Physical Therapy

Let’s Talk About Sleep

Let’s talk about sleep 🤤

It’s no secret that being a student can impede on your sleeping patterns.

However, it’s not just students that lack adequate sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there’s an estimated 50-70 million Americans that “chronically suffer from a disorder of sleep and wakefulness, hindering daily functioning and adversely affecting health and longevity” (wowzers!).

The NIH continues to explain the adverse effects of lack of sleep can increase the risk of developing hypertension, diabetes (not stated, but most likely Type 2), obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

Lack of sleep has also been seen to hinder PT services. It can slow down the recovery process, impact outcomes, and perpetuate their condition by affecting their physical and mental health. Lack of sleep is also seen in patients with chronic pain.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends that an adult should get 7 or more hours of sleep for every 24 hours. If you’re finding it hard to have a peaceful night sleep, one way to combat this is to practice good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene is a term that is being more common in the PT world. It is the behaviors and environments that promote good sleep quality, such as bedtime routine, exercise, diet, and your sleeping environment.

Some tips for instilling good sleep hygiene:
try to go to bed at the same time every night.
cut caffeine after 3 pm.
get rid of electronic devices and TV at least 30 mins before bed.
have a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm shower.
use your bed just for sleeping-that means no studying in bed, students

I know it can be hard for the 7+ hours of sleep that is required. However, if you’re having difficulty with chronic pain, mental focus, or memory, adding in sleep hygiene might help you improve your daily functioning for the next day. PTs are recognizing this correlation and educating their patients more about the benefits of sleep and ways that can give you a more peaceful night sleep.

This is something I’m personally working on and I challenge you to do the same

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