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Recovery Tip

Did you know that your core muscles, which are the deepest layer of your tummy muscles, should work at all times to brace and protect your back? These muscles switch off due to pain and it takes 50,000 repetitions before they work automatically again to protect your back!

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Sleep Hygiene and Pain

A good night’s sleep isn’t just for getting rid of those under-eye circles. It can give you energy for the day, a positive mood and even lower your risks for things like mental health issues [i],[ii], heart disease [iii],[iv], being injured or dying in a traffic accident[v],[vi] and even helps you to live longer[vii].

Research has shown that sleeping well decreases pain in both health people, people suffering from acute injuries and people who suffer from chronic pain[viii].

Chronic pain can create a nasty catch-22 with sleeplessness. When you have pain, it means that your sleep time is decreased and your quality of sleep is poor. This means tiredness the next day, which can make you irritable and can amplify your pain experience. More pain, less sleep. Repeat until exhausted.


So how can we break the cycle?

Dr Michael Nicholas, a clinical psychologist from the University of Sydney’s Pain Management Research Institute, talks about the ways in which we can all get better sleep, here:




Maintaining activity levels can go a long way to helping you sleep soundly, but there are more things you can do to make sure you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. These habits are called ‘sleep hygiene’.

Things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene include (but are not limited to)

  • Not consuming caffeine in the four hours before bed
  • Turning off all screens at least two hours before bed
  • Only getting into bed for sleeping and sex
  • Maintaining a regular bed time and wake up time
  • Exercising earlier on in the day, rather than later
  • Maintaining good quality sleepwear, bedding and pillows


How does your sleep hygiene stack up? Take the quiz here: http://www.queendom.com/tests/access_page/index.htm?idRegTest=728
(You don’t have to create an account, unless you want to save your results)


Happy snoozing readers!


[i] Tanaka, Taira, Arakawa, Masuda, Yamamoto, Komoda, Kadegaru & Shirakawa. 2002. An examination of sleep health, lifestyle and mental health in junior high school students. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 56 (3) 235-6.

[ii] Luik, Zuurbier, Hofman, Van Someren & Tiemeier. 2013. Stablity and Fragmentation of the Activity Rhythm Across the Sleep-Wake Cycle: The Importance of Age, Lifestyle and Mental Health. American Journal of Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwu245

[iii] Gottlieb, Redline, Nieto, Baldwin, Newman, Resnick & Punjabi. 2006. Association of Sleep Duration with Hypertension: The Sleep Heart Health Study. Sleep. 29 (8), 1009-1014

[iv] Davidson, Mostofsky & Whang. 2010. Don’t worry, be happy: positive affect and reduced 10-year incident coronary heart disease: The Canadian Nova Scotia Health Survey. European Heart Journal. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehp603

[v] Papadelis, Chen, Kourtidou-Papadeli, Bamidis, Chouvarda, Bekiaris & Maglaveras. 2007. Monitoring sleepiness with on-board electrophysiological recordings for preventing sleep-deprived traffic accidents. Clinical Neurophysiology. 118 (9), 1906-22.

[vi] Young, Blustein, Finn & Palta. Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Motor Vehicle Accidents in a Population-Based Sample of Employed Adults. 1997. Sleep. 20 (8), 608-13.

[vii] Dew, Hoch, Buysse, Monk, Begley, Houck, Hall, Kupfer & Reynolds. 2003. Healthy Older Adults’ Sleep Predicts All-Cause Mortality at 4 to 19 Years of Follow Up. Psychosomatic Medicine. 65 (1), 63-73.

[viii] Smith & Haythornthwaite. 2004. How do sleep disturbance and chronic pain inter-relate? Insights from the longitudinal and cognitive-behavioural clinical trials literature. Sleep Medicine. 8 (2),  119-32.