We know sleep is important, but just how important?
Sleep plays an important role in our every day function, it is vital for our learning, memory, mood, and recovery. But did you also know sleep plays an important role in our experience of pain?
It has been shown that reduced sleep time has is associated with increased perception of pain. A reduction of sleep increases the risk of experiencing chronic pain. It also delays the recovery of existing chronic musculoskeletal pain, and influences the fluctuations in everyday pain.
This is because a lack of optimal sleep will alter how we modulate pain and make us more sensitive to pain, so a mild niggle may become quite painful. It has been shown that sleeping less than 6 hours lead to increased pain throughout the day, and this number only increases as you sleep less, sleeping 3 hours or less was associated with an 81% increase in pain frequency.
So now that we know about the importance of sleep, we can go over some strategies to facilitate good sleep hygiene.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule of going to bed and waking up
* This is the most important, let your body set its biological clock
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, and nicotine in the hours before bed
- Avoid phone use, watching television, eating, working, or reading in bed, the bed should be associated with sleep only
* If you must use your phone or laptop in bed, try turning adjusting the screen to a more yellowish tone, as blue light (default setting) suppressed melatonin, a key chemical for sleep.
* F.lux is a great app you can get on your laptop which will do that for you*
- Be aware of food and fluid intake before bed time
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature or sleeping (~18 degrees Celsius)
By one of the boys – Steven Sun