt, you must get the required amount of sleep your body needs. For most adults, 7-8 hours is recommended, while individual needs may range from 5 – 10 hours daily.
Back Pain Relief: Why Sleep Is Important
The inability to get a good night’s sleep hurts — literally. Chronic back pain prevents you from sleeping well. You can wake up hurting even more.
Pain can interfere with the normal cycles of sleep, creating a non-specific pattern of alpha delta sleep waves found in other painful conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, but also in healthy people.
What’s worse, studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may actually make you more sensitive to pain. It’s a vicious cycle. Back pain can make it harder to sleep — and when you can’t sleep, your back pain can be worse.
Other Causes of Sleep Problems When You Are in Pain
Anxiety and depression can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep, and the consequent sleep loss can lead to worse pain. Anxiety and depression themselves can also increase a person’s sensitivity to pain.
Some breathing-related sleep disorders are associated with obesity — and obesity is also linked with back pain. Sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea interfere with normal sleep patterns leading to insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality. Sleep apnea can also be caused or exacerbated by opioid painkillers, which some people are prescribed for severe back pain.
Limb movement disorders, such as restless legs syndrome, might further disrupt the normal sleep pattern.
Fibromyalgia can cause pain throughout the body. It’s also linked with fatigue, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Self-medicating with alcohol might numb your back pain and help you fall asleep at first. But it’s also likely to wake you up a few hours later. In the morning, you’re bound to get out of bed tired, cranky, and hurting because the quality of sleep is poor.
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Best Sleeping Positions
Bothered by back pain? The best treatment for back pain may be as simple as adjusting your sleeping patterns
According to David Dinges, chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, adequate rest resettles us emotionally, helps us think clearly, and enhances our health and longevity.
Get a good night’s rest tonight and experience the vitality and joy life brings you tomorrow.
Do you have additional questions about improving your sleep to relieve back pain? Post your question in the comments section below and we’ll answer your question promptly.
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