Stop Dreaming About Quality Sleep and Do Something!
old Chinese proverb states, "Only when one cannot sleep does one know how
long the night is." Anyone who's ever experienced an occasional bout with
insomnia—and that's most of us—can relate to this all too well.
In fact, surveys have shown that between 40 and 60 percent of the general
population has trouble sleeping. Daily stress and worries, pressures from job
and family, body aches and pains caused by uncomfortable beds or pillows, and a
host of other issues can keep a person from getting enough quality sleep.
Sleep is critical to good health and functioning, so lack of it is a serious
matter. "Sleep is one of the most important functions of the brain,"
says Frederick R. Carrick, DC, PhD, president of the American Chiropractic
Association's Council on Neurology. Through it, our bodies recharge and renew
for the next day's challenges.
As wellness experts, doctors of chiropractic can provide
patients with a different approach to their sleeping problems— without the use
of sleeping pills, which leave many people in a mental haze the next morning.
To start, here are a few helpful tips they would recommend for the sleepless in
Seattle (or any
city, for that matter):
regularly. Exercising in the morning is best, but if you must exercise in
the evening, do so at least two or three hours before bedtime. Any later,
and your increased heart rate can interfere with your sleep.
your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea—try to
avoid them altogether late in the day and near bedtime. In addition, for
each cup of caffeinated beverages you drink each day, drink an equal
amount of water.
have trouble sleeping and then get thirsty, drink tap water at room
temperature (cold water may disturb the digestive system).
early dinner. Eating after 6 p.m. may interfere with sleep as your body
works to digest the food you’ve eaten.
bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.
The routine will help your body know when it is time to rest.
your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature and try to make it as dark
as possible when you’re ready for bed.
Creating a comfortable place to sleep by choosing the
correct mattress and pillow is also essential to getting the quality sleep that
your body needs to function at its best.
A mattress, for instance, should support the body’s weight evenly and allow the
spine to stay in its natural alignment. Choosing the right one is a personal
“There are a wide variety of comfort preferences. It’s very subjective,” says
Brian Darcy, operations manager for Springwall, the manufacturer of
premium-quality Chiropractic® sleep sets that ACA has endorsed for the past 38
But regardless of whether you like your mattress firm or soft, give it a good
trial run before you buy. Darcy recommends lying down on a mattress for a
minimum of three to five minutes to get a good feel. Sitting on it simply won’t
Useful mattress facts...
mattress should provide uniform support from head to toe. If there are
gaps between your body and your mattress (such as at the waist), you're
not getting the full support that you need.
do have back pain and your mattress is too soft, you might want to firm up
the support of your mattress by placing a board underneath it. But do this
just until the pain goes away; such firmness is not good for
few months, turn your mattress clockwise, or upside down, so that body
indentations are kept to a minimum. It's also good to rotate the mattress
frame every so often to reduce wear and tear.
you're waking up uncomfortable, it may be time for a new mattress. There
is no standard life span for a mattress; it all depends on the kind of
usage it gets.
aware that changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress.
For example, if you've lost or gained a lot of weight, if a medical
condition has changed the way you sleep, or even if you have changed
partners, it could mean that it's time to find a new mattress that will
accommodate those changes and help you sleep more soundly.
you're not in the market for a new mattress, and your current mattress is
too firm, you can soften it up by putting a 1- to 2-inch-thick padding on
top of it - usually available at mattress and bedding stores.
Next, pillow talk...
After investing in a quality mattress, don't forget to choose an equally supportive
pillow, advises Peter Mckay, DC, who is in private practice in San Diego and also works as a consultant for
Innovative Choices, the maker of the Therapeutica Pillow-another ACA-endorsed
product. "People will spend thousands of dollars on a mattress and then
skimp on a pillow that doesn't support their head and neck properly," he
observes. A good pillow will keep the cervical (neck) section of the spine
aligned with the thoracic and lumbar (chest and lower back) sections.
"[The sections] move together and should be supported together."
choosing a pillow, be selective. When lying on your side, your head and
neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your
back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and
spine. In other words, your pillow should not be so thick that it causes
your head and neck to be propped up or angled sharply away from your body.
wary of pillows that are made out of mushy foam materials. The weight of
your head can displace this kind of foam, leaving little support. Choose
firmer foam and materials that press back and support the head.
find yourself sleeping on your side with one hand propped under your
pillow, that's a clue that you're not getting the support you need from
is no such thing as a universal fit when it comes to pillows. Find one
that is consistent with the shape and size of your body.
Chiropractic Care Can Help...
If you continue to experience pain and discomfort at night or have difficulty
falling asleep, visit your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are
trained to treat spinal problems that can interfere with a restful night's
sleep. They can also offer nutritional and ergonomic advice that can help
improve the quality of your sleep.
50 Leanni Way A-5 Palm Coast, Fl 32137 386-246-0739
Dr. David B. Pearson, Chiropractic Physician 50 Leanni Way (Unit A-5) Palm Coast, Florida 32137 (386) 246-0739
Palm Coast Chiropractor. Dr. David B. Pearson, DC is a chiropractor in palm coast who provides care for Back Pain, Auto Injury, Neck Pain, Massage Therapy, Headache, Pain Management, back pain relief, neck pain relief to the following locations: Palm Coast, Bunnell, Ormond Beach, Flagler Beach.