Back pain in everyday life: topic sleeping


We are pleased that with Luise Walther we have been able to win another author for the Parkinson Journal, who deals intensively with the topic of functional neurology and neuronal movement training. Today's post deals with the tiresome topic of sleeping and back pain.

back pain and sleep

When I'm asked what you can do about back pain, I always mention one aspect: sleeping. 
Just lying down is not enough. Restful sleep is essential and is often underestimated. Very few people are aware of the impact restful sleep can have on health and thus on back pain.
Good and sufficient sleep is one of the positive factors influencing health, along with regular exercise as needed Nutrition, more mindful Quality of life and enjoyment.
Sleep is used to regenerate your body and mind. It is not only a physiological but also a psychological reboot. Your sleep is a basic biological function. It is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and affects your entire body.
It is currently assumed that at least ¼ of adults sleep too little. From my experience with my customers, I would estimate the proportion to be significantly higher. Ask yourself how many hours you sleep regularly. There are different views on how much sleep is sufficient. Like everything, it is very individual. The general recommendation is between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. However, what is much more important is the quality of sleep. The proportion of so-called deep sleep is decisive for a healthy sleep. In this phase, the vital processes take place and our body regenerates.

vital processes

Vital processes take place while you sleep:

  • Nerve cells connect
  • Proteins are built
  • hormones released
  • Wound healing processes take place
  • Immune system stabilizes
  • regenerate cells
  • The brain sorts impressions and experiences of the day, discards and saves them

Influencing factors and sleep hygiene

Many factors influence your sleep. Again, every person and every nervous system is individual. Nevertheless, one can follow the following guidelines for sleep quality.

  1. Digital detox: Put away all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed. The bright, blue light in particular inhibits the release of hormones that are crucial for tiredness and healthy sleep.
  2. Cool Cave: Pay attention to absolute darkness in your bedroom, avoid flashing lights, standby lights or other light sources, ideally you use blackout blinds and keep the room pleasantly cool.
  3. Daily routine: Adjust your sleep times to a regular routine. Your brain adapts biochemically to the fixed sleep rhythm and releases the appropriate hormones and neurotransmitters in good time to prepare your nervous system for rest and relaxation.
  4. Minimum hours: Adults should sleep between 7 and 9 hours. There may be exceptions where even 4 hours of sleep is sufficient for individuals, but studies clearly show a link between sleep deprivation and performance. So give yourself enough time to sleep.
  5. Evening ritual: Your brain loves routines, which reduces complexity and creates security. So establish a calming routine - from an evening walk to diary entries to meditation or reflection with your loved ones, you can design it individually.
  6. Avoid coffee and alcohol: Avoid coffee for at least 5 hours before bed and avoid alcohol for 3 hours. These two substances in particular interfere with your biochemical cycle and do not allow your nervous system to shut down.  
  7. Breathe relaxed: During the day and in the evening, make sure you breathe in and out through your nose and keep your mouth closed. Waking up in the morning with a dry mouth or tight jaw indicates that you are sleeping with your mouth open and your breathing is not ideal. In this case, you can try taping your mouth shut with a finger-thick strip of kinesio tape.
  8. Mattress and pillow: Test for yourself what feels comfortable. There isn't one solution for everyone. Some like a hard mattress, others prefer a soft one. I love sleeping without a pillow, others need at least two. Test and try what feels comfortable for you.
  9. Your sleeping position: There is no wrong sleeping position. Lie down as comfortably as you can. Depending on anatomy and physiology, some like to lie on their backs, others on their sides. During the night you turn back and forth anyway. Find a sleeping position that relaxes you, bend your legs slightly, put a pillow between your knees, whatever feels good. Nothing is shortened or crooked by the sleeping position. Your body is strong and resilient! Even while sleeping.
  10. Mobilizes sleep: Do light mobilization exercises before you go to bed. Even a short, active evening routine takes tension out of the body and improves blood circulation. Pay attention to flowing and slow movements and pay attention to calm breathing. Become aware of the tension and relaxation. For example, progressive muscle relaxation is a good place to start.

For those who just can't sleep: even lying down quietly has a relaxing effect on the body. Then before lying down, it is worth gargling or humming for 2 minutes. Sounds weird, but it helps!

Author: Louise Walther, Aug 2022

All posts on the subject of mobility


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