Sleeping or not sleeping?

The latter is the problem!

Did you know that a high percentage (53% to 90%) of those with widespread, persistent pain suffer from insomnia?

Did you know that even just one night of sleep deprivation in healthy individuals can lead to widespread inflammation?

Our Physiotherpist Andrea Colombi shares some information about the power of sleep!

Insomnia in adults is defined as more than 30 minutes of sleep latency and/or minutes awake after sleep onset for more than 3 days per week for more than 3 months.

In other words, sufferers can have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or returning to sleep after waking in the middle of the night, and can experience persistent drowsiness, irritability, anxiety, and difficulty learning and remembering the next day.

If poor sleeping is the cause of more severe pain or it is the pain that impairs an optimal bedtime this represents a ‘chicken and egg’ situation.

Studies have found this to be a bidirectional relationship often leading to vicious cycles. If for any reason your sleeping pattern becomes disturbed you are more likely to experience pain later in life. If your pain is overly distressing yourself, you are more likely to get your night-time sleep a nightmare.

Being sleep-deprived is also associated with a reduced capacity of the body to regulate the benefits of exercise. You might have heard of endorphins? Endorphins are natural hormones travelling in your bloodstream and they help making us feeling happier and better after, for example, physical exertion. If your repose is not enough, then that gym class or that running 10 K you normally do might result in more soreness than usual.

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As if that were not enough, we also need to consider the central role that stress plays herein.

If daily demands (job duties, school/university workload) exceed our resources to cope with them, and this happens on a regular basis, we may feel overwhelmed, worried and helpless. This disrupts our natural biological rhythms and encourages unhealthy behaviours, such as eating too much of the wrong things, neglecting exercise and missing out on sleep.

We can never roll back the clock and reverse the effects of experiences, positive or negative, but we can roll up our sleeves and try to change our behaviours and maybe get some help to reappraise faulty beliefs regarding pain causes.

For example, regular physical activity is the most important behaviour that one can do to maintain brain and body health. Physiotherapists can help you to get more insights about DO’s and DON’TS and give you some advice and strategies on how to improve your sleeping.