Israeli researchers have shown that a clear link exists between poor sleep and back pain. In a report just out, they determined that the link runs counter to what one might expect. While it may seem logical that someone with back pain would have trouble sleeping, the data indicate that lack of decent sleep results in a higher rate of back pain. The study showed that chances for people “in good general health, suffering from sleep problems, to have back pain are almost 150% higher than those who sleep well”. The link between sleeplessness and back pain is stronger for women.
Why this happens is still unclear, but the researchers do note that:
A person’s sensitivity to pain rises if that person wakes up too early or spends hours awake instead of sleeping, and often feels pain simultaneously and more powerfully compared to other people.
This has a major impact on workers’ compensation cases as back injury is arguably the largest component of worker claims, and is also a very common result of car and truck accidents and injuries. These are legitimate injuries—and you deserve compensation if injured—but it is in your best interest to attain the best physical recovery possible.
Surgical repair—if needed—and physical therapy will set you on the path to healing, but now you have another aid to wellness. The research findings note that integrated treatment for sleep loss and back injury may yield the best results for reducing back trouble.
If you have had a back injury, what can you do to get a better night’s sleep? Here are some key suggestions for serene rest:
Lose weight: One factor for irregular sleep is sleep apnea, which is linked with overweight. See our guide to healthy eating here.
Sleep in a dark room: Blue, green and white lights disrupt your sleep, as does external lighting. Cover or turn off devices with lighted displays, and shut out all light from outside with blackout blinds. If you don’t want to redecorate, large sheets of heavy craft cardboard can be placed in your windows at night and stowed under the bed during the day.
Stop using electronic devices late at night: Shutdown your electronics at least one hour before your bedtime. It’s best to quit playing with your phone or I-pad by 9 p.m., 10 at the latest. This way, your melatonin levels will rise naturally,and help you fall asleep more easily. You can also supplement melatonin, but if you let your body follow the natural rhythm of the day, your own body will produce melatonin when you need it.
Take a magnesium supplement: Inexpensive magnesium supplements also help you sleep. Many people are magnesium-deficient, and it’s essential for over 300 vital body functions. You can take magnesium in pill form, but you can absorb it very efficiently through your skin! Here’s a link for a simple way to make your own magnesium body spray. You can also add Epsom salts to your bath. Magnesium is not only great for helping you sleep, but it’s a stress reducer and helps you fight depression, too.
Avoid stress before bedtime: Don’t watch the local news at 11 o’clock! Save heavy discussions for daytime hours. Try a relaxing hot shower, aromatherapy, or relaxing music instead.
At Stillman & Friedland we work to get you the financial resources you need to compensate for your losses, and we also provide the latest information for your personal, physical and emotional recovery.
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