Sleep is such an important part of healthy living. In evaluating the physical needs of patients, I regularly ask questions regarding "night life" habits. These are all important questions, so feel free to do a brief healthy sleep evaluation. Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep? Once asleep, do you stay asleep for more than 6 hours at a time? Are you unable to get to sleep without some form of sleep aid? Do you awake feeling groggy despite the fact that you have been sleeping for 8 hours? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may be suffering from sleep deprivation.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep is as important as eating and breathing, yet most of us do not get quality sleep each night. Insufficient sleep results in reduced concentration and productivity, impaired memory, and increased agitation. Long term sleep deprivation is possibly linked to diabetes, obesity and a compromised immune system. Extreme sleep deprivation can even cause episodes of schizophrenia and mental health issues.
Majority of Americans Have Sleep Difficulties
It is estimated that at least 60% of Americans experience sleep difficulties. While sleep deprivation will not necessarily always cause serious complications, it will take its toll on you and your body. While everyone’s sleep needs vary, most adults need about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Many people wish they could find 8 hours to sleep each night, let alone get 8 hours of quality sleep.
Are You Vulnerable to Sleep Deprivation?
While everyone suffers from an occasional sleepless night, some people experience sleepless nights more often than not. Shift workers, people who travel for a living, students, and those who suffer from acute stress and depression all are vulnerable to sleep deprivation. Many use sleep aids in an attempt to get a restful night of sleep, but instead, wind up with an addiction to the sleep aid.
Common Sense Not Always So Common
While more difficult problems, like pain that interrupts sleep, will usually be handled more effectively after a complete exam and treatment, the following suggestions have helped many tilt the balance towards a more rested sleep experience: 1) TURN IT OFF - turn off your tv, cell phone and other electronic devices, that may interrupt restful sleep. 2) FORGET FOOD - Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before retiring so the body can concentrate on sleep rather than digestion. 3) GRAB A REST DURING THE DAY - Closing your eyes and resting, meditating, or a few minutes of deep breathing once or twice a day assists your body in learning to relax -and actually prepares you for a good night's sleep. 4) SLEEP AIDS - A great supportive pillow, an emptied bladder, and sometimes, even, an eye mask and a nice soak in the bath, with lavendar drops or epsom salts provide non-medicated assistance for a restful evening.
Chiropractic and Sleep - What's the Connection?
Chiropractic care is known to dramatically improve the quality and quantity of sleep. We are trained in the proper functioning of the nervous system, so we can assist you to create the balance required to keep your body functioning properly. Chiropractic treatment naturally relaxes the body and restores full functionality of the nervous system. As part of the physical exam in our office, I regularly assess your diet, sleep and exercise regimen to determine how and why you are not getting a quality night’s sleep. While resolution of pain and body function issues usually answer many of the sleep complications patients suffer, I also will help you to develop a nutrition, exercise and chiropractic treatment plan to increase your quality and quantity of sleep.
Sleep - The Bigger Picture
After developing a complete sleep regimen, people report feeling less stressed, a decrease in depression symptoms, and better general health overall. While changing your sleep patterns does not happen overnight, people report a noticeable difference in their quality of sleep during their first week of chiropractic care. Don’t settle for anything less than a restful night’s sleep. Give the office a call today at 775-852-8000.