Sleep is an art: when it is done well, you wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready to take the day. When it is not done well, the results can be anywhere from disappointing to downright dismal. A poor night’s sleep can leave you stiff and sore, limit circulation and range of motion, contribute to headaches and depression, and generally make it difficult to face any day. A restful night’s sleep relies on a delicate mixture of circumstances, some of which are pre-set and some of which can be directly influenced by your actions before and during bed-time. We will focus on the latter:
Create a bed time ritual: Even if it is just, brushing your teeth, splashing water on your face and getting into bed, this counts. We might advise adding in a soothing cup of nighttime tea with honey, taking a bath or adding in some restful yoga or stretching.
Whatever your ritual, switch off the electronics: they do the opposite of helping you relax and can actually suppress melatonin production.
Make sure you are eating right before bed. Whatever you are munching on, avoid coffee, alcohol and foods high in fat. Replace them with lean proteins and go light: yogurt or low-fat milk with a grain cereal, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast are tasty options.
Sleep posture is not something many people consider, but it has a huge influence on how rested you feel in the morning. Certain positions are more conducive to a healthy back and sleeping on your stomach is not one of them. If you must sleep this way, be sure to place a pillow underneath the stomach to prevent the curve in your back from collapsing.
If your mattress is sagging in the middle, it may be time for a replacement. There is nothing healthy about a bed that allows your body to sink into it at odd angles. Any financial burden should be offset by the value of regular restful sleep. Furthermore, ensure that you have pillows that fit you properly. You don’t want to spend all night with your neck cricked up or down. It should be resting on a supportive pillow that allows it to stay straight with the rest of the spine.
Getting a good night’s sleep is tied to all sorts of health of benefits. At Associates in Chiropractic, we are in the business of helping you sleep right. The factors mentioned above are general and touch only the tip of the iceberg. For help on your individual set of sleep conditions, give our office in Hackensack a call at (201)342-6111.
Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C.