The Connection Between Sleep and the Spine
By Sara Butler
When it comes to taking care of your spine, you probably think you’re doing all the right things. You see your chiropractor regularly, you eat right, and you practice good posture and proper lifting techniques. You would call yourself a savvy spine patient! But you may be missing something really important if you think you have good spinal habits but still experience back pain: sleep. Here’s how rest can impact the health of your spine and what you need to do.
The Silent Stress Epidemic
Stress is tough on your body, both emotionally and physically. When people experience stress, many of them hold it in their muscles, which means it tightens things up and can lead to discomfort and pain. Stress can also make you more sensitive to the pain you do experience.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that 66 percent of people visit their doctors and chiropractors every year with some issue related to stress. Over half of people report their stress levels to be moderate to high. All this stress will soon cause you to crash and burn, with your body taking most of the damage.
One of the best things you can do to help manage stress in your life is to get restorative sleep at night, but the National Sleep Foundation reports that as many as 33 percent of adults don’t get enough sleep at night, and that has more of an impact than just making you tired – it can hurt your spine.
Sleep and Spinal Health
When you rest at night your body is using this time to restore energy. When you get enough rest it has a positive impact on nearly every system in your body, improving your immune system, memory, an ability to learn, and healing.
When it comes to your spine, getting enough rest at night allows for the muscles that spend all day supporting your spine to rest and relax. These muscles work all day long to support your entire body by supporting your spine, so they need rest -- and lying down in bed allows them to find it.
Resting at night also allows the discs between the bones in your spine to rehydrate so they can do their job properly to absorb shock and aid in flexibility. When they aren’t hydrated, they can’t do their job right.
So, getting your eight hours of sleep per night isn’t just good for you mental health, it’s good for your physical health too. If you need help understanding why you’re not getting enough sleep at night, discuss it with your chiropractor during your next visit to The Joint.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.