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 have a role in determining your back health?
As you sleep, the body performs a wide variety of important tasks. These tasks include the release of anti-inflammatory agents, production of hormones, and regeneration of tissue. If you fail to get enough sleep, the body cannot perform each task fully, which may have an impact on the health of your back.
In this post, our London Chiropractor will explain why sleep is important for back health and share some simple tips for getting a great night’s sleep.
Our London Chiropractor Shares How A Good Night’s Sleep Helps Your Back
Sleep posture and its impact on back health
Many of the patients visiting our London chiropractic clinic – MotionBack for chiropractic care do so because of back issues. 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 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.
Another great option is to sleep on your back with a thin pillow under your head (or no pillow at all). Some people find that placing a pillow beneath their knees while in this position is useful for reducing lower back pain.
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 of our team of chiropractors at MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic.
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 reduces stress-induced muscular tension
It’s not uncommon for patients visiting our chiropractic clinic to be suffering stress. One of the most common symptoms of stress faced by our patients is muscular tension. It often affects the muscles in the upper back, causing pain and potentially affecting the patient’s posture. Sleep can reduce the level of “stress hormones” which trigger muscular tension, helping to avoid this common problem.
Sleep can affect your weight
Some of patients 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.
Sleep can help with weight loss in several ways, including:
- Improved hormone regulation
While sleeping, your body regulates hormones relating to appetite. This means that getting more sleep can dampen appetite and make you less likely to crave high calorie foods.
- Lower blood sugar levels
One of the symptoms of stress is higher than normal blood sugar levels, which can contribute to obesity. Getting more sleep eases stress, lowering blood sugar and making weight loss easier.
- Affects your resting metabolism
Insufficient sleep has been shown to decrease resting metabolism, which can impair weight loss. A good night’s sleep will help to ensure your metabolism is working correctly.
Our London 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 back.
- Exercise every day
- Increase bright light exposure during the day
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine within 6 hours of your bed time
- Keep regular sleeping hours
- Avoid napping during the day
- Avoid alcohol
- Unwind by taking a bath
- 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 back health, make an appointment with MotionBack Chiropractic Clinic in London by calling 0207 112 5408.
Take your first step to better health and get in touch today.
The Team at MotionBack Chiropractic
The Leading Central London Chiropractors
Serving Holborn, High Holborn, Chancery Lane, Covent Garden and Kings Cross