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The Keys to Getting the Best Night's Sleep Ever

Why is Sleep Important?

The benefits of sleep go beyond waking up feeling refreshed and being ready for the day ahead. Sleep has a major impact on your health and overall quality of life. Sleep is instrumental in maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as regulating ghrelin and leptin; our appetite hormones.

Sleep stages 3 and 4 are where we experience our deepest sleep and the body is able to recover much more effectively:

  • Blood pressure drops
  • Energy is restored
  • Our organs recharge
  • Tissue growth and repair happens
  • Hormones, such as growth hormones to help growth and development, are released
  • Blood supply to our muscles is increased
  • Our bodies recover from exercise

 

Having Trouble Sleeping?

Trouble sleeping is one of the most common complaints of American adults. As a society, we get far less sleep than we need. As a result, we suffer from excessive fatigue, poor concentration, higher instances of illness, and more negative side effects.

What are the causes of poor sleep?

  • Poor mattress and/or pillow
  • Too much caffeine intake
  • Snacking before bed
  • Too much alcohol
  • Too much stimulation (i.e. the television or computer)
  • Smoking cigarettes (especially within 30 minutes of going to bed)
  • Stress (relationships with loved ones, work problems, financial problems)
  • An injury or health ailment (i.e. sleep apnea, insomnia, etc.)

 

There may be other factors at play in which chiropractic care can help. Since chiropractic care is mostly viewed as a means for managing back pain, many people fail to understand its importance in improving your sleep. Chiropractors focus on your spine, correcting any misalignments that are present and boosting the spine’s overall health.

What does this mean for sleep? It means that pain and tension that build in the spine may be released, and the more comfortable the body, the easier it is to relax and fall asleep. Chiropractic care also enhances the body’s central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is a key player in allowing efficient function of the body. The more efficient your body, the less wasted energy, and the easier it is for your body and mind to wind down and fall asleep.

 

Tips for Getting Better Shut-Eye

  1. Get Chiropractic Adjustments

 7 out of 10 of patients who receive regular adjustments are able to fall asleep much quicker and have deeper, more restful sleep.

  1. Exercise

Daily exercise will not only give you more energy during the day and help with maintaining a proper weight — it will help you sleep better as well. Avoid exercising right before going to bed, your increased heart rate could interfere with getting to sleep.

  1. Caffeine

Avoid caffeine particularly in the afternoon and evenings as this too can interfere with sleep.

  1. Avoid eating late at night

It is best to have your final meal of the day by around 6:00 p.m.

  1. Watching TV 

Avoid watching T.V. or using your computer, tablet, video games, or smart phone for at least an hour prior to going to bed. Use this time to wind down, relax, meditate, sip an herbal tea, read something spiritual, or wash your face and brush your teeth.

  1. Make sure your mattress and pillow are supportive

Make sure your pillow is not pushing your chin into your chest or bending your neck to an angle different from its natural curve. Not only could you wake up with a sore neck, but this could lead to snoring and other disruptions of your sleep. There are even specially designed pillows to help properly support your neck while you sleep.

  1. Create a proper environment for sleeping

Today our bedrooms are not even close to being proper sleeping environments — they’re more like entertainment centers! We have TVs, computers, and other electronic entertainment devices in our bedrooms. Electronic devices give off a lot of light in the blue spectrum that can suppress melatonin production and interfere with your sleep. Ideally you want to sleep in a dark environment, the darker the better. Your pineal gland produces melatonin and serotonin, and even the faintest bit of light can disrupt this and throw off your internal clock. Invest in blackout shades or drapes, close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights. Even something as faint as the light from an alarm clock could be interfering with your sleep.

Sleep in a cool environment. When your body reaches stage 2 of the sleep cycle, your body temperature automatically lowers. This is the part of the reason why scientists believe that a cooler bedroom is most conducive to a good night’s sleep. Studies show the optimal temperature to be between 60 to 68°F. Warmer or cooler temperatures can lead to a restless sleep.

 

Chiropractic Care Can Help You Sleep Better

Sleep issues are rarely independent occurrences, they are usually traceable to various physical, mental, or chemical stresses. Many of these issues can be treated through chiropractic care. Adjustments in the neck area have a direct impact on the sleep center of the brain. Chiropractic adjustments restore the proper nerve supply to your muscles which reduces muscle tension and spasms. Sleep is a very important and often overlooked aspect of our health. Lack of sleep and sleep deprivation have a direct effect on our abilities to perform everyday tasks, and can impair our health.

If you are suffering from lack of sleep due to stress, anxiety or depression, specific adjustments to the upper neck will increase the nerve supply to your limbic system. This is the part of your brain that is responsible for emotions, behavior, motivation, and long-term memory among other things. Restoring the nerve supply to your limbic system will help you manage your stress.

 

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