Most people know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but many don’t realize just how important it is. Sleep plays a crucial role in our physical and mental health, and skimping on sleep can have serious consequences.
If you want to get better, you need to give your body the time and opportunity to do so. That means getting enough sleep each night so that your body can properly heal and rejuvenate. Depending on your individual needs, that might mean sleeping for seven or eight hours each night, or even nine or ten if you’re recovering from a particularly serious injury.
Why Is Sleep So Important for Recovery?
When you sleep, your body goes through different stages of sleep.
The first stage is when you are falling asleep and your muscles are relaxing.
The second stage is when your heart rate slows down and your body temperature decreases.
The third stage is when you are in a deep sleep. This is when blood flow increases and growth hormones are released.
These growth hormones help to repair and grow muscles. If you do not get enough rest, the secretion of these growth hormones decreases and it becomes harder for your body to recover from injuries.
Sleep can lower stress levels
Sleep helps with recovery by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol breaks down tissues in the body for energy, which is the opposite of what growth hormones do. So, by lowering cortisol levels, sleep allows growth hormones to more effectively rebuild injured tissues.
In addition, sleep can help reduce stress and improve mood, both of which are important during the recovery process. So if you're looking to speed up your healing, be sure to get plenty of rest.
Do You Need More Sleep When You Are Recovering from Injury?
Yes, growth hormones need to be released in greater amounts when our body is healing from an injury. These hormones are released during the ‘deep sleep’ phase of your sleep cycle, which recurs approximately every 90 minutes.
More hours spent asleep means more ‘deep sleep’ phases, leading to higher hormone levels.
Getting more hours of sleep will ensure an ample supply of growth hormones for injured tissues.
Feelings of fatigue and tiredness during the day may be your body telling you to get more sleep.
Sleeping is crucial for injury recovery as it allows your body to fully rest and heal. insufficient sleep can delay the healing process and lead to complications. If you’re struggling to get enough rest, talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep habits.
Tips for Healthy Sleep
Sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being, yet many of us do not get enough. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When we are injured, we often need even more sleep to recover quickly. Unfortunately, many of us do not make sleep a priority, skipping it in favor of work or social obligations. This can have serious consequences for our health.
There are some simple steps you can take to get healthier sleep.
- Try to establish a regular bed-time and wake-time. Our bodies like routine and this will help to regulate your body's natural sleep patterns.
- Limit naps to 90 minutes and avoid them after mid-afternoon.
- Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening hours.
- Limit your alcohol consumption, especially in the evening.
- Avoid snacking at bedtime, especially on junk food.
- Keep pets off of the bed.
- Avoid screens (TV, phone, computer) for an hour before bed.
- You may also want to try meditation to help you relax and fall asleep more easily. There are many free apps or YouTube channels that offer guided sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for injury recovery. Not only does sleep allow the body to rest and heal, but it also helps to reduce stress levels and improve mood. If you are recovering from an injury, be sure to get plenty of rest and follow the tips for healthy sleep listed above. Your body will thank you.
At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.