Sleep is at the core of everything we do. Mental health, physical health, and performance all lean on quality sleep. That’s why sleep is vital to recovery. No matter what you’re battling, without quality and consistent sleep, your body will not respond as well to treatment. This holds especially true for those recovering from balance disorders, vertigo attacks, and lingering dizziness.
As vestibular specialists, we can use top-of-the-line vestibular equipment and the latest protocols in treatment, but if our patients aren’t getting good rest on a consistent basis, then our treatment won’t be nearly as effective.
Fortunately, the path to a better night’s rest is not very challenging at all. An accumulation of many small changes in your habits will immensely improve your sleep. And your body will give you positive feedback almost instantly.
Will A Good Night’s Rest Cure Vertigo?
Poor sleep quality is a trigger for vertigo and other symptoms of balance disorders. But is the reverse true? Will a good night’s rest prevent vertigo or dizziness? Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to suggest that a good night’s rest will cure you of dizziness. However, quality sleep will help move your recovery in the right direction.
If we were to relate vertigo recovery to building a new house for you to inhabit, then sleep would be the foundation. It’s the concrete slab on which your new house is built. With a solid foundation, you can begin constructing the walls, laying a roof, and furnishing the inside – in terms of vestibular treatment this would relate to therapies such as gaze stabilization, balance training, and visual desensitization therapy.
But if you didn’t pour the foundation correctly, then it doesn’t matter how soundly built the rest of the house is. The foundation will sink, walls will crack, and eventually, you’ll be left with a mess of a house.
It’s vital to get your sleep habits right. With proper sleep, your body is more receptive to therapies and treatment. That’s why we guide all of our dizzy patients through the following best practices for better sleep.
Best Practices for Better Sleep
Ultimately, sleep comes down to consistent habits. There are dozens of things that can help or hinder your sleep. But these are not things you can change one time and go back to your old ways. In order to get better sleep, you make these changes habitual and automatic.
Best practices for better sleep are both about adding good habits and removing bad habits.
Bad Sleep Habits to Remove:
- Caffeine – Stop consuming caffeine after 2 or 3pm
- Bright Lights – Remove bright lights of any kind in your sleeping environment, but moonlight is okay
- Screen Time – Give yourself at least an hour break from your phone, TV, and other screens before bed
Good Sleep Habits to Add:
- Sleep Routine – Create a consistent sleep and wake pattern
- Wind Down – Participate in soothing or calming activities before bed, such as reading, crafting, taking a bath, etc.
- Chill The Room – Make your room cool or cold, preferably under 72º Fahrenheit
- UVB in the AM – Immediately upon waking up, go outside and soak up the sun’s rays for 20 minutes. Blue light (UVB) is important for signaling to our bodies to wake up. If it’s dark when you wake up, turn on your household lights.
- Delay Caffeine – Give your body about 60-90 minutes to wake up on its own before consuming caffeine
Take your sleep seriously. You shouldn’t have to be convinced of this. After all, you’ve likely seen how your life falls apart after just a night or two of poor rest. The reverse is true too. After a night or two of good sleep, you feel energized to conquer your day.
Start building your better sleep habits today because it’s a double-win. One, if you’re working through vestibular recovery, then you’ll find the treatment taking hold quicker. Two, better sleep habits will improve your overall quality of life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of dizziness or vertigo, then please reach out to us at (310) 683-4679 or by filling in our contact form here.
We hope to hear from you soon!
P.S. If you’re serious about building better sleep habits (whether in general or for vertigo recovery), then we recommend tuning into this video by Andrew Huberman, Ph.D. He is a neuroscientist and tenured Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. His advice is incredibly thorough and helpful.