Sleep Can Help Wounds Heal Faster
People believe a lot of different things about sleep, and it has long been rumored that getting a good night’s sleep will actually help you to heal faster when you have suffered an injury.
But then again, people have always held strange, almost mystical beliefs about sleep.
Did you know that the Egyptians believed that dreams could foretell the future? In fact, in the Egyptian Dream Book, a papyrus that dates back to the reign of Ramesses II that was found not far from the Valley Of Kings, dreams were
recorded in detail.
The bad dreams, however, were written in red... and many historians believe that this is because the ancient Egyptians believed that their dreams contained messages and visions about events to-come.
Well, science has yet to prove that dreams hold information about the future... but they have figured out that sleeping can indeed help wounds to heal faster.
Here is what you need to know.
How Sleep Helps You To Heal Faster
In a study that was conducted by a researcher named Tracey smith, a nutrition scientist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, it was actually shown that sleep helps wounds to heal faster even better than added nutrition does, though this was not necessarily the outcome that researchers had hoped for.
The study was published in the journal Applied Physiology. The idea behind it was to help figure out how to heal sleep-deprived soldiers in the field faster and more efficiently... but it did not turn out quite like the researchers had planned.
The original idea was that better nutrition would speed up healing time, despite a lack of sleep... but that was not necessarily what happened.
The study involved 56 volunteers. All of them were given blister-type sores to begin the study, and they were all monitored so that researchers could record who healed the fastest. Sixteen of them were allowed to get a normal amount of sleep, while two groups of 20 were both kept sleep-deprived.
One of the sleep-deprived groups also got a nutritional drink which was packed with proteins and vitamins, while the other sleep-deprived group got a placebo drink.
But at the end of the study, it was those who had slept the most who healed the fastest. It took about 4.2 days for the blisters to fully heal on those who had gotten adequate sleep, while it took about 5 days for the volunteers who were sleep deprived to reach the same state.
It also seemed like there was no difference between those who had consumed the drink and those who didn’t. Sleep seemed to be the only thing that made any difference.
Did the Extra Nutrition Help at All?
Those who consumed the extra nutrients through the drinks didn’t seem to experience any ‘clear benefit’ from doing so. But, when scientists tested the fluid from the wounds, they found that those who drank the nutritional supplement drinks did, in fact, show a stronger immune response at the wound... though this did not speed up the healing process.
Some researchers have speculated that it is possible for nutrition to help speed up the healing process, and that this small study did not offer enough time to see exactly how effective nutrition can be at helping to heal wounds.
Though it is still clear that when you compare nutrition and sleep, sleep is still the more effective option.
You still need nutrition, of course, to keep your body healthy. But in the short term, it would seem that packing in extra vitamins and minerals won’t do you much good.
In the end, the fact of the matter is that there seems to be no substitute for sleep if you want your body to heal itself as fast as possible. While vitamins and nutrients can possibly help to speed up recovery, it would still seem that sleeping in to get some extra Zs is the real key to faster healing.
Published On August 19, 2018 | By SDA Editorial Staff