Many of our patients are battling to sleep. Besides interfering with your ability to work and function properly the next day, lack of sleep can cause an increase in pain. But sleep is important for so much more….

Disturbed/poor sleep affects persistent pain, anxiety, depression and the way you behave. It causes impaired concentration, delayed reaction times, increased stress, irritability, decreased postural control & balance, low energy levels and difficulty in word finding and speech.

The purpose of sleep is to improve energy conservation, healing, immunity, memory & learning and emotional regulation.

A lot of hormones are involved in regulating your sleep. Your Circadian Clock keeps human life synchronised with sun and daylight. We have a “Sleep Drive” which helps us to sleep. This is negatively affected by sleeping in, daytime napping, going to bed too early and drugs like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and some prescription drugs.

What can you do to improve your sleep?

·       Set a regular time each day of going to bed and awakening. The early morning sun helps set your sleep hormones.

·       Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine at night.

·       Turn lights, TV and computer off, one hour prior to bed time

·       Keep bedroom dark and cool

·       No children and animals in bed.

·       Park your ideas – put a note pad next to your bed and write down all last-minute thoughts – so the brain can let go and sleep

·       No daytime naps – they affect your evening sleep patterns

·       Aerobic exercise helps reduce stress chemicals in the body and thus helps you to sleep better

If you need help with improving your sleep, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Good luck to all of our patients who are writing exams! Remember to take regular breaks and do a bit of exercise each day to help you think more clearly.