You probably already know that getting a good night’s sleep is important for maintaining your energy levels throughout the day. But did you know that the quality of your sleep can also define your spinal health?
As you sleep, the body performs a wide variety of important tasks. These tasks include the release of anti-inflammatories, produces hormones, and promotes the regeneration of tissue. If you neglect your sleep, the body may not be able to perform each task fully, which may have an impact on the health of your spine.
In our blog, we explain why sleep is important for your spinal health and share some simple tips for getting a much-needed good night’s sleep.
SLEEP POSTURE AND ITS IMPACT ON BACK HEALTH
Many of the guests visiting our Clinic come for chiropractic care because of back pain. It often surprises many of them that their back pain has been brought about by poor sleeping habits. In most cases, they are sleeping in an unnatural position that has placed an excessive strain on their back — leading to inflammation, muscular tension and pain.
We always recommend that patients sleep in a way that allows the spine to retain its natural S-curve. The best way to achieve this is by either sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees or sleeping in a foetal position. These positions keep the hips, pelvis, and spine well aligned, which can improve your back health substantially.
It’s important to note that some sleeping positions are better for people with specific back conditions like degenerative disc disease or herniated discs. To learn more about the different sleeping positions and how they affect the back, talk to one of our team of chiropractors at Bolton Spinal Health.
SLEEP HELPS SPINAL DISCS REGENERATE
Spinal discs are fluid-filled rubbery discs which sit between each of the 24 vertebrae in the spine. They act as shock absorbers which prevent the bones from rubbing against one another. Spinal discs also help the body twist and bend.
During each day, there is a significant amount of compression on the spine due to gravity. As the day progresses, this causes fluid to be lost from the spinal discs. The body uses the time you spend sleeping to send nutrients and fluid to the discs, rehydrating them so they are prepared for another day of movement.
Sleeping well can help support the health of your spinal discs and may help you avoid a variety of common back problems.
SLEEP GIVES YOUR MUSCLES TIME TO RE-ENERGISE
The body will use the time you spend sleeping to heal and strengthen muscles. Getting plenty of sleep will ensure that your body has time to achieve this task, which can help improve the resilience and strength of your back.
SLEEP CAN AFFECT YOUR WEIGHT
Some of guests who visit our clinic complaining of lower back pain are slightly overweight. Their excess weight places more strain on their back and affects their posture, which can contribute to back pain.
We often advise these patients to improve their sleep habits. As not getting enough quality sleep can affect their weight which in turn leads to other health issues such as back pain.
OUR CHIROPRACTOR’S TIPS FOR GETTING A GREAT NIGHT’S SLEEP
Here are some simple tips which will help you sleep better each night and enjoy a healthier spine.
- Exercise daily
- Increase bright light exposure during the day
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine within 6 hours of your bedtime
- Keep regular sleeping hours
- Avoid napping during the day
- Avoid alcohol
- Make your bedroom sleep-friendly (quiet, calm, and comfortable)
- Reduce blue light exposure from electronic devices at night
- Get a high-quality bed/mattress
- Calm your mind by meditating or stretching before bed
- Obtain chiropractic care to deal with any painful issues keeping you awake
To learn more about the importance of sleep for spinal health, make an appointment with Bolton Spinal Health in Bolton by calling 01204 848 887.