Are you in pain and can’t seem to break free from the discomfort? Are you feeling under the weather, stiff, groggy, and just overall drained? If so, then it might be time to turn your attention to the bedroom…
If you’re experiencing these problems, it might be time to look at your sleep habits. Did you think this was going to be about something else?
Sleep is essential for not only your mood, but for your health! Research has shown that the habits you form before bed greatly affect the amount of time you sleep, as well as the quality of your rest. I’ll let you think about that a minute – we’ll get back to it later. For now, let’s have a look at why it’s important to get a good night’s rest.
Healing: Muscle and Joint Health
If you’re currently suffering from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, or any ailment causing discomfort, one of the best things to do is get more sleep. Why is that? Well, because your slumber helps to accelerate your body’s natural healing processes, allowing your muscles to recoup and your cells to repair!
Not only is a good night’s rest vital for your body to heal, but it is also preventative. Heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even kidney disease may be prevented by getting some shut-eye! Sleep also helps to boost your immune system, as the dual effects of healing and strengthening of the body occur while you snooze.
There is also an inadvertent way in which sleep helps you to maintain an active lifestyle. Once you get enough sleep, you find the energy to take part in those activities that keep your body healthy. From running to golf, sleeping well during the night allows us to harness the energy needed to keep joints and muscles active, therefore avoiding pain and immobility.
Sleep improves the way in which your brain functions, and this is because it improves the way your neurons work. When you get enough sleep, you allow your memory to improve and your brain health to increase over time. Reaction time, agility, and awareness are some of the many advantageous side effects of a full-night’s sleep!
These are just some of the most common advantages of getting enough sleep. Relieving stress, losing weight, and feeling happier and more relaxed can all be included in the rather extensive list of positives.
So, getting enough sleep is clearly a good thing, but how much is too much? According to research, 7-8 hours is ideal. If you get too little, you’ll feel drained, tired, foggy. Too much, however, and the plethora of benefits actually deplete! There has to be a proper balance, as too much sleep might aggravate pain and make you feel even worse.
Now I know you’ll be aiming for the perfect 8 hours of sleep, but if you’re worried about filling time, what are some things you can do to make sleeping easier? Remember how I told you that your before-bed habits play a big role in the amount and quality of sleep? Well here’s why, as well as what to do about it in order to sleep better.
1. Avoid screens before bed.
If you’re in the habit of lounging on the couch after work, throwing a show on Netflix, and going to bed after you’ve had enough at midnight, then you might want to break that habit. Watching TV before bed is a surefire way to keep your mind too busy to fall asleep. Along with TV, playing on your phone, staring at a computer screen, or even reading on your Kindle might keep the ZZZ’s away. Try turning off all of your screens and tech at least 45 minutes before bedtime.
2. Avoid food – especially sugar.
This is a hard one to kick. Many of us love our ice cream and snacks before bed, but if you want your energy levels to lower, your mind to relax, and your body to follow suit, it’s best to avoid food right before bed, especially those sugary items we crave. Try to form a habit of having your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bed.
3. Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
You may have heard this before. However, the problem is that you may have become accustomed to watching just one more YouTube video, or playing one last game on your phone. Next thing you know, it’s 3:00AM and you’re asking yourself where the time went! If you haven’t already created a habit of going to bed at one particular time AND waking up at another set time, it’s best that you try. This habit is an ultimate game-changer. You’ll see the results after only a few nights!
4. Don’t drink too many liquids before bed.
Some love tea, others love juice, and others water. Whatever your choice is, try not to drink too much before bed. If you do, you’ll end up getting up during the night, therefore interrupting your sleep and body’s healing process.
5. Calm your mind.
If you listen to loud, crazy music before bed, well…you might want to stop. Instead, find ways to relax and calm your mind. Burn some incense, meditate, stretch, or just lie down quietly for a while. Whatever you do, make sure you associate that behavior with sleep. This allows your body to form a habit that will encourage a healthy, deep, healing slumber!
6. Exercise during the day.
Exercise makes all the difference when it comes to a good night’s rest. Working out during the day actually burns off excess energy, all of which could otherwise keep you awake at night. Running, swimming, walking, or even cycling are all great ways to guarantee a deeper, more healthy sleep. Why not ditch the TV and take a brisk walk? You’ll be shocked by the results! If you’re looking for a new gym to start an exercise routine, our office is located inside Riverton Health & Fitness Center!
7. Visit a Physical Therapist.
If you’re currently experiencing pain that is interfering with your sleep, and you’ve been waiting for it to disappear on its own, then I urge you to reach out to us at TORQ Physical Therapy. Not only is your body not healing, but you may even be aggravating your pain! Physical therapy is the best way to get to the root cause of the problem and give you back your pain-free night’s rest. Let us help you with hands-on treatment and exercises tailor made to your specific condition. We want to have you back in bed and snoring in no time!
Now that you know why sleep is so important, and you also know how to get the ideal 8 hours, it’s time for you to put your screen away, throw on some relaxing music, and get some much needed rest! Sweet dreams!