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. If pain is affecting your sleep patterns, physical therapy can play a role in the recovery process. The combination of pain and lack of sleep creates a vicious cycle that can get progressively worse, if left untreated. Fortunately, a physical therapist or occupational therapist can identify the underlying cause of pain and create a plan for lasting pain relief. Using a combination of hands-on techniques (including joint mobilizations and massage), the therapist will help reduce muscle tension, which at most times resides in the neck and shoulder region. This coupled with a progressive exercise program will help you sleep better. A therapist will help you design a stretching and strengthening program to restore muscle balance and reduce pain; restoring normal sleep patterns.”
What are some of the Benefits of Sleep?
Improve memory, Live Longer, Curb Inflammation, Spur Creativity, Be a Better Athlete, Sharpen Attention, Less Falls/Accidents, Have a Healthy Weight, Less Stress, & Depression
Sleep can have a positive effect on motor learning with a 60-90 minute nap improving performance. Research has also indicated this same beneficial effect of sleep is seen in people recovering from stroke. Patients recovering from stroke often have to relearn many movements including things like walking, grasping objects with their hands, and getting up and down curbs. Though research suggests the positive effects of sleep on learning motor skills and movements, which benefit physical therapy, I also listed what the negative effects would be of not getting adequate sleep.
increased risk of weight gain
alteration of immune system
increased perception of anxiety and depression
increased inflammatory cells in the body
impaired memory and concentration
increase in muscle tone
difficulty maintaining balance
increased sensitivity to pain
You can take small steps to improve your quality of sleep. If you already exercise, you should exercise earlier in the day. If you do not exercise already, start an exercise program that you enjoy. Stay away from caffeine late in the day; avoid coffee, tea, and soda. If you nap during the day, limit the nap to one and make it no longer than 20 minutes. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means a maximum one drink for women and two for men, per day. Do not eat a large meal before bed, and quit smoking. Make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark and does not have electronic devices. Go to bed at the same time every night and use relaxation techniques to help reduce stress. Don’t use electronics with blue screens two hours before you want to go to sleep.
If you find that you’re trying these techniques for improved sleep, but you’re still having issues getting a good night’s rest come and see us at Kauai Therapy & Wellness if you’re having issues with sleep that affect your daily life. It’s important to report issues with snoring or if your partner has noticed you stop breathing while you sleep. For your health and safety, take your sleep health seriously.
Call Kauai Therapy & Wellness to schedule an appointment with an EXPERT physical therapist.
Conveniently Located Next to Harley Davidson Right on the Hwy in Puhi*