Getting Better At Sleep
So let’s talk about sleep. Whether you do a little of it or a lot of it, getting enough sleep is vital to everything from weight loss or gain to memory, mental sharpness, energy, mood, appearance, etc. If you’re not getting enough there may be one or many reasons for it. However, there could be some quick and easy solutions to this problem to get you sleeping better as soon as tonight. Before we get into the meat and potatoes of the topic, let’s get one thing straight. If you have a serious medical condition messing with your sleep such as chronic insomnia, you may need to get a sleep study done on you. Another great option, that would be extremely effective, is to go to a Chiropractor in Ashland or Mansfield and get adjusted regularly. If you have questions about where to find a good Chiropractor you can reach out to our team.
Tips on How To Improve Your Sleep
Although a lot of people think that taking a sleeping pill is totally fine, it doesn’t address the real issue and all meds have side-effects. Masking the real issue by treating the symptom will only work short term. With that being said, the first thing I wanted to address is screen time. Now artificial light, in general, can throw our bodies internal clock out of sink. Darkness is actually a cue to our brain to start winding down for the night. Particularly continued exposure to artificial light sources later in the night can keep us awake. Screens omit something known as blue light. Blue light is also produced by the sun and can come from devices such as a computer, phone, TV, tablet, etc. This light tells your brain to stay mentally alert - it’s not time to produce melatonin yet. Melatonin is the chemical that preps the body for rest and helps induce sleep. A good way to prevent this issue is to refrain from the use of screen devices for the last 2 hours of your day. There are many apps that you can download onto your tablet or phone to help block the blue light - blue wavelength light. These would be an easy change to implement right away.
The next thing I wanted to touch on may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed liquids, you'd be correct, specifically caffeine products and water. Drinking coffee too late in the day can keep you stimulated longer than you wanted to be. Now bear in mind that “ too late “ is going to be a different time for everyone. For some of you, cutting out caffeine shortly after 1-2 may be necessary, for others you may be able to have it until 6 or 7 at night or later with little to no issues. Everyone is different so you will have to play around with this time frame to find what is best for you. Another thing you may need to look at is drinking too much water too late in the day. Drinking adequate amounts of water on a daily basis is crucial to your health and recovery during the night. There is however such a thing as too much water or drinking too late in the day. If you are drinking so much water that it’s waking you up at night regularly, i.e. disrupting your sleep patterns, then it’s more than likely gone from healthy to counterproductive.
The last thing I wanted to touch on is engaging in high-stress activities late at night. This could be physical or mental stress. Activities such as lifting weights, running, video games, and anything else that may stimulate you into a high energy state. Ever tried to go to bed angry, wired, or just super excited for the coming day ahead? Yeah...how’d that go? Stressing your body before bed is the same thing, you won’t be able to fall asleep. If at all possible scheduled high stress mental or physical activity earlier in the day and be intentional about performing relaxing activities before bed such as reading, meditating, writing, drawing, planning out the next day, or low stimulus chores like dishes, cleaning or laundry. Personally, I read ten pages every night before bed. If I still cannot sleep after that, I will go upstairs to my bedroom, sit in my corner chair, and read until I tire. Do not, I repeat, do not bring activities into your bed that keeps you wide awake. Your brain is extremely associative. It is constantly being taught things and learning how you want it to run. If you teach is to do things that keep you awake in bed instead of sleep, it will learn to keep you mentally alert when you lay down in bed. A perfect example of association would be eating patterns. Let’s say you normally eat dinner at 6 PM, but tonight, you’re still busy and you’ve been focused on your work all day, totally unaware of the time. You look over at the clock - 6:00 PM, your brain thinks “ normally John eats now ( association )….we should tell him that he’s hungry. “ It’s the same thing with what you ask your body to do at bedtime. A nightly routine would be helpful if you have trouble sleeping. Your body desires homeostasis - steady/same state. The more regular you are about what and when you do things, the better your body will perform.