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  • Writer's pictureJon Duellman PT

4 Things to Know about Sleep

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

We all cherish sleep and eventually learn how important it is to how good we feel and how well we perform. Let's confirm some of the basics here today. So here are 4 points to consider when trying to earn some Zzz's.

#1 How much is enough sleep?

The National Sleep Foundation suggests between 7-9 hours for healthy adults. We can aim for eight hours, but each person has their own ideal amount of sleep - some more, some less. Seven hours can be enough for some people. Listen to your body as you get a good nights sleep and find out what works best for you.

#2 Sleep is more than physical rest.

Sleep is not just for resting our bones and muscles recover. While this does occur, it is more important for our organs and our brain. It provides a low stress state that can help us consolidate memories, digest food, and many other functions of our organs. Sleep alone is a great destress machine when used properly. Unfortunately, too much can lead us the wrong way, too.

#3 Lose Weight while you sleep.

This seems counter intuitive with all the recommendations for diet and exercise for weight loss. However, optimal sleep improves our metabolism. More specifically impaired sleep is limits the efficiency of food breakdown which is correlated to Type 2 Diabetes. Thus, poor sleep has a relationship to other factors in our health.

#4 Poor Sleep = More Pain

Adding stress to your life while injured or recovering makes the process much more difficult. In physical therapy practice, we see this often. A patient recovering from an injury has a day with increased stress (hungry, work stress, lack of sleep, etc.). Their pain is going through the roof. Doufas and authors studied the effect of sleep on pain using questionnaires. In this study, they saw a correlation in ratings of pain and sleep throughout their work. This means that sometimes pain is exaggerated when we have more stress including lack of sleep.


  • Aim for 7-9 Hours of Sleep

  • Sleep is more than physical rest and assists with organ and brain function

  • Optimal sleep improves our metabolism. Poor sleep is related to diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

  • Poor Sleep is a stressor to the body. Increased stress can make your pain worse.

There you have it. Here are a few tips to understand and improve your sleep. Rest well, my friends.



1. “National Sleep Foundation.” Sleep.Org, National Sleep Foundation,

2. Doufas, Anthony G., et al. “Concordance of Sleep and Pain Outcomes of Diverse Interventions: An Umbrella Review.” PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 7, 2012, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040891.

3. Haghayegh, S., Khoshnevis, S., Smolensky, M. H., Diller, K. R., & Castriotta, R. J. (2019). Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 46, 124–135.



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