Top 5 Fridays! 5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep


Learning about why people don't respond to traditional PT treatments and home programs has been my focus for the past several years. We all search for the next big thing to learn and add to our tool box, however learning what persistent pain patients have in common often means going back to the basics.

How well do they sleep, what is their nutritional profile, are they depressed? The longer people have been, the more it is associated with multiple comorbidities. 

While we as movement based clinicians cannot help with many of these problems alone, we can get patients started on the Road to Recovery. Sleep quality and quantity is one thing I ask about for those with recurrent injuries, or delayed/slow recovery. Here are 5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep.



1) Restrict daytime naps/lying on the couch before bed
  • initially, restricting time out of bed builds up sleep pressure, a greater amount of adenosine
  • going to bed with this build up means falling asleep faster and achieving more stable sleep at night


    2) Establish regular bed and wake up times
    • going to sleep at different times and waking on different times may decrease the overall quality and quantity of sleep
    • and yes, this includes weekends
    • set alarms not only for waking, but for the process of getting ready to sleep as well

    3) Do not lie in bed awake for significant periods of time
    • get out of bed and do something quiet and relaxing
    • try some mindfulness, if you're using an app, make sure to limit blue light!

    4) Avoiding caffeine and alcohol past 2-3 pm (sorry!)
    • both take hours to leave your system 
      • caffeine limits sleep pressure by competing with adenosine receptors, letting it build up
      • then after the caffeine is finally removed from your system, all the built up adenosine binds to the receptors, causing very strong sleep pressure
      • then you reach for more coffee and the cycle continues!
      • alcohol, being a sedative, knocks you out and reduces naturalistic sleep, you often have more short awakenings, too short to remember

    5) Remove visible clock faces from the bedroom
    • this reduces anxiety inducing clock watching at night

    The Eclectic Approach to Modern Patient Education is coming soon! It will be an online course taught by Dr. Andrew Rothschild dealing with education and recovery strategies for patients! If you're looking for information to help those with persistent pain and delayed recovery, you'll learn about sleep, mindfulness, pain science, nutrition and more!

    In the meantime, a game changing read for me was Why We Sleep, by Dr. Matthew Walker. Check it out for you, and your patients! The above strategies are taken right from this amazing text (it's even better as an audiobook). Click on the book to get it from amazon and help support our blog. It's an affiliate link so we will get some reimbursement from your purchase.







    Want an approach that enhances your existing evaluation and treatment? No commercial model gives you THE answer. You need an approach that blends the modern with the old school. Live cases, webinars, lectures, Q&A, hundreds of techniques and more! Check out Modern Manual Therapy!

    Keeping it Eclectic...

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