Injured? You Need Sleep!

https://valleysleepcenter.com/During a good night’s sleep, our bodies produce various hormones that play important roles in the healing process, including growth hormone, melatonin, and cortisol. If you’re injured, make sure you sleep on it! Now, you’re probably wondering what is a “good night’s sleep?” It ranges anywhere between 7-9 hours of length, but we also need to consider the sleep quality to give it a fair explanation. Sleep quality depends on many factors such as temperature of the room, body temperature, nutrition, caffeine consumption (for some), and more. Furthermore, your hormone cycles will be impacted depending on the way you recover.

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone, as the name suggests, helps with the growth and repair of tissues in the body, including the healing of injuries. It is produced in the pituitary gland during deep sleep and is essential for tissue repair and regeneration. It may vary between individuals, but trends show that the largest release of growth hormone is released if the first block of deep sleep before midnight.1 One question you can ask yourself is, “Am I sleeping at a good time?”

 

Melatonin

Melatonin is another hormone that is produced during sleep by the pineal gland. It helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and has antioxidant properties that help protect cells from damage.2,3 Studies have shown that melatonin can also have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with the healing process. Melatonin is highest in concentration at night and is timed with sunrise and set. This can also be taken over the counter in the form of a supplement, but would recommend consulting with your physician and sleep specialist regarding if it’s appropriate for you. See below for local recommendations in Arizona.

 

Cortisol

Cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone,” is produced by the adrenal glands and helps regulate our body’s response to stress. It has both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory effects on the body, depending on the situation. During the healing process, cortisol can help reduce inflammation, which is a normal part of the body’s response to injury. However, chronic stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can interfere with the healing process and even cause tissue damage. It just so turns out that exercise can be a great way of helping to normalize your cortisol levels.4 One study highlighted how a 12-week aerobic training program was able to help reduce cortisol levels in the participants leading to an increase in total sleep time.4,5

 

Sleep Interruptions

On the other hand, interrupted patterns can have a negative impact on the production of these hormones. When we don’t get enough deep, restful sleep, our bodies produce less growth hormone and melatonin, which can slow down the healing process. Additionally, interrupted sleep can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can increase inflammation and delay healing. Some of the best ways of reducing sleep interruptions include the following:

  1. Exercise – as mentioned above this can help regulate hormones like cortisol, which can impact your total sleep duration and stress levels
  2. Find a consistent sleep time – your brain not only responds well to adequate amounts, but to regular patterns as well.
  3. Limit caffeine intake – this applies for most individuals, however consuming caffeine too late into your day and evening can interrupt your cycles. Opt for an herbal or decaffeinated beverage if you prefer to have a beverage.
  4. Eating – try to avoid eating a large meal, especially if you experience symptoms of acid reflux.
  5. Alcohol – Limit consumption close to bed time because it can impact your cycles
  6. Nicotine – Limit nicotine products close to bed time because this can stimulate you and impact your cycles

More recommendations can be found here.

 

Wearable Technology

While we don’t endorse any product specifically, we have heard and seen some companies out there making big waves. Sleep tracking and biometrics in general have been gaining in awareness, especially among recreational and professional athletes looking for ways to improve recovery and rest.

Whoop Strap – Offers a wrist strap with sensors that track your body signals including heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, movement at night when sleeping, and more!

Oura Ring – Offers similar sensors in their tech to the Whoop strap, however this is a really nice ring design instead of a wrist strap. Sleep Foundation

 

Local Recommendations In The Arizona Valley:
  1.  https://valleysleepcenter.com/
  2. https://sleeplessinarizona.com/

You can also find more information at the Sleep Foundation. You can learn about the contributors as well as read up on their articles. All great stuff!

We know that sleep is important, but it’s often not discussed how or why. Getting enough restful sleep is crucial for the production of hormones that play important roles in the healing process. Interrupted sleep can have a negative impact on these hormones and delay the healing process. This makes it especially important for recovery with rehabilitation during your physical therapy visits. So make sure to get enough sleep and create a sleep-friendly environment to help your body heal.

For any questions on this post or inquiries about our services, email Info@pushthroughperformance.com or call (480) 945-0088.

About the author: Dr. James Babana is the owner of Push Through Performance which is a physical therapy and recovery clinic located in Troon North of Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

Citations:

  1. Abbas Smiley, Stephen Wolter, Dana Nissan. Mechanisms of Association of Sleep and Metabolic Syndrome. J Med – Clin Res & Rev. 2019; 3(3): 1-9.
  2. Fatemeh, G., Sajjad, M., Niloufar, R., Neda, S., Leila, S., & Khadijeh, M. (2021). Effect of melatonin supplementation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Neurology. doi:10.1007/s00415-020-10381-w
  3. Reiter, R.J., Mayo, J.C., Tan, D.-X., Sainz, R.M., Alatorre-Jimenez, M. and Qin, L. (2016), Melatonin as an antioxidant: under promises but over delivers. J. Pineal Res., 61: 253-278. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpi.12360
  4. Len De Nys, Kerry Anderson, Esther F. Ofosu, Gemma C. Ryde, Jenni Connelly, Anna C. Whittaker, The effects of physical activity on cortisol and sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 143, 2022, 105843, ISSN 0306-4530, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105843.
  5. Passos, G.S., Poyares, D., Santana, M.G., Teixeira, A.A., de, S., Lira, F.S., Youngstedt, S. D., de Mello, M.T., 2014. Exercise improves immune function, antidepressive response, and sleep quality in patients with chronic primary insomnia. BioMed. Res. Int. 2014, 498961 https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/498961.

 

Author

Dr. James Babana

PT, DPT, Owner & Founder

We help you stay in the game for longer, providing rehabilitation with a bridge to performance. This makes us perfect for anyone trying to attain and maintain an active lifestyle.

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