Carran, one of our Doctors of Chiropractic, is extremely active, and actively interested in healthy living. A part of that lifestyle balance is a good night’s sleep, and below Carran offers some ideas and tips for sweet dreams.
Sleep is an essential part of feeling well and feeling happy, but almost everyone experiences problems sleeping at some time of their life.
Sleep dysfunction is common, especially during times when you may feel emotionally overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed about the events of the day may significantly interfere with your sleep. Lack of sleep steals you of much needed rest that your body requires to heal and repair.
Bringing sleep patterns under control is important – you need your rest. However, it often takes some time to get problematic sleep under control and rarely can this be done overnight!
The most common cause of insomnia is a change in your daily routine or stress. For example, travelling, exams, work stress, change in work hours, disruption caused by eating, exercise, or leisure, relationship conflicts, etc. may all cause problems.
Being aware of good sleep hygiene is the most important thing you can do to maintain good sleep.
- Go to bed at the same time each day
- Get up from bed at the same time each day
- Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning (There is good evidence regular exercise improves restful sleep)
- Get regular exposure to outdoor or bright lights, especially in the late afternoon
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom comfortable
- Keep the bedroom dark enough to facilitate sleep
- Keep the bedroom quiet – try thicker curtains, sleeping at the back of your house or even ear plugs to avoid being woken by noise
- Use your bed only for sleep and relaxation.
- Use a relaxation exercise just before going to sleep or a guided meditation.
- Try muscle relaxation to help distress and unwind, e.g. a warm bath with some magnesium oil or Epsom salts.
- Exercise just before going to bed
- Engage in stimulating activity just before bed, such as playing computer games, watching an exciting program on television or movie, or having an important discussion with a loved one
- Have caffeine in the evening (coffee, teas, chocolate, etc.) Have alcohol in the evening or use alcohol to sleep (it may make you drowsy but it doesn’t improve sleep and you will wake to go to the toilet)
- Smoke before going to bed – nicotine is a stimulant and will keep you awake
- Read or watch television in bed
- Go to bed too hungry or too full
- Take another person’s sleeping pills
- Never take daytime naps or doze off in front of the TV in the evening – keep yourself awake with something stimulating or your risk resetting your body clock
- Command yourself to go to sleep. This only makes your mind and body more alert
- If you lie in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up, go to a different room (or different part of the bedroom), participate in a quiet activity (e.g. non-excitable reading or television), then return to bed when you feel sleepy.
- Do this as many times during the night as needed
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, emails, TV, podcasts, Instagram, texting, WhatsApp……, the list goes on.
We are constantly connected and being bombarded with messages from all avenues. It can be so stressful keeping up with it all and trying to respond to all messages and emails etc.
Consider if you really need so many different ways for people to be able to connect with you.
Turn off notifications for these things on your phone – or delete them form your phone entirely, and try to limit your checking of these apps to once a day at the most.
Aim for at least one day per month for a complete and utter digital detox – that means no phone, TV, internet, IPad, etc for the whole day.
Instead read a book, speak to people, and discover just how beautiful the world really is.
It’s an amazing experience!
If you have any thoughts, comments, or would like to share you sleep related story, please use the box below.