April 12

The Importance of Sleep

Why are you waking up tired in the morning? Why are you not sleeping well?

Sleep occupies approximately a third of our lives – and is a crucial aspect of our functioning. Sleep is critical to human recovery and supports cardiovascular function, immune function, cognition, pain modulation, and tissue healing.

Without adequate sleep, people can experience increased pain, loss of function and reduced quality of life, depression, anxiety, difficulty with attention, and impaired memory among other impairments. Reduced sleep quality impacts all areas of your life – from work to personal relationships.

There is an increasing amount of evidence demonstrating that chronic insufficient sleep quality can contribute to the development of many chronic health problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes and increases your risk of injury, accidents and falls.

So how can you optimize your sleep routine?

  • Try to be consistent with what time you go to bed and get up in the morning
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and relaxing
  • Remove electronics from the bedroom, or limit screen time before bed.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Get some exercise in during the day.
  • If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing and return to bed once you feel ready for sleep.
  • Use a bedtime routine such as taking a warm shower or bath, meditate or read.

Sleep Positions & Pillows

In addition to putting good habits to use, it’s important to consider the surface you sleep on. Most people will invest in a good mattress that supports the spine during sleep. However, often we overlook another important aspect – your pillow. Depending on what type of sleeper you are, will determine the type of support your neck needs for a good, supported sleep.

Back Sleeper

If you tend to sleep on your back, do you snore? If you do, it could be that your pillow isn’t supporting your head enough and allowing your head to sink backwards – this results in the tongue falling back and blocking the throat which can result in snoring. If you’re a back sleeper you need a pillow that offers an appropriate height and neck support.

Stomach Sleeper

If you’re a tummy sleeper, you may wake up with the occasional neck and back discomfort, because this position puts more strain on these areas. However, having the right pillow can help to negate some of these issues. A softer pillow that does not force your neck into an odd angle is a better option for you if you prefer to sleep this way.

Side Sleeper

If you’re a side sleeper, you’re in the majority. A pillow with adequate cervical (neck) support will be key to keeping your neck in a neutral and supported position all through the night.

This can seem a bit overwhelming with all the options on the market these days. If you have been to our clinic lately – you may have noticed that we now stock 6 different pillows that are tailored to your specific measurements and sleep style. Pillowise pillows come in a variety of shapes and sizes to get the most optimal sleep support.

Whether you struggle with neck pain, headaches, are recovering from a motor vehicle accident, have TMJ pain, or not, you can benefit from having a pillow tailored to your needs.

If you are struggling with an injury and your pain is interfering with your sleep – we urge you to book an assessment with one of our physiotherapists so that we can help you get back to feeling like yourself, and functioning to the best of your abilities.

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