Pain is not a word that’s often thrown into the conversation on poor sleep, even though poor sleep can lead to muscle and joint pain. Instead, a conversation on poor sleep ushers in thoughts of bags under your eyes, a cartoon animal taping his eyelids open, and sluggishness that’s only fixed with a cup of coffee. But those pesky bags under your eyes are the least of your worries when poor sleep is a nighttime ritual.
Poor Sleep & Pain Go Hand-In-Hand
Research proves that poor sleep:
- Lowers your pain tolerance
- Increases the intensity of your pain
- Increases your chances of experiencing chronic pain
What the above bullets mean is that poor sleep changes your resiliency to pain, and it alters how acutely your pain is felt. Even though pain is enough of a reason to strongly consider tackling sleep issues, there are a few more facts about poor sleep that might further incentivize you to make proper sleep a priority:
- Weight gain
- Decreased concentration
- Decreased productivity
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of stroke
- Increased inflammation
- Higher likelihood of experiencing depression
- And more!
Are you creating a vicious cycle or a rewarding one?
You’ve likely heard someone say to think of your body as a car and as everything you consume as fuel for your vehicle. The word consume tends to make people think of food and beverages, but it also includes sleep. When following the ‘your body is a car’ analogy, you can think of poor sleep like a car that’s idling for longer periods than necessary (i.e., the car isn’t turned off and resting). When a vehicle idles too long, it wastes gas, burns oil, and can lead to deterioration of the head gasket and spark plugs, among other things.
“My life is stressful,” you insist. “I can’t turn my mind off,” you admit. These comments are valid, but they’re also issues that you can address through nutrition. What’s impressive about fueling your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs is that these nutrients help your body and brain cope with stress. So, in other words, proper nutrition enables you to be more resilient to all life’s stressors, which in turn can help you sleep better.
To battle poor sleep and all its ugly side effects, overhaul your diet. Make proper nutrition a priority by asking yourself, “Would my ancestors call what I’m eating food?” And if you plan to reach for a sleep aid, do your research. Find one from a reputable company with proven results; choose a sleep aid like Truehope’s Inositol.
Nutrition and sleep create either a vicious cycle or an incredibly rewarding one– and the choice of which cycle to perpetuate is yours.
Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach