How Sleep Effects Recovery and Injury Prevention

Waking up in Pain


We’ve all had that experience when we were feeling sick and someone said, “Go lie down, sleep it off.” Isn’t that our #1 go to when we are feeling down. But why? What is it about sleep that helps us feel better?


Sleep Helps our Body Repair and Regenerate

According to Hawaiipacifichealth.org, our body needs time to recover. Our muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and growth plates are working hard to help us get through our day. They need to take a break, sleep gives our body the time it needs to rest.

In fact, when our bodies don’t get the rest they need, our risk of injury greatly increases. Studies have shown that for teens in grades 7-12, sleeping fewer than eight hours a night can almost double their risk of injury. Sleep effects injury prevention because it allows our bodies to rest, repair, and regenerate.

It makes sense that our bodies need time to rest. But what exactly is going on while we sleep?


What Happens While You Sleep?

There are a few things that happen while you sleep that directly impact injury prevention and recovery. The first is blood flow. Ortho Carolina explains, “As you fall into the deeper stages of sleep, your muscles will see an increase in blood flow, which brings along oxygen and nutrients that that help recover and repair muscles and regenerate cells.”

Sleep effects your hormones as well. “When the body enters its deep sleep stage known as non-REM sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth. When the body doesn’t get enough rest, the secretion of this growth hormone declines, and it can become harder for your body to recover from injuries.”

Lack of sleep also effects the hormone prolactin, which regulates inflammation. When you don’t get enough sleep, prolactin production decreases which increases your likelihood of inflammation. This impacts injury recovery and puts you at risk of further injury. So, what else happens when you lose out on sleep?


Effects of Sleep Loss

Mike Hughes, a sports and exercise Physiotherapist, explains that loss of sleep impairs your growth hormone release and muscle protein synthesis. This means your ability for skeletal muscle adaptation and repair is negatively impacted. Sleep loss impacts your ability to recover from injury because it prevents your body from healing properly.

John Hopkins Medicine says “When people don’t get enough sleep, their health risks rise. Symptoms of depression, seizures, high blood pressure and migraines worsen. Immunity is compromised, increasing the likelihood of illness and infection. Sleep also plays a role in metabolism: Even one night of missed sleep can create a prediabetic state in an otherwise healthy person.”

Sleep is so important to your overall health and wellness, and it directly impacts your injury prevention and recovery. But you’re still struggling to sleep at night. Here are some tips for getting better sleep.


How Can I get Better Sleep?

There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep:

Keep a  consistent schedule. Go to sleep and wake up within a 30-minute timeframe every day. This will help your body get into a rhythm and know when to start preparing for sleep.

Reduce your screen time one hour before going to bed. It’s tempting to throw on a movie or scroll through social media right before going to sleep, however, screen time does have a negative impact on your ability to fall asleep.

Cut out caffeine in the evenings. Caffeine causes your body to wake up, not fall asleep.

Finally, it might be time for a new mattress. In order to get good sleep, you need a firm mattress that provides proper spinal alignment and a soft mattress that provides pressure relief. Most mattresses can only provide one of those things.

Intellibed with Gel Matrix® is the first mattress that is both firm and soft at the same time. With medical origins, Intellibed is the perfect mattress for injury prevention and recovery. It provides a surface that gives you proper spinal alignment, so you won’t wake up with pain. But it also provides a soft, comfortable surface that gives you pressure relief, so you won’t wake up stiff.

Sleep is so important for your health, why not invest in a mattress that will provide you the very best sleep. To read more about the importance of restorative sleep, click here: Why You Should Care About Restorative Sleep