May is Better Sleep Month! It’s a month dedicated to focusing on the importance of having better sleep, its influence on our health and wellness, as well as how we can all improve our sleeping habits. Unfortunately, one in three Americans describe their sleep quality as poor or only fair. Consequently, poor sleep has shown to lead to diminished focus, weight gain, depression, stress, illness, and even death. How is this related to chiropractic care?
Well, the National Sleep Foundation reports that over 57% of Americans suffer from pain disrupting their sleep. In turn, as a vicious cycle, lack of sleep has shown to increase pain sensitivity and hinder one’s ability to heal and overcome illness. To make matters worse, pharmaceutical companies are spending exorbitant amounts of money marketing sleeping pills and other drugs as the answer to “improving” one’s sleep. Studies, however, have shown that while these drugs bring sleep, they also come with bad side effects, such as dizziness, light-headedness, drowsiness, and death. Furthermore, sleeping pills with Benzodiazepines have shown to be linked to dependency problems.
A Doctor of Chiropractic, on the other hand, has the experience, knowledge, and skills to approach pain and your wellness naturally. By aligning your spine, optimizing the communication channels from your brain to the rest of your body, recommending proper exercises and activities, and suggesting lifestyle improvements, he/she can help treat pain, relieve discomfort, and improve your sleeping habits.
If you are struggling with sleep, contact Dr. Mehr at Foothill Family Chiropractic in La Verne for an evaluation.
Moreover, to further aid in improving your sleep, try such strategies as pillow placement to better support your body, position, and bring you comfort as you count sheep. For example:
1) If you like to sleep on your back, try placing a pillow underneath your knees to align your spine and reduce lower back pain.
2) If you like to sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your legs to align your hips and spine.
3) If you like to sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow underneath your lowers abs to reduce the curvature in your lower back.
Additionally, check out your mattress. Is your mattress supportive? How old is it? Manufacturers recommend replacing your mattress every eight to ten years. If your mattress shows signs of sagging, dents where a person sleeps, or makes squeaking / creaking sounds, it may be time to purchase a new one.
If you are in the market to purchase a new mattress, seek out one that is comfortable, yet fully supportive. Research suggests that those suffering from lower back pain may find the most relief and support with a medium firm mattress.
Finally, don’t forget some old fashion lifestyle changes, including:
1) Getting onto a consistent, daily sleeping schedule.
2) Going to bed early enough to be able to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
3) Creating a relaxing and quiet oasis in your bedroom, eliminating all distractions.
4) Limiting your exposure to bright lights in the evening.
5) Turning off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
6) Avoiding eating a large meal and/or drinking caffeine, alcohol, or lots of fluid before bedtime.
7) Exercising regularly.
8) Maintaining a healthy diet.
Hope these help and that you give it a try. Use this month as an opportunity to uncover how you can improve your sleep and improve your well-being. Again, if you struggle with sleep, contact Dr. Mehr today.