So, last week I wrote to you all about why the way you’re sleeping might actually be causing you aches and pains…
Now you know how to adjust your sleeping positions to prevent waking up with a sore back or neck, I thought it would be a good idea to keep on the topic of ‘sleep’ and how a lack of it, can actually be a source of low-back pain…
Let me tell you a story…
One of my dear patients Jean, 63, Sheraton, was once the talking point of her friends for choosing to go to sleep 7pm each night.
To most people sleeping at 7 seems ‘boring’, and they feel as if they’re ‘missing out’ if they choose to turn in early, but really, too many late nights can lead to serious health effects – I’ll get to that in a moment.
Anyway, up until the births of her two grandchildren, Jean’s sleep regime was consistent.
When her grandkids were born however, her sleep started to take a backseat… especially as she’d offered to look after them at least two nights per week – if only so that her Daughter could in fact catch up on HER rest.
Now Jean came to me about two months after the first sign of her back pain… and in her appointments she would mention that her back was causing her some discomfort and she couldn’t understand why, especially as she hadn’t been doing anything ‘strenuous’, or different from her day-to-day routine – other than a slight change to her sleeping pattern.
So, we decided to write down Jean’s typical day on a piece paper and identify what had changed to discover the root cause of her back pain…
Can you guess what the answer was?… the answer, late nights!
Instead of turning in for the evening at 7pm like she used to do, Jean had been getting to bed around midnight instead as a result of not making time for herself, and only focusing on looking after her grandchildren.
Now this is completely understandable, but the thing is, that depriving your body of sleep can impact every aspect of your health – including causing you unwanted back pain!
So why do late nights do this?
Well, your body’s sleep-wake-cycle is responsible.
Disrupting your body’s natural routine by going to bed late, raises your stress levels…
And increased stress levels cause tension in your muscles, triggering unwanted aches and pains.
Now, we all know that getting a good nights sleep is important for our health… and it might seem hard at first to get into the habit of sleeping earlier – especially if there’s some good TV on – but if you do, I’m sure that you’ll notice at least a drop in any “aches” and pains that you might have.
And even if you don’t have any now, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’d be nice to prevent them!
So, what’s one thing that you can do?… Aim for AT LEAST 7-8 hours of sleep by establishing a bedtime routine that gives your body a chance to unwind from the day’s stress and relax. Once you’ve established a schedule, stick to it every night of the week – even the weekends!
After Jean made a point of getting back into her regular routine again, and giving her body a chance to rest, guess what? With the help of some physio and the right exercises, her back pain was no more.
If you’d like more tips like this on how to ease back pain (or how to stop it from creeping up on you) visit my website here to download your free back-pain tips report that has helped hundreds of people just like you to live free from painkillers: http://www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain