The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of injury recovery. There are some scientific reasons for why that is the case. One reason is that deeper phases of sleep result in increased blood flow to the muscles. This brings nutrients and oxygen to those tissues that will help them repair and recover by regenerating cells within the muscles. Another reason relates to hormones. The deep stage of sleep, or non-REM sleep, results in the pituitary gland releasing growth hormones that can stimulate the repair and growth of muscles. When you do not get enough quality sleep, the secretion of growth hormones declines, making it more difficult for your body to recover from injury. Another hormone that comes into play is prolactin. Prolactin helps to regulate inflammation, and it is also released during sleep. Inadequate sleep may result in increased inflammation throughout the body, which may hinder injury recovery and put you at risk for additional injuries.
Natural Sleep Aids
With all that in mind, and knowing how important sufficient quality sleep is to our physical (and emotional) well being, here are some items that may help facilitate a better night’s sleep:
- Weighted blanket. Weighted blankets have become very popular. They are said to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. The general rule is to find a blanket that is around 10% of your body weight.
- Ergonomic knee wedge pillow. These help side sleepers who suffer from back, hip, or knee pain. Some come with a strap that helps you turn over in the middle of the night and not lose the pillow amidst your sheets and blankets.
- Sleep mask. Masks that are silky and lightweight are easiest to adapt to. Still, some people are never able to adjust to wearing a mask to sleep.
- Blackout shades or curtains. Alternatives to a sleep mask are blackout shades or curtains that completely block light that may be disturbing your sleep. Heavy curtains also help to muffle some outside noise and provide a bit of temperature insulation as well.
- White noise machine. These provide ambient noise, which can help drown out any sounds that might disturb your slumber. Look for a product with non-looping audio. Many are equipped with fan sounds, and nature, rain, and ocean sounds.
- Earplugs. If the white noise machine just doesn’t cut it, you can also try flexible foam earplugs to block out most noise. Just be sure not to sleep through your alarm.
- Breathable PJs. The best sleepwear is 95–100% cotton pajamas – because of the breathable fabric, these will keep you cool. Many of us suffer from poor sleep when the temperature is too warm.
- Snore strips. If you have allergies or any nasal congestion that affects your easy breathing, try these.
- Melatonin. A staff member here at AutoAccident.com recently raved about Good Day Chocolate sleep supplements. They are tasty chocolates in a candy shell that contain just 1 mg melatonin each. The label has a helpful guide on how many to take, but if you have never used melatonin or any other sleep aid and would like to give it a shot, you can start with one. It may be a placebo effect at that low of a dose, but it’s a delicious one. These chocolates are often sold in much smaller and less expensive packages, near grocery checkouts.
- Celestial Seasonings SleepyTime Extra. This tea contains valerian root, which is an herbal supplement that many say helps them relax and fall asleep, even after the most stressful day.
Watch the YouTube video below, featuring relaxing sounds to help you fall asleep faster.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
Thanks for reading. I’m Ed Smith, and for nearly 40 years, I have been a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. Throughout that time, I have tirelessly advocated for those who have suffered injuries due to others’ negligence. I am happy to answer any of your questions or provide free and friendly advice. Just dial (916) 921-6400, or, if you will be calling from a non-local phone, our toll-free telephone number is (800) 404-5400. In the alternative, you can fill out our online form.
Photo Attribution: https://unsplash.com/photos/5NzOfwXoH88
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