If pain (or any other reason) is affecting the quality of your sleep, start by identifying the cause of the problem. The first step is an assessment of the sleeping environment and lifestyle habits. Here are some questions to answer:
- Is the bedroom a quiet place and are all lights switched off? Is there a television or laptop (and associated glare) in the bedroom?
- What are you sleeping on? How old is the mattress? Does your pillow provide enough support for your neck and head?
- What are you eating and drinking before you go to sleep? Are you consuming caffeinated beverages late in the day? Are you eating big meals close to bedtime?
- Are you sleeping at the same time every day? Are you avoiding stressful conversations or situations before going to bed?
By facilitating an environment that is quiet and comfortable, you will set the stage for sound sleep. A physical therapist can also help you sleep better by teaching you techniques such as autogenic relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization.
This is typically a time for new year resolutions. For most individuals, this involves exercising and healthy eating, but sleep is equally (if not more) important. One of the best things you can do for yourself this year is to try and get enough sleep. In fact, did you know that there is a correlation between sleep and pain?
Some people sleep longer because they are in pain, while others cannot sleep at all. Pain affects the way a person sleeps and a lack of sleep can intensify pain. Individuals who suffer from chronic pain may experience sleep disorders. In fact, pain is one of the causes of insomnia.
Sleep disorder symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, waking up early in the morning, restless sleep, and overall dissatisfaction with the quality of sleep. The consistent interruption of sleep triggers a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and increased pain. The less sleep a person gets, the more intense the pain can become.
One of the regular conversations we have with our greater athletic family is how to prepare for an upcoming surgery. For most athletes, a surgical event essentially represents a temporary alien invasion level disruption to their lives. And honestly, this analogy isn’t far from the truth. Besides dropping headlong into a medical system that can pretty much strip people of their loci of control, serious injury is disruptive to family, nutrition, training, sleep, stress levels, etc.
Check out these guidelines and give yourself the best chance to recover optimally. Rehab is pretty straight forward. As long as you have a plan.