What Do You Know About Sleep and Injury Recovery?

By August 6, 2021Blog
What Do You Know About Sleep and Injury Recovery?

There are various ways of dealing with injuries that prevent regular daily activities, and one of them is getting enough sleep. However, for most people, the connection between sleep and injury recovery is a foreign concept. Other methods that can speed up healing, especially through physiotherapy in Ajax, include cross-training and dynamic stretching. Still, good sleep patterns remain the best way of recovering quickly and reducing the risks of another injury.

The relation between sleep recovery and performance in sports is supported by the findings of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, which stated that injuries were more common in sports participants that did not get enough sleep.

Sleep Helps Healing Injuries

Stress reduction 

The body is known to release a hormone known as cortisol when stressed. It breaks down protein and body tissues for energy when it increases, which is contrary to what is needed for the body to heal. With enough sleep, stress levels will reduce, thus reducing the level of cortisol and encouraging faster healing. The growth hormones in the body will not be tampered with, and they will function efficiently to rebuild damaged tissues.

Several studies have been done regarding sleep and stress reduction, and they have all proven that the more you get quality sleep, the less your body will be stressed. According to the Continuing Medical Education Article about sleep and recovery, one study discovered that the body required more energy when deprived of sleep, which does not help with healing.

Promotion of new cells and tissues

Human Growth Hormones and testosterone are some of the hormones secreted during sleep, and they are both crucial in the repair of muscles and tissue regeneration. They do this by promoting new proteins that replace the damaged ones in the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the level of these hormones increases during sleep, which is why recoveries improve during that time.

Additionally, the energy used by the body to digest food also reduces with deep sleep, which allows the transportation of proteins and fatty acids required for quick recovery. Failure to get enough sleep in one night can reduce testosterone levels by 20%, which shows that a consistent lack of sufficient sleep can have longer detrimental effects on the body’s ability to heal.

How Much Sleep Do You Need If You are Injured?

The quality of sleep is just as important as the duration. The growth hormones that encourage healing can only be produced during a deep sleep state. The longer you sleep, the higher the chances of reaching that state and the more deep phases you will have. Those hours will lead to an ample supply of the proteins at the injured site.

Since everybody reacts differently to injuries, the duration required to reach the non-REM state where deep sleep happens differs. However, most professionals recommend between 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults and 7 to 10 hours for teenagers. The hours can be more during injuries. The sleep must be continuous during these hours because disturbances can have unpleasant outcomes such as changes in the immune function, changes in metabolism, and abnormalities in host defence mechanisms.

Tiredness or fatigue when you wake up can be signs that you should get some more quality sleep, especially when injured.

Sleep and Injury Prevention

Apart from sleep and healing, sleep and injury prevention is another area that researchers have focused on. Getting enough deep sleep can reduce the chances of chronic illnesses, with some studies finding that patients with good sleeping patterns were likely to miss less time at work than those with disturbed sleeping habits.

Enough sleep can also prevent recurrent injuries through:

Less fatigue: Those who constantly get tired because of insufficient sleep have a higher chance of experiencing pain-related issues over time, with most having such an experience after five years. The more you sleep, the less tired you will feel, which will significantly diminish your chances of chronic pain in the future.

Enhanced alertness: With enough sleep comes alertness, which is essential if operating heavy machinery or driving. It improves your overall safety.

Better motor skills: With more sleep comes better coordination of body parts and enhanced efficiency when moving, which are crucial during training or rehabilitation.

More strength: The supply of proteins helps strengthen muscles, which reduces their risk of tearing or straining.

These show that healthy sleeping habits prevent not only the occurrence of injuries but also their recurrence.

Proven Tips to Sleep Better at Night

Exercising

When searching for things to help you sleep, regular exercise is one of the first ideas that come to mind. However, working out shortly before going to bed can make it difficult to fall asleep due to adrenaline and epinephrine production that promote alertness. If working out at least three hours before bed, do relaxing routines like stretching.

Managing light exposure

When it is dark, the brain produces melatonin, which regulates the sleep cycle. The hormone reduces when there is light, which increases alertness. Get exposure to natural light during the day and reduce blue light exposure during the night to maintain the circadian rhythm. Do not watch TV or use a backlight on devices when it is almost bedtime.

Proper nutrition

Avoid nicotine or caffeine in the afternoon, consume light meals in the evening, do not take alcohol at night, and reduce refined carbs or sugary foods. All these can interfere with your ability to sleep deeply.

Creating an ideal environment

You cannot learn how to sleep better without creating a conducive environment in your sleeping area. Lower the temperature in the bedroom, remove sources of noise, invest in a comfortable bed, and avoid working in your bed.

Consistency

Develop a pre-bed routine where you clear your mind, even if it means taking a relaxing bath. Try to sleep and wake at the same time, and avoid long or irregular naps during the day.

In addition to the above sleeping patterns, keep pets from getting with you in bed and prioritize sleep like you do your career and other activities. Healing sleep is one of the best recovery techniques that is often overlooked and underrated despite its effectiveness. Many physical therapists are now infusing sleep therapy into their daily services, and it helps with the quick discovery of the underlying issues. It is still essential that you find out whether the pain or injuries you have are caused by lack of enough sleep or other conditions.

At CP Health, we focus on sleeping habits when determining our patients’ history to ensure we give you the right treatment. We also make sleep muscle recovery therapy part of the therapeutic plan to provide you with the holistic approach you deserve. Contact our qualified therapists today, and we will help you live a pain-free life.