(585) 425-1018
790 Ayrault Rd Fairport, NY 14450
If You Want to Heal, Get Some Sleep!

It is becoming increasingly evident that Americans are not getting enough quality sleep. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that this is true for approximately 1 in 3 people in the US. In fact, sleep impairment is now considered a public health problem. We often think of the short-term impact of inadequate sleep, which for example can affect mental health, leading to poor concentration and general irritability. However, often poorly understood is the affect of short and longer-term sleep deprivation on the body systems. The cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems are especially dependent on sleep cycles for normal function. 

When you strain a muscle in your low back, a tendon in your shoulder, or sustain any musculoskeletal injury, the immune system is involved in repairing body tissues.  The immune system drives the inflammatory process; if the stages of inflammation are interrupted, tissue healing is delayed. So it is important to get quality sleep when you are recovering from an injury. 

There is another aspect of musculoskeletal health that can be impacted by sleep impairment: pain. Pain thresholds will become lower under conditions of inadequate sleep, and therefore you can experience more pain associated with any injury or musculoskeletal problem. This in turn can delay healing. 

While short-term sleep loss is sometimes unavoidable, it is longer-term sleep impairment that is most concerning. This can be due to poor sleep hygiene, or it may be secondary to another health condition. If it is due to another health condition, the primary problem must be addressed.  Sleep apnea is a good example of a primary disorder that can cause sleep impairment. If poor sleep hygiene is at fault, there are many ways to improve sleep function. Some of the most common ways are to develop good sleep habits by going to bed and arising at the same time every day, avoiding caffeinated beverages late in the day, turning off electronic devices before bed, and getting regular exercise. 

So if you want to heal faster from that injury, your physical therapist may advise you to get some sleep!

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