We are all waiting to turn our clocks back next weekend for that extra hour of sleep. We are constantly on the go and have lots of responsibilities to keep up with in our lives, thus causing sleep deprivation. Sleep is important. Did you know that while you sleep your body releases growth hormones that help build bones and improve your joints? It also helps to regulate other necessary hormones needed for fertility. Brain function is improved by getting more sleep providing creativity, motivation, concentration, and preparing us for learning. Adults should get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. School aged children and teens should get at least 10 hours a day.

A lack of sleep can cause several health concerns including depression, body aches, lack of concentration. It can cause weight gain leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Many patients who report lack of sleep to their physicians undergo a sleep study and many are given CPAPs to wear at night. These are machines that improve the oxygen to the body allowing for improved circulation resulting in resting of the body.

If you have uncomfortable sleep, it is important to talk with your physical therapist about ways to relieve discomfort when you are in bed. Using the proper pillow and support between your legs are ways to improve relaxation and maximize restful support of your body. The type of mattress you are using can play a role in the support your body gets while you sleep. Poor support of a mattress leads to poor position of the spine and can cause pain and stiffness.

Physical therapists have a wealth of knowledge about ways to make your sleeping environment relaxing, comfortable. They can provide you with information on the best ways to support your body with sleep to maximize relaxation and improve your sleeping habits.

Dr. Jen O’Connor DPT, physical therapist is the Owner of Health Track Physical Therapy. She can be reached at 507-413-6284.

Load comments