How Sleep Deprivation Impedes Proper Recovery from Injuries

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How Sleep Deprivation Impedes Proper Recovery from Injuries

How Sleep Deprivation Impedes Proper Recovery from Injuries

By Elllie Porter, The Sleep Health Institute 

 

There is a reason that your doctor tells you to get a lot of rest when you are sick or injured. Your body uses the time while you sleep to rebuild itself from a cellular level. Getting enough rest is especially important when you are injured because there is a lot more for your body to repair. Here is how not getting enough rest can make it harder for your body to recover and make you more likely to get hurt in the first place.

Decreased Recovery Time

When you rest, your brain triggers the release of a variety of hormones that help to encourage tissue growth and repair your blood vessels. This helps your wounds and your muscles to heal faster without drawing too much energy from the other functions that your body needs to do. When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t have that energy to work with.  This makes everything harder.

Because there are fewer demands on your body while you sleep, your body can make more white blood cells that will help to fight off any viruses or bacteria that might have come into contact with.

When you aren’t sleeping enough, your body doesn’t have the time or energy to create them, let alone fight off the diseases you encounter. This puts you at a higher risk of infection  and will make it much harder for you to heal in the long run.

Increased Risk for Re-Injury

When you don’t sleep well, you aren’t going to make good life choices. This can lead to you getting back out onto the field or gym floor before you are really ready, or doing things that can re-injure you. You’re also going to be clumsier simply because you are tired.

Overall, it’s best to listen to your doctor when it comes to recovering from an injury – especially when they tell you to get a good night’s sleep.  But how can you improve your sleep?

How to Improve Your Sleep

Pad your Injured Area with Pillows

In addition to supporting your full body, you’ll want to support the area you’ve injured while you sleep. Pad it with extra pillows and blankets. This will help you to avoid re-injuring it by twisting in your sleep or getting kicked by a partner or pet while you sleep.

Make Sure Your Bed Is Comfortable

The older we get, the more support we need in all facets of our lives. However, one place you always need support is in your mattress. If you are regularly waking up with aches and pains no matter how well you sleep, it’s probably time to replace your mattress. Mattresses should be replaced every 6 to 10 years in order to get the support that you need.

Set A Bedtime Routine

Setting a routine for before bed can help you to relax enough to fall asleep very quickly after you hit the pillows. It doesn’t have to be complicated-just relaxing. 

 

 

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Comments 1
  • Diana
    Diana

    Great article!

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