Oakland Chiropractor Explains The Effect of Getting Poor Sleep
This week we have a guest post, coming to you from sleephelp.org.
Back pain in Oakland can be debilitating and make simple movements impossible. It can also interfere with the ability to get a good night's rest. However, lack of sleep can also increase back pain. Understanding the relationship between the two can help us develop a plan to improve sleep, reduce pain, and enjoy activities with family and friends.
Sleep Deprivation's Effects on Pain
Sleep is the body's time to heal and rejuvenate. Without it, everything from appetite control to muscle recovery changes. Pain tolerance, sensitivity, and perception also change during sleep deprivation. In a study published in Sleep, researchers explored the relationship between sleep duration and pain tolerance. Results showed a 25 percent decrease in pain tolerance amongst participants who got four hours of sleep versus those who got eight hours of sleep, the recommended daily amount for the average adult.
Sleep deprivation also affects the body's response to pain medication. In a study published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, researchers found that the effectiveness of codeine, a common but powerful pain reliever, was less effective in sleep-deprived participants. Changes in the effectiveness of pain medication could contribute to further sleep loss, compounding the sleep deprivation-pain cycle.
How to Get Better Sleep to Reduce Back Pain in Oakland
Back pain and sleep have an even closer relationship than normal because the act of sleeping can put more pressure on the spine. A mattress that keeps your spine aligned may help, but the firmness depends on the position in which you sleep. Back, stomach, and side are the basic sleep positions though most people cycle through several variations throughout the night. If you're not sure, research has shown that a medium-firm mattress offers good back support, pain or not.
Better sleep also comes by developing healthy sleep habits. Everything you do from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night can affect your ability to sleep.
In the Morning:
Get up at the same time every day, even weekends: Circadian rhythms are cycles that your body uses to determine when to feel awake or sleepy. Being consistent trains your body to release sleep hormones and stress hormones at the right time.
Eat Regularly Timed and Spaced Meals: Meal timing plays a role in the timing of circadian rhythms. Regularly timed and spaced meals help your body know when to start the release of sleep hormones.
In the Afternoon:
Stop the Stimulants: Stimulants like the caffeine found in soda, coffee, and energy drinks block sleep hormones. Early in the afternoon, start to cut back or stop drinking them all together to prevent a delay in the onset of your sleep.
Exercise: If you exercise in the morning or afternoon, you won't have to worry about the release of endorphins, adrenaline, or change in body temperature keeping you awake. Exercise not only helps you sleep better by tiring out the body but also may relieve pain by strengthening muscles.
In the Evening:
Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Day: Going to bed at the same time supports your circadian rhythms and regulates the release of sleep hormones.
Develop a Bedtime Routine: Bedtime routines provide a chance to release stress and tension before bed. They also help your mind and body relax after a long day.
Turn Off Screens: Some electronics give off a bright blue light that suppresses the release of sleep hormones. Shutting down your devices including televisions, laptops, and smartphones two to three hours before bed can help you fall asleep faster.
While sleeping more won't get rid of all back pain, it can certainly improve the effectiveness of pain medications and reduce pain sensitivity.
Call Core Wellness Chiropractic in Oakland today to schedule an appointment.
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8:00am - 5:00pm
9:30am - 6:30pm