With Daylight Saving Time coming up on March 10th and Sleep Awareness Week March 10th-16th, I thought I’d take some time to share a few ways you can naturally improve your sleep (without counting sheep).
Nearly 40 million American men and women suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Are you one of them? Many times this can be attributed to stress, general health maladies, or the inability to shut off the brain.
Sleep is just as important to us as eating a good diet and getting plenty of
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1. Chiropractic Care
I found it interesting in my research that Johns Hopkins Medicine states “a healthy amount of sleep is vital for ‘brain plasticity,’ or the brain’s ability to adapt to input.”
As a chiropractor, my main focus with patients is making sure the brain communicates with the body properly. When there is miscommunication between the brain and the body, either the brain or the body suffers.
I have had numerous patients report back to me that they (or their child) slept better the night after their adjustment than they had in a long time. It never surprises me because chiropractic is all about restoring proper communication within the nervous system. So if you’re having issues sleeping, think about seeing your family chiropractor.
Have you ever taken Arnica for an injury? If you’ve used the little white sugar pills from the health food store, then you know a little bit about homeopathic medicine.
The premise of homeopathy is that “like cures like.” What this means is that the effect a substance
Coffea cruda is one such example of how homeopathy can help with sleep. Coffee in its gross form is a stimulant. When it is homeopathically diluted, it aids in the calming of the person. And when used for chronic sleep issues, it can help to uproot the condition for good.
We have successfully used Coffea
There are many other homeopathic remedies that may be employed to help with acute or chronic sleep issues. Choosing the correct one requires careful examination of the person as a whole.
The health of your gut can play a huge role in how well you sleep. Have you ever heard that your gut is your “second brain”? Then it only makes sense that a healthy gut will play a role in how well (or bad) you sleep.
The sleep-wake cycle and hormones that regulate our sleep are directly affected by our gut microbiome. The more diverse the microbiome, the more balanced and healthy our gut becomes.
So how do we create a diverse microbiome?
Increase your raw fruit and vegetable intake, drink bone broth daily, and incorporate wide varieties of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. And if you need a little extra help, you can always add in a high quality probiotic.
Everyone should be getting exercise numerous times per week to maintain a healthy body. But did you know exercise can also aid our sleep?
There are still a lot of unknowns in regards to exercise and sleep. Some researchers say that exercising increases adrenaline and can prolong getting to sleep, while others say that as long as you exercise during the daylight hours it aids in sleep. One promising study has shown that exercise can improve the quality of sleep in older adults.
So hit the gym, put on your walking shoes, or go out dancing. Regular physical activity may just be the answer you are looking for!
5. Soak in the Tub
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice relaxing bath?
Before bed, draw up a nice warm bath for soaking. The warm water will soothe tense muscles and increase blood circulation. Add some
6. Limit Electronics
We live in a world with electronics. They have made some aspects of our lives easier. But sleep is not one of them.
Electronics give off blue light. Blue light has a short wavelength and thus higher energy. Harvard researchers have also found that blue light decreases melatonin secretion more than any other type of light which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.
But electronics are also addictive. At one of my recent chiropractic seminars, Dr. Joseph Mercola stated that “cellphones are the cigarettes of the 21st century.” Check out his post with some frightening statistics regarding cell phone use.
Many people go to bed with a cellphone in their hand which causes a cycle of sleep deprivation. I mentioned in the previous paragraph that light from a cellphone decreases melatonin. This makes it harder to go to sleep. If we can’t go to sleep, then what do we do? We look at the cellphone even more. And then the cycle just gets worse over time.
So put away those screens before bed. Start gradually by limiting screen exposure 30 minutes before bed. Then after a week, limit exposure an hour before bed, and so on.
7. Pillow and Mattress
A good pillow and mattress can make all the difference in your sleep.
As a chiropractor, I’m asked time and again which pillow and/or mattress is the best for the health of the spine. And time and again, I’ve had to say I don’t know. It’s been a real struggle for me personally to find the best pillow and mattress for myself. And how can I recommend something that I won’t even use?
While I loved our Sealy Posturepedic mattress for the first 5 or so years we had it, it got worn out and needed replacing just like any other mattress on the market. And as far as pillows go, I have spent my entire chiropractic career searching for a great pillow. And just recently at a chiropractic seminar, I think I found the mattress and pillow that I can honestly say are the best I’ve ever come across.
While I haven’t purchased the mattress, I have slept on the pillow for the last 2 weeks. No pillow has given me a good night’s sleep like this pillow. It’s not too fluffy, not too hard, not too thick, and not too thin. It cradles my head and curves around my shoulders which provides
If you’re in the market for a great pillow, I highly recommend the Side Sleeper Pillow from Chiro-Core. It was designed by a chiropractor, and is
If you’re like the other 40 million Americans that have difficulty sleeping, take some time to evaluate each of the methods I’ve mentioned above to see if they will help you catch some much needed zzz’s.