The Importance of Sleep – From an Oakville Physio

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It’s international sleep day.

Most people don’t consider the importance of sleep, until it becomes an issue. In our Oakville Physiotherapy and Wellness Clinic we see many people where sleep is problematic.

Our Oakville Physiotherapists see people who have their sleep disrupted by painful conditions, acute injuries, or even after surgeries such as rotator cuff repair and total knee replacements. Our pelvic health physiotherapist may see a post party patient who is up feeding their little one often, while at the same time they are trying to recover from delivery. Our Yoga Therapist may see people who has their sleep disrupted by nightmares or anxiety and worry.

This lack of sleep can become a cyclical problem. It is important to break that cycle. Your Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist or Yoga Therapist in conjunction with your GP can assist in strategies to help with sleep based on what is impacting it the most.

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Sleep is a basic human requirement. We need sleep, just like we need to eat, drink, and breath. Adequate sleep is important for a persons health and well being. Being deficient in sleep and lead to both physical and mental health problems, injuries and a decreased productivity. Sleep deficiency can even cause a greater risk of death.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, or have poor quality of sleep you will often feel tired during the day. You may not feel refreshed and alert in the morning, like you would expect with a regenerative sleep. This is often what people with sleep apnea will describe, that they sleep a “full” night but don’t feel refreshed.

Areas of your life such as school, work, driving, social function may be affected with sleep deficiency. It can impact your ability to learn, think, focus, and react. You may feel frustrated and react more intensely in social situations.

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Adults and children may differ in the signs and symptoms or sleep deficiency. Children with deficient sleep may actually seem over active with problems paying attention. They’re actually fatigued but trying to stimulate themselves. They may misbehave in school. Sleep apnea in children related to tongue or lip tie can be explored in a trained paediatric dentist.

Why is Sleep Important:

  • Your Brain and Emotions – sleep helps your brain function. Your brain solidifies new pathways and things learned the day before. Sleep helps with controlling your emotions and behaviour. Children and adults who sleep well are better able to self-regulate and respond appropriately in social situations.
  • Physical Function – sleep helps your body repair and replenish. This is important at all times but especially important when you are recovering from an injury or even athletics training. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked with other health issues. It is linked with increased risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Safety

The US National Heart and Blood Institute explores these areas in more depth HERE.

We will follow this up with a blog post related to how best support your sleep. The take homes here are that sleep is important. If you have consistent sleep deficiency and aren’t after an adequate amount of sleep those issues should be addressed in support of your overall health. If sleep apnea is the culprit, it should be explored as to why you have sleep apnea as well. Go deeper. Is it a tongue tie? Is it related to your weight and body habitus? Do you wake with nightmares and anxiety? Are you woken up due to pain? Many people jump to easy solutions such as sleeping pills without exploring the root cause and addressing that. We encourage you to go deeper and discuss it with your GP, your respirologist, your Physio and your Psychological support.

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