The importance of sleep is often overlooked. When I do not sleep well, it affects how I feel mentally and physically. If I stay up past the normal time I go to bed, typically no later than midnight, then I am usually affected for the next day or two. My thought process, physicality, and mood are all affected.
This is also a pattern I have seen with my experience as a physical therapist. People tend to feel better when they sleep better. I can always tell when someone with a concussion starts to get back into their normal sleep pattern, because they arrive more energetic, more color in their face, and personality in their eyes…and they are feeling better too.
Pain is strongly related to our thoughts and cognitive activity. So, if we know that sleeps affects our ability to think and we feel sluggish, then doesn’t it make sense that it can affect pain too? It would also make sense that it affects our physical performance, whether with a sport, exercise, or just movement throughout the day – walking, opening doors, lifting boxes, sitting in a chair.
Everyone has different sleep needs, so it is important to find out what you need and be consistent every night.
Here are two good reads about sleep: