There are several lifestyle factors which can have a significant impact on the health of your spine. They include your posture, workplace ergonomics, diet, habits, and exercise routine.
However, one of the most important factors is the quality of your sleep. A good night’s sleep can work wonders on the back, reducing inflammation, relieving chronic pain, and promoting healing.
At our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent, we always emphasise the importance of sleep and offer patients tips on improving their sleep.
In this post, our Stoke chiropractor shares some of the reasons why sleep is important for spinal health, along with several tips for improving the quality of your sleep.
How Sleep Helps Your Back
Sleep is essential for human health. When you are sleeping, the body performs dozens of important tasks which help you grow, heal, and survive. These tasks range from the elimination of waste through to the formation of new neural pathways in the brain. Some of the tasks that are particularly important for the health of the spine include:
Researchers have found that sleep plays a role in determining immune system function. It also affects the behaviour of immune system signalling molecules called cytokines.
In simple terms, the better the quality of your sleep, the less likely it is that your immune system will cause high levels of inflammation. Additionally, better quality sleep means that waste is removed more efficiently, which helps to alleviate chronic inflammation.
This is important for the health of the back because many spinal conditions are related to inflammation. Inflammation plays a role in everything from sporting injuries and herniated discs through to arthritis. That’s why patients visiting our chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are often advised to get plenty of quality sleep.
You only have to look in the mirror after a good night’s sleep to realise how important sleep is for healing. When you get plenty of rest, your skin will look better, your eyes will be glowing, and you will feel stronger. This occurs because your body has had plenty of time to perform essential repairs.
Healing is obviously important when you are dealing with an injury or disease affecting the spine. That’s another reason why our chiropractors recommend getting a good night’s sleep to patients at our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent.
Sleeping on a comfortable mattress with good posture can help your spine relax and straighten out after a tough day. It gives your muscles time to relax and takes some strain off connective tissues.
Improved Intervertebral Disc Health
The spine has 24 intervertebral discs between the vertebrae. They are fluid-filled discs which act like shock absorbers, protecting the spine’s vertebrae, nerves, and connective tissues. They also provide additional structure for the spine and help it facilitate movement.
As you move about each day, a small amount of fluid is lost from your spinal discs. When you go to sleep, the body will rehydrate your discs and prepare them for the day that lies ahead. Getting plenty of sleep helps to ensure your body has sufficient time to rejuvenate your spinal discs fully.
Getting A Good Quality Night’s Sleep
Here are a few simple tips for getting a restorative and restful sleep which helps your back:
- Keep regular bed times
Going to bed and waking at the same time each day will make it easier to enjoy a restful sleep. Consider using tools on your smartphone to develop a sleep routine.
- Make your bedroom peaceful and comfortable
Your bedroom should be a warm, quiet, and relaxing area of your home. Remove distractions like bright lights and noisy appliances.
- Get a new mattress
If your mattress is over 8 years old or has been causing you pain recently, it may be time for an upgrade. A mattress can have a dramatic impact on your health, so it is worth spending money on a high-quality product.
- Avoid “high energy” foods before bed
Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages and foods high in sugar before bed as they will make it difficult to get to sleep.
- Don’t use electronics before bed
Electronic devices emit blue light, which can trick the brain into thinking it is still daytime. This can disrupt your sleeping patterns. Turn off your phone, tablet and laptop at least two hours before bed.
- Develop a wind down ritual
Get into the habit of performing several relaxing activities before bed, like meditating, taking a bath, reading a book, stretching, chatting with your partner, or listening to music. These activities will help you calm down and prepare for sleep.
- Visit a chiropractor
Have a chat with a chiropractor about your sleep habits. They will be able to identify areas for improvement and help you get a great night’s sleep.
Visiting City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent
If you need any help improving your sleep or are suffering from back pain, make an appointment to visit one of our chiropractors at City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke by calling 01782 848 184 or you can book online on our website here.