Sleep is something that we all need, and the quality of sleep we get can have a huge impact on our daily lives. When we’re well rested, we’re usually more productive, nicer to be around, and generally better at handling the challenges of the day, but it’s estimated that around 30-50% of the global population will suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. People who regularly get a bad night’s sleep may not consider physiotherapy when they’re looking at ways to tackle the issue, but it’s actually a great way to address the underlying cause of poor slumber.
Physiotherapists look at the body as a whole in order to determine why patients are not getting as restful a night as they need. After asking questions to determine if there are any external factors such as stress or worry causing issues with sleep, physiotherapists can examine a patient physically to make sure their posture isn’t hindering their rest. It’s also a good idea to develop a ‘sleep routine’ – rather than turning the television off and going straight to bed, or worse – sitting in bed on your phone – you should start winding down about an hour before you intend to sleep. You could also engage in relaxation exercises throughout the day in order to combat the risk of stress building up.
Exercise also helps with sleep, and your physiotherapist can work with you to develop a program to increase your activity. Engaging in exercise under the advice of a physiotherapist has the added benefit of helping to work out in a way that minimises the strain to your body, thus shrinking the risk of injuries that could also disrupt your sleep.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy has put together the below poster in order to raise awareness of how position and bedding can help you to get the best night’s sleep possible (click on the image to enlarge):
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