We’ve all been there: You’re in so much pain; all you want to do is crawl into a cave and hibernate until it subsides. The desire to sleep pain away typically means wanting to “turn off” for a period and hoping when you “turn back on,” you’ll be back at 100%. And that’s exactly what we should be doing.
There’s a lot more to the idea of “sleeping it off” than we often acknowledge.
Sleep allows our body to do the restorative heavy lifting in our lives. The more sleep we get, more opportunity we have to reach the apex of our possible wellness. Therefore, sleeping it off is truly the best way for us to deal with pain in our lives. David Neumeyer, the associate director of the Sleep Disorder Center at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, says, “Pain and sleep are integrally connected,” and pain is “more common in people who have poor sleep, and it sort of becomes a vicious cycle.” It’s a Catch-22 of sorts, in that pain impairs your ability to sleep as well as your ability to recover from the cause of your pain.
One way sleep can help us deal with pain is through its regenerative processes. Biral Patel, MD, with Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas, makes this point by informing us, “During the sleep cycle, the body replenishes its energy reserves, trying to heal from things that occur through the course of the day, [thus] when you're not able to obtain effective levels of sleep, your pain can be worse." This supports the idea sleep is a time of restoration, essentially working to minimize or even eliminate the issues causing our bodies to ache.
But sleep isn’t merely reactive in its ability to reduce pain.
Getting good sleep can be a proactive way to ensure the pain levels we experience are limited, if felt at all. Thomas Roth, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, makes this claim, saying, “For people who don’t get enough sleep, sleeping longer decreases pain sensitivity.” Essentially, what this means is our bodies can focus during our sleep on strengthening our ability to withstand pain in the first place. This means getting 7–8 hours of sleep per night is imperative for pain alleviation and prevention. But there is a lot that goes into getting a good night’s rest.
After all, not all sleep is created equal.
It’s common knowledge 7–8 hours per night is the optimal sleep duration for adults. What we're only just beginning to understand is the optimal sleep temperature. The National Sleep Foundation says somewhere between 60–67 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature range for ideal sleep. One of the best ways to achieve this is by simply controlling your air conditioning. However, one limitation of using this method is air conditioning does not account for your body’s core temperature.
To get better, deeper, longer, pain-free sleep, utilize the revolutionary technology incorporated in the ChiliPad—a thin, temperature-controlled mattress pad that fits over your mattress and under your bedsheets. You can set the temperature to anything between 55–110 degrees Fahrenheit and immediately begin testing which temperature will lead to the most efficient and productive sleep cycles possible for you. Once you find the right temperature for your particular sleep needs, you will painlessly find yourself on a path to more restorative rest.