When I was chronically ill I knew I needed sleep to heal pain . The problem was one of the "symptoms" of my illnesses (Fibromyalgia, Benign Hypermobility Syndrome) was the inability to achieve deep sleep. If you have been in pain you know the cycle.... you can't get to sleep because of the pain and you can't heal the pain because your body NEEDS deep sleep to restore and heal itself.... It is no fun and it seemed like I was going to be on that circular ride for life.
As the following article from CNN by By William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D. points out, "Overlooking the single most important thing you can do for your health is easy with all the clamor surrounding various health products in the marketplace. But good-quality sleep goes far and beyond those products when it comes to restoring your health. And best of all, sleep is free.
Organizing your life so you get the highest quality sleep possible is well worth the effort. And quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality: You may sleep for many hours, but if your sleep isn't deep enough, or if your sleep cycle is disturbed, you may still be at greater risk for illness. A simple way to gauge the quality of your sleep is to see how refreshed you feel when you wake up.
Part of sleep's effect lies in hormones. During deep sleep, the production of growth hormone is at its peak. Growth hormone speeds the absorption of nutrients and amino acids into your cells and aids the healing of tissues throughout your body. The hormone also stimulates your bone marrow, where your immune system cells are born.
I tried several methods to achieve deep sleep. Ambien and Lunesta were prescribed by my doctors and I took those several times each but did not want to be dependent on pills for deep sleep. I went the "natural" route and took Valerian (YUCKO and didn't work for me) and Melatonin (worked sometimes). Finally I went the audio route and saw great results. The main trouble (besides my pain) was when I was lying down at night my mind was ALL over the place.... my list for the next day, what I forgot to do that day, how if I didn't sleep I'd feel horrible the next day..... There are several audio programs that promise good sleep but few that guarantee it . Improve your sleep and you will see a serious improvement in your health and energy levels.
I now fall asleep fast and sleep deeply. I know deep sleep is responsible for part of my healing process. If you want to read about what else helped me you can check out my ebook or visit my web site: http://www.thankfulformyhealing.com