Tips for Improved Wound Healing Through Better Sleep
A restful night’s sleep can promote efficient wound healing.
Sleep has immense healing powers, with the capacity to promote tissue development and ward against wound infections. In fact, researchers have found that it’s not just the amount of sleep but also the quality of rest that plays such a large role in the body’s ability to adapt and recover. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that subjects experiencing sleep deprivation had fewer capillary vessels and fibroblasts, which are essential for recovery, suggesting that poor sleep may inhibit the wound healing process.
With this in mind, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and getting restful slumber may lead to improved healing. Consider implementing some of these methods for getting better sleep:
Follow a relaxing bedtime routine
Create a nighttime ritual that promotes calm and relaxation to help ease you into bed at night. Such a routine can also alert the body that it’s time for rest. Avoid watching television, using the computer or looking at your smartphone late at night, as these can hinder sleep. As the Better Sleep Council notes, lighting created by screens can trigger a response in the brain that communicates to the body that it’s time to be alert and awake. Rather, read a book, listen to calming music or take a warm bath before bed each night.
Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary for sleep
Comfort is key to helping you sleep better at night and, in turn, promote efficient wound healing. Your room should be dark and quiet – turn to light-blocking shades and white-noise machines to help create this environment. Most people prefer the room to be a bit cool, but find a temperature that’s right for you. You might also turn to other comfort-boosting additions to your sleep space, such as body pillows and a body-conforming foam top for your mattress.
Avoid stimulants at night
What you put into your body has a great effect on how well you sleep at night. As the Mayo Clinic points out, it is not wise to go to bed either hungry or full, as each can cause discomfort and irritation that makes it hard to doze off. You may also want to avoid drinking large amounts of liquids in the evening, as this can disrupt your sleep by prompting you to rise and use the bathroom throughout the night.
You should also avoid caffeine in the evening, and cut nicotine and alcohol from your diet to promote a healthier sleep schedule. Both of these can also have a direct negative effect on wound healing.
Maintain a strict sleep schedule
Consistency can help you get better sleep every night. Make sure you go to bed and rise at the same times each day, even on holidays, weekends and other special occasions. Doing so helps to reinforce your body’s natural wake-sleep cycle. Sometimes, however, you will find yourself simply unable to drift off to sleep. In these cases, as the Mayo Clinic recommends, try to doze off for 15 minutes then get up from bed and do something to soothe your mind and body. Stressing too much about not being able to fall asleep can make it even harder to do.