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New Year, A Well Rested You!


Sleep. It’s one of those things we all know we need, but don’t get enough of. A lack of sleep can cause an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, and decreased immune function. Sleeping 5 hours or less per night has been shown to increase mortality risk by all causes by 15% (1). As you can see, a lack of sleep does more than just cause exhaustion!


You may be surprised to learn that chronic pelvic pain and sleep are related. In one study, they found that 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain had poor sleep quality (2). Findings from other studies suggest that “efforts to prevent and treat chronic pain may be well served to target sleep disturbance as a point of primary prevention and intervention” (3). Sleep affects pain tolerance, so if you’re not sleeping well, you might experience greater discomfort than you would otherwise.


Getting enough sleep can be easier said than done, but following some basic sleep hygiene steps can be beneficial to start getting a more restful night’s sleep. Here are a couple that I recommend to my patients:

  1. Follow a consistent sleep/wake routine. If you can, wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Yes, that means even on the weekend!

  2. Exercise. Movement helps to tire the body and let it know it needs rest. Be mindful of when you exercise though, as working out too close to bed time may make falling asleep more difficult.

  3. Relax. Find a pre-bedtime routine that you enjoy that helps you come down from the day’s activity. Activities like journaling, reading, a breathing or light movement practice are good ways to unwind.



These are just a couple ways to help improve sleep, but if you’re looking for more information, I’d encourage you to look here.


As the new year takes off, I hope you can see how important it is to make improving your sleep a top priority. Here’s to a year full of waking up refreshed!

 

References:

  1. https://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-and-disease-risk

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1470959/

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046588/




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About Michelle

Michelle is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Webb Physical Therapy, located in Lawrence, Kansas.  She's worked in PT for close to 10 years, and believes each patient should be treated with a holistic, whole person approach to healing.

She is devoted to helping her patients develop individualized treatment plans to help them achieve their specific goals.

Call (785) 813-1338 for a free 15 minute phone consultation, or email WebbPelvicHealth@gmail.com

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