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Published: April 15, 2021

Sleep and Back Pain

Recently there has been much reported on sleep, health and wellbeing. Research has shown that poor sleep is not just a result of pain but also a cause of persistent pain in otherwise healthy adults. Meaning there is a reciprocal and interdependent relationship between pain and sleep.

Sleep is an essential part of life, like eating and drinking, and when your body does not get the sleep it needs it can react. It does this by creating an inflammatory response which can make you feel tired, sick and cause pain. If you already have pain, poor sleep can prevent your body healing as quickly, delaying the recovery time or even leading to chronic pain.

Time length of time needed for sleep is dependent on the person. If you get less than six hours it has been shown to lead to worsening or back/neck pain. The average healthy adult gets 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

Here are some basic tips to improve your sleep –

Routine –

Your sleep schedule is important, establishing a regular bedtime and build a good routine in the lead up. Wind down, avoid bright screens in the hour or two before you go to bed as these can alter the sleep-wake cycle.

Diet –

Reducing your sugar and refined carbohydrates intake over the day can improve sleep quality. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine has also been shown to improve sleep patterns.

Exercise –

Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

Nap –

A nap in the day can lead to improved sleep at night but try and avoid after dinner napping in the evening.

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