Chiropractor recommendations for a good night's sleep--Part 1
Getting a good night's sleep is vital to healing. But often, our lifestyles make it hard to unwind and get into dreamland. Are you someone who often tosses and turns in bed and has trouble sleeping? Have you tried various sleep aids and still have sleepless nights? Well then, it's time to consider the sleep recommendations from chiropractors. Chiropractors are known for their spinal adjustments, but did you know they also suggest various sleep habits? Read on to understand how chiropractors can help you sleep better with some easy recommendations.
1. Proper sleep surface - A mattress plays a vital role in determining the quality and duration of sleep. Chiropractors recommend a firm mattress that supports your spine. You should change your mattress every ten years as it becomes soft and loses shape. Moreover, replace your pillow about every 12 months to ensure it supports your head and spine alignment. If you wake up with neck pain, there's a good chance you need a new pillow.
2. Sleep properly - Your position can also impact your sleep quality. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended as it stresses your neck and back. It's best to sleep on your back or side. Sleeping on your back may cause snoring or sleep apnea, so positioning on the side is the best option for people with these issues. It is also recommended that if you sleep on your side, you put a small pillow between your knees, and if you sleep on your back, put a small pillow under your knees to support your spine. If you need more clarification about your sleeping position, consult your chiropractor; they can help you figure out the correct position.
3. Stretch before bedtime - Adding stretching exercises to your bedtime routine can help you sleep better and wake up refreshed in the morning. Simple stretches like hamstring or seated hip stretches can help relax your muscles, promoting better sleep.
4. Avoid caffeine at least an hour before bed. More sensitive people may need to stop caffeine use around lunchtime. Listen to your body and do what is best for you.
5. Maintain a regular sleep schedule - Your body loves consistency. Therefore, you should maintain a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps your body adjust to the natural circadian rhythm and can optimize the quality of your sleep.
6. Ensure your bedroom is dark; even little lights from plugs/ cords and electronics can distract our sleep. They make stickers you can put over these lights if you can’t turn them off. The blue light emitted by your electronic devices signals to your brain that it's not time to sleep.
7. Make sure your room is a cool temperature. We sleep best when our body is cool. So having the room temp between 68-72 is ideal.
8. Having “white noise” in the background can also help us from hearing other random noises that occur in the night, distracting us from a sound sleep. Noise machines are great for this and an inexpensive option. They also come with multiple sounds like rain, fans, ocean, thunderstorms, and even noisy city if that comforts you. Having a fan on can also work to create white noise and get the circulation of air in the room. I don’t recommend you have it blowing directly on you, as this can lead to allergies, dry sinus, and airways. It can also lead to muscle spasms and torticollis.
9. Aroma Therapy can be quite beneficial to help you unwind. Lavender is the number one scent I recommend for its calming effects. You can find Lavender mist sprays to spray over pillows and beds, lavender-scented lotions, or even diffuse lavender essential oils in your sleep area.
10. Lastly, get your spine checked. Quite often, our sympathetic nervous system is over-activated and can cause us trouble with winding down for sleep. A chiropractic adjustment can help with that. The most frequent feedback I hear in my office from patients is that after they started care, their sleep improved significantly. On many occasions, poor sleep is caused by discomfort or stress, which chiropractic care can help with.
Better sleep equals better health. Implementing the recommendations of chiropractors can help you achieve better sleep quality. If you have sleep issues, talk to your chiropractor. They can help you obtain the correct diagnosis and suggest treatments for your specific needs. Start implementing these sleep recommendations today and see how they impact your sleep quality. Be sure to visit our next blog for more helpful sleep tips.