Sleeping Away your Pain

We know your type, you go above and beyond to advance, progress, and accomplish. You are up at dawn and burn the midnight oil to get ahead. And when an injury presents itself, you work with your physical therapist to recover, whether it be attending every visit in the clinic or doing your home exercise program ten times per day!  However, something you may not have considered, is how sleep deprivation can play into your recovery.

Sleep deprivation is widespread. The CDC considers it a public health problem. It is estimated that up to 90% of sleep pathologies are undiagnosed! Think you sleep well and long enough already due to tracking your sleep? Don’t be too sure. In trials of over 80 sleep tracking devices (think Fitbit) worn by consumers, only one withstood a clinical trial. Most of the devices overestimated sleep duration and quality and underestimated awakenings at night.

Sleep helps you recover. A recent article in Physical Therapy, a professional PT research journal, reviewed the correlation of quality sleep to injury rehabilitation. Not only does sleep increase cognitive function as we’ve heard so often, but it also facilitates increased immune function and tissue healing as well as decreased perception of pain.  Imagine, get your 8 hours of solid shut-eye each night and feel no pain (well, OK maybe just less pain)

We can help maximize your comfort to get more sleep! Our professionals know how to make you more comfortable at night. While we are not sleep specialists, we do know how to position you for maximum comfort in that recliner after shoulder surgery or baby that back to get as much deep sleep as possible.

Daily exercise aids sleep as well. This article reminds us that regular moderate exercise has a positive benefit on sleep quality as well. A physical therapist can recommend specific exercises which will be safe to perform, even if you have some limitations. A HARTZ PT, we also provide our signature Medically Adapted Gym and our Better Bones, Better Balance Class designed to help you achieve your goals.  Improved sleep may be a side benefit of trying out these programs.

Sleeping is crucial to your recovery and quality of life. So next time you find yourself skimping on sleep, do yourself a flavor and get a little shut eye. It might help you more than you realize.

Works Cited: F.Al-dughmi, Catherine, et al. “Sleep Health Promotion: Practical Information for Physical Therapists .” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 18 May 2017,

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