Get Straight to Sleep
If approximately one-third of our lives are spent in bed it makes sense to consider the necessary steps involved to ensure our body achieves quality sleep and there are many safe and natural methods to maximize and enhance sleep. Good lifestyle habits are the first step to getting a good night’s sleep. Try these steps at home:
1 Consider your intake of stimulants (eg coffee, tea, chocolate, coffee flavoured ice cream), stimulating herbs (eg ephedra, guarana), and over the counter and prescription medications. Consider your current sugar intake. Too much of any of these things can make sleep elusive.
2 In particular, avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can cause waking in the night and interferes with sleep quality.
3 Ensure you have a comfortable supportive mattress and pillow. Speak to your local doctor of chiropractic for specialist advice on choosing the right mattress and pillow for long term spinal health.
4 Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, but avoid high intensity physical exercise just before bedtime. If exercising in the evening, try to do so at least 2-3 hours before going to bed.
5 Follow a routine to help relax and wind down before sleep, such as reading a book, listening to music, or taking a bath.
6 If you can’t fall asleep and don’t feel drowsy, get up and read or do something that is not overly stimulating until you feel sleepy. This is a wonderful opportunity totry some meditation or relaxation techniques.
7 Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to take naps during the day because naps may make you less sleepy at night.
8 Did you know that poor spinal health and musculoskeletal conditions can prevent you from obtaining a good night’s sleep? Have your spine checked and adjusted by your chiropractor to ensure proper spine and muscle function.
9 Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime however, may help you sleep.
10 Stress related sleeping disorders may result in teeth grinding which in turn can cause headaches. Sleeping with a dental night guard will eliminate grinding and its effects and potentially assist with the process of sleep. Chiropractors can also adjust the jaw and cranial bones helping to prevent grinding.
11 Eliminate any ‘white noise’ in your room. Turn off television and other loud electrical appliances and make your sleeping place comfortable.
12 Adopt a healthy posture in bed. Don’t sleep on your stomach – this puts unnecessary pressure on your neck due to twisting of the head, and also strains your lower back. Lying on your back and side are the best sleeping positions.
13 If you have trouble lying awake worrying about things, try making a “to-do” list before you go to bed. This may help you to let go of those worries before you go to sleep.