Restful sleep is one of the 5 pillars of health. Getting a good night’s sleep should be at the top of your to-do list. Everyone knows there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep for feeling refreshed and alert in the morning.
Sleep is important to maintaining your health; without it you become more susceptible to health problems.
Failure to obtain quality sleep may lead to poor alertness, lack of attention, reduced concentration, decreased work and academic productivity. Sleep loss has also been closely linked to a significant proportion of car accidents.
Did you know….?
Before the invention of the light bulb, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. Today, we average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours per night on weekends.
The three key elements of good quality sleep are:
- Duration: Sleep experts agree that most adults need between 7-9 hours sleep each night for good health, this can vary from person to person and the best measure of how much sleep you need is how you feel when you wake up
- Continuity: Sleep periods should be seamless without interruption
- Depth: Sleep should be deep enough to be restorative
Good quality sleep has been linked with a range of health benefits. More research is needed and the science is sill developing but I think we all agree we feel better after a good night’s sleep.
To enjoy the benefits of good sleep you don’t need to see a chiropractor, all you need to do is improve your sleep habits.
- Help to maintain a strong immune system – chronic sleeplessness may harm your immune system, since lack of sleep is linked to an increase in cytokine molecules that control immune response.
- Keep your memory sharp – when sleep is cut short the body doesn’t have time to complete all the phases needed for memory consolidation
- Help you lose weight – sleeplessness elevates levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for appetite stimulation and lowers levels of the hormone leptin, responsible for feeling of fullness, which could leave you eating more.
You have far more control over the quality of your sleep than you think, so don’t consider spending one-third of your day sleeping as being unproductive
- Keep a regular schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day including weekends.
- Good habits. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you sleep but don’t exercise within a few hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can interrupt sleep. I find that if I have a filter coffee after 3pm I won’t sleep as well.
- Decrease stress. Anxiety directly affects the rhythm of sleep. Anxious thoughts make the heart ‘race’, which then causes the brain to become alert and stimulated. Decreasing stress can be as easy as taking a few minutes of “me time” every day. It’s one reason why a nice hot bath at the end of the day helps you to wind down.
- Keep technology away from bed. I’d suggest limiting technology use before bedtime and try reading instead. I always find it harder to put the phone down than a book. I also find TV and tech keeps me awake longer. But that’s my personal view.
- Choose a good pillow and mattress. In my experience your pillow should be comfortable and be able to support your neck (not your head). I generally recommend a firmer type mattress, firm enough to support your spine and conform to your body’s contours. Always try before you buy. But your sleeping POSITION is most important – check out these blogs, we’ve written loads of tips on sleep and sleeping position:
There is no other activity that delivers so many benefits without much effort!
Remember you don’t need to see us to improve your sleep – I’ve shared all my sleep secrets here, so good luck in making those changes.
The chiropractors and massage therapists at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne have plenty of tips and general advice on health and wellbeing to offer.
Lushington Chiropractic is a multi-award winning clinic on Lushington Road, Eastbourne. We provide a range of treatments from expert chiropractic care to nutritional therapy, podiatry, acupuncture counselling and more. We genuinely care about our patients and we have a passion for improving their quality of life.
We are proud of our results, reputation and the trust our community puts in us.
Call today on 01323 722499 to see why over 10,000 local people have already chosen Lushington Chiropractic to help them.
Your Eastbourne Chiropractor James.
One final “tip”, I just heard mentioned on a TV show that “apparently” if your mobile phone is near your bed when sleeping it can affect how your body releases melatonin and therefore reduces the quality of your sleep. I’ve no idea if this is true or how far away the phone needs to be but thought I’d share.
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