Improve Your Sleep!
Sleep. We all know we need it. But for some of us, getting a restful night’s sleep can feel elusive. Between work, school, and family demands, it can feel impossible to take the time we need for sleep, much less incorporate a routine to wind down for sleep.
How much and the quality of our sleep plays a massive role in our overall health. Sleep is when our body heals and repairs, when it can take a break from all the functions it needs to prioritize during the day and focus on healing and restoration. This is why our bodies require more sleep when healing from an illness or injury. Without sleep, our health suffers, and our body is less able to care for itself.
When we do not get enough sleep, our immune system function suffers, our mental health suffers, and our physical health suffers. We have all experienced it.
Daily habits like what we eat, when we eat, our level of activity, and how much time we spend on devices vs outside all impact our sleep quality. Mindfulness of these daily habits and implementing a nighttime routine to switch your body from fight or flight stress (sympathetic) into rest and relaxation (parasympathetic) can help immensely. Staying consistent with your chiropractic adjustments is one of the best ways to help your body switch into and operate in a parasympathetic (relaxation, heal, digest) state. You can learn more via our list of tips below:
Tips To Help You To Improve Your Sleep!
Check out our tips below to help you fall asleep more easily and maximize your rest.
- Get Horizontal: Just lying down gives your body a break and an opportunity to recover. We have less pressure from gravity while lying down, which allows our body to prioritize healing and recovery over keeping us upright. Get horizontal and rest those eyes, even if you don’t actually fall asleep.
- Keep it dark: The most minor light creeping into your room can impact your sleep quality. Unplug all devices that give off a nightly glow, and use blackout curtains to cover your windows.
- Chill out: Set your bedroom to 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
- Disconnect: Stop using electronic devices, phones, and TVs before bed. Blue light from screens stimulates a receptor called melanopsin, which alerts the brain to think it’s daytime. Blue light also suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that balances cortisol (stress hormone). We need melatonin to sleep. Avoid blue light for at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. For an extra calming vibe, set the tone of your room by dimming the lights one hour before bed.
- Nightly ritual to wind down. Implement a nightly routine that helps you to calm down and get ready for sleep. Activities could include reading, journaling, calming breathwork, meditation, taking a bath, skincare routine, walking, light stretching, etc.
- Stay Active: Make sure you are physically active during the day. Movement helps to tire you out and regulate your hormones. Even a 10-minute walk after dinner can help.
- Avoid Alcohol: While having a glass of wine might seem like it helps you get to sleep more quickly, it is impairing your sleep quality. Alcohol has been shown to disrupt your sleep cycle, increase your cortisol levels, and put you into a sympathetic state (Fight or Flight Stress physiology).
- Avoid Eating Heavy Meals: Finish your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to avoid indigestion. This extra time between eating and lying down will ease you into falling asleep faster. Plus, a walk after dinner can help with digestion.
- Get Outside: Go outside upon waking to see the sun. This will help you to wake up, regulate your hormone levels, and thus help you to sleep better at night. Sunset walks also help to regulate your circadian rhythms. The dimming light signals your body to begin melatonin production.
- Supplements for Sleep: Magnesium – On top of being an essential mineral to keeping your body running, Magnesium can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, helping you feel refreshed when you get up. Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxer and ensures a proper balance of gamma-aminobutyric acid (a calming neurotransmitter) while regulating melatonin production. Pick up some EZ-Mg on your next visit.
- Pillow Check! How old and what kind of pillow are you using? Many pillows are too large or too small and push the head and neck into compromising positions, causing you to wake up throughout the night and have long-term spinal issues. We recommend the Proper Pillow, which supports your cervical spine while you sleep! Try out our demo pillow on your next visit.
- Stay Under Regular Neuro-Structural Chiropractic Care: Getting regular adjustments helps regulate your Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest, Relax, Digest, Heal). Every time you get an adjustment, your body moves out of the Sympathetic (Fight or Flight Stress physiology) and into a more Parasympathetic tone, making sleep easier.