Sleep. We have all had a restless night or two where we wake up tired, but what happens if you repeatedly are not sleeping well due to pain? Did you know that not getting enough sleep can increase your sensitivity to pain as well as impact your entire body?
After a night of poor sleep, you may have woken up slightly irritable or in worse pain. The perception that your pain is increased can be attributed to the elevation of inflammatory markers which contribute to pain. After a night of decreased sleep, these inflammatory markers remain elevated in your blood which can also lead to increased sensitivity and pain perception.
In addition to impacting pain, it can also impair muscle strength. When someone has gone multiple nights without enough sleep, it impairs the body’s ability for maximum muscle contraction, negatively affecting their strength. This has an impact on someone who is participating in physical therapy for an injury as their muscles aren’t performing to their maximum ability with complex movements. It also impairs the ability to learn new skills.
Sleep has a widespread impact on the body. Impaired sleep can weaken the immune system’s ability to fight off illness, the body’s ability to heal tissues that were injured, cardiovascular health, mental health, cognitive function, and more.
Here is what you can do to set yourself up for success with sleep. Research has shown that this list of sleep habits has helped people get more restful sleep. They are not a magic “fix” but may benefit you.
If you are experiencing difficulty sleeping due to pain or an injury schedule an appointment with a physical therapist who can help determine a plan to help get you feeling and sleeping better. Often a physical therapist can help provide tips and tricks for positioning at night to help with pain due to an injury, and as you go throughout the rehabilitation process, you will begin to feel better and sleep should also become easier.