Here at Lushington Chiropractic I often get asked by my guests how they can increase the speed of their recovery, feel more energetic and be healthier. Well there’s no magic answer to that, but one of the things that I recommend helps is to make sure you’re getting good quality sleep.
Do you want improved sleep?
This blog shares my personal tips and advice about how to get good quality sleep. The advice is based on my personal views, some scientific reading, documentaries and so on. Basically all sorts of things I’ve picked up on my journey as a chiropractor. I personally find that improving sleep routines was difficult at first, but worth it in the end.
More than just clicking!
Chiropractors do more than just clicking and manipulating the joints. We cover a range of techniques and often share advice. Although chiropractors are not qualified sleep experts, I’ve found that sharing some simple common-sense tips like these has been appreciated by the people I see.
A patient recently asked me what they needed to do to get improved sleep. They asked for a written list of ideas, and so I thought I’d put this blog together to share the advice wider than the few people I see here in Eastbourne.
Some people say that sleep is an essential part of feeling well and feeling happy, but almost everyone experiences problems sleeping at certain points in their life.
Overwhelmed or Anxious?
Sleep disruption is common, especially during times when you may feel emotionally overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed about the events of the day which may all significantly interfere with your sleep. Lack of sleep steals you of 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.
Improved Sleep Comes from Good Sleep Hygiene
Being aware of good sleep hygiene is the most important thing you can do to maintain good sleep.
Some people say that quality sleep strengthens your immune system, balances hormones, boosts your metabolism (which in turn may help you lose weight), increases physical energy and improves your memory. With all these essential benefits, you will only have the health you want if you get the right amount of sleep.
Improved Sleep Comfort
Sleep comfort is essential for quality and this is one of the areas that chiropractic helps; by reducing your pain and easing your movement you are less likely to wake. There are many tips to help you improve your sleep further:
- Create habits to improve your sleep, have a regular bedtime routine and wake up time, even on your days off.
- Create a routine that you do before bed, so that you start to get ready for sleep before you lie down.
- Consistent sleep habits improve quality of sleep over time.
Disconnect to get Improved Sleep
Make your bedroom a place for sleep. Remove all other distractions; TV, Phones and tablets. Know that when you go into that room at night it is for sleep. Create a space that is dark and quiet, we also sleep better in cooler conditions, but if your feet get cold wear a pair of socks as cold feet can keep you awake.
My local gym recommends you exercise early. I agree – except for weight lifting, as I think it’s better to wait till later in the day before putting your body under such heavy stress.
We’re lucky in Eastbourne as there are so many nice places to get out and about. I think that aerobic exercise, as well as getting out into nature and sunlight, is a great way to start the day. I love walking to work (about a mile). Rain or shine, it’s a great way to prepare for the day.
These tips all help with creating and supporting the natural rhythms of your body and mind.
If you find your mind whirling at bedtime put a notepad next to your bed and scribble the thoughts down. I keep a note pad by my bed for any work related thoughts.
I find that by writing thoughts down you take them out of your head and “switch off”. You can review them in the morning, allowing you to relax and sleep.
If you have constant stream of thoughts then having a daily meditation practice can help calm this, which ultimately will help with your sleep.
My Golden Rule (NO BLUE LIGHT)
This tip has really helped me.
Stop using all phones, tablets and TVs at least an hour before bed.
These devices emit blue light, which apparently convinces your brain it is daytime. Human animals evolved sleep/wake cycles called the circadian rhythm, which match the light of the day and dark of the night. As it gets dark, an important sleep hormone called melatonin is released, and the blue light from our devices stop this from happening.
I find that a last-minute check of my phone often results in a late night, and feeling worse for it in the morning.
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 ways for people to be able to connect with you.
Turn off notifications for these things on your phone or delete them from 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.
Thanks for reading,
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
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