The Restorative Power of a Good Night’s Sleep01/02/2017
“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care…,” William Shakespeare knew what he was talking about with that line. A good night’s sleep makes a big difference in how people feel and perform. More importantly, at Rai Chiropractic, we know that getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis has important physical and mental health benefits.
Why Do We Sleep?
As humans, we have a limited threshold for how much mental and physical activity we can handle in a day. At some point or other, we get tired – our eyes become droopy, our cognitive abilities start to fade, and our breathing becomes deeper. These are all direct and obvious signs that we require sleep. This is the body communicating that it needs a break. Sleep revitalizes our cognitive and physical functions, replenishing all the energy that was exerted throughout the day.
Common Sleep Problems and Effects
You probably know when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. You might feel achy, groggy and unenergetic throughout the day. Lack of sleep makes it difficult to think clearly; it can lead to decreased job productivity and feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression. Believe it or not, sleep deprivation can leave a serious impact on your health. If sleep deprivation is occurring frequently on a regular basis, you may be at greater risk for heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Insomnia is one of the most frequently reported sleep problems. It can result from a wide variety of factors, from too much coffee or tea to side effects from medication, to chronic pain, sleep apnea or an imbalanced nervous system.
Improving Sleep Duration and Quality
“Sleep hygiene” is the term we use for all of the activities that can promote a good night’s rest. Among these activities is sleeping in a cool, dark room with limited noise, or using something like a small fan to create “white noise” to mask other sounds. Another way to get a good night’s sleep is to eliminate or minimize stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. And while alcohol may seem relaxing, it often leaves you awake in the wee hours. In today’s world, it is also wise to step away from electronics and mobile devices an hour before sleeping.
One of the most important activities to promote sleep is exercise. In addition to having a direct effect on sleep quality, regular exercise helps reduce stress, which is often the reason for insomnia. A healthy diet with adequate protein and lots of fresh fruits and veggies will ensure the body has everything it needs to function properly, especially when it comes to hormones and neurotransmitters (the chemical messengers in the brain).
A chiropractic adjustment can help with chronic pain and stress relief as well. We can teach you breathing exercises to help with snoring and restore balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These two major components of the nervous system are housed within our spines. One is the “gas” pedal (sympathetic) and the other is the “brake” pedal (parasympathetic). In order for the body and mind to be in balance, these two systems must be in balance. If one happens to be working harder than the other, an individual may get “stuck” in one system. Often, a person who is having trouble with sleeping is “stuck” with the “gas” pedal down and is unable to “switch off.” This is where chiropractic is able to restore the balance, by stimulating the “brake” pedal and the body can get the rest it deserves.
We find that the best way to promote good sleep is to attack the problem on multiple fronts. We can advise you on seep hygiene and other habits that may be creating some of your problems. In addition to our services, we may refer you to other kinds of beneficial care. Please contact Rai Chiropractic today to schedule a consultation that will help you get a good night’s sleep every night.