Trouble sleeping is nothing new but how do you solve sleeping issues? While not getting a good night’s sleep is problematic for many families, the dangers are well known. Could a lack of sleep actually be killing you?
While there are many causes for poor sleep, the health effects are well documented. Impaired sleep can dramatically weaken your immune system making you more vulnerable to illness. It has also been shown that poor sleep accelerates tumor growth. In addition a lack of sleep can cause a pre-diabetic state, triggering food cravings and low energy. There is also the well known factor of memory loss. A recent report from Science Daily showed that people who suffer from chronic insomnia are 2-3 times more likely to die from any cause due to sleep impairment. In short nothing positive comes from poor sleep.
A good night’s rest not only leaves you feeling refreshed but it physically recharges and heals your body. Think of a poor night sleep as forgetting to charge your phone and then expecting it to perform well the next day. So what can you do, naturally, to improve sleep?
What effect does Chiropractic care have on insomnia? Let’s answer this by first stating that Chiropractic is not a treatment for any specific condition. Chiropractic’s goal is to relieve areas of stress and misalignment in the spine. If the insomnia is caused by or aggravated by misalignment’s in the spine then Chiropractic care would be very helpful. To determine whether this is a Chiropractic case simply call your local Chiropractor and get an evaluation. I have seen many cases where the patient reports less pain and better sleep following Chiropractic care.
What can I do naturally to improve my sleep? These 5 things will get you on the right track to a good night’s rest.
Sleep in the dark. It is incredibly important to sleep in a room that is both quite and completely dark. Given the increase of electronics, there are plenty of distractions such as clocks, phones, computers and TV. These need to be turned off, out of sight or put in another room.
Exercise regularly, 30 minutes 3-5 times per week. A good workout decreases anxiety and can improve sleep. Try to exercise in the morning, exercising to close to bed time can actually make you more alert.
Avoid work before bed time. It is ideal to stop doing work at least 1 hour before sleep. That hour or so will help calm and relax your mind. Also try not to watch TV or use electronics during your unwind time as that can stimulate your mind.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine. While some alcohol will may help you relax, alcohol has a sedative effect which helps you close your eyes but not truly sleep. It can disrupt your sleep wake cycle, so when you awaken you still feel tired and groggy. Caffeine can also delay sleep or cause you to wake up before you need to and is best to be avoided.
Consider a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a natural chemical in your brain that regulates sleep. This chemical is normally regulated by sunlight or the lack sunlight. Ideally sunlight first thing in the morning would trigger wakefulness and night time would trigger sleep. With today artificial lights and electronics our melatonin production can be impaired. A melatonin supplement can be a gentle way to increase sleepiness and sleep for a longer period of time.
Hungerford Chiropractic & Wellness Center
Serving the greater Grand Rapids area; Standale, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville
Grand Rapids, MI 49534