Energize yourself for the day ahead by getting a good night’s sleep. Recover from a tough day by sleeping soundly.
Do not underestimate the importance of consistent quality sleep. Nothing takes the place of a good night of sleep. Proper nutrition does not. Supplements do not. Unhealthy sugar filled energy drinks sure don’t. Neither does caffeine. A good night of sleep is irreplaceable.
Develop sleeping habits that include proper body positioning, consistent times, limited sleep time stimulus, transition periods and nutrition strategies that coincide with sleep strategies.
Body positioning: Proper sleep ergonomics are vital to waking up pain-free and loaded with energy. Find body positions that work best for you. Proper body positioning while sleeping, is essential to health. The average person spends one-fourth to one-third of their day sleeping.
Supine and side lying are the best positions for your neck, spine and ribcage. Laying supine with a proper sized pillow keeps the neck and spine in their natural curvatures. Laying supine allows the ribcage and diaphragm to move unimpeded thus encourages healthy breathing practices.
Sleeping on either side with a correctly sized pillow holds the neck and spine in a straight line. This neutral position lowers the possibility of waking up with neck pain or a headache. Increase the productivity of your sleep by utilizing correct sleeping postures.
Mattress and Pillow: Find a comfortable, correctly sized pillow. Preferences of pillow and mattress type are individual. Just as one specific computer chair is not for everyone, one specific size or type of pillow is not for everyone. Work with your Chiropractor or an experienced pillow salesperson to optimize your pillow search.
The same is true for mattresses. Sleeping on a quality mattress that supports your spine and increases comfort is ideal.
Limited Sleep Time Stimulus: Keep your bedroom free of loud and bright electronics. There is no need to have a TV, sound system or computer in your bedroom.
Maintain your bedroom as dark as possible during sleeping hours. The pineal gland is a small, endocrine gland located inside the brain. It functions to produce and release the hormone melatonin. Melatonin secretion is dictated by light. Increased levels of melatonin are secreted during darkness while decreased amounts are released during daylight hours. Melatonin functions to control circadian rhythms which are physical, mental and behavior patterns that roughly follow a twenty-four-hour cycle. Sleeping in a dark room increases melatonin secretion which induces relaxation and sleep.
Consistency: Be consistent with your sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Having a regular sleep pattern makes it easier to fall asleep.
Transition Periods: Give your body time to transition from activity to sleep. Just like the body requires time to warm-up before exercise, the body needs a calming period before sleep. Thirty minutes before going to bed turn off the television, take a shower and stretch. A clear mind and relaxed, clean body fall asleep quicker.
Nutrition: Develop evening nutrition strategies that promote sleep. Eat lighter meals later in the day. Provide your digestive system ample time to digest your food before bed. High caloric meals and high fatty foods take longer to digest and should be avoided prior to bedtime. Utilize a dietary journal to determine individual nutritional strategies that work best for you.
Conclusion: Employ regular sleeping habits to improve your health. Sleep and rest are a necessary part of life. The body needs sleep to heal, grow and recharge. A good night’s sleep increases health in numerous facets. Sleep promotes healing, growing, memory, metabolism, energy and mood. Combine sleep with exercise and nutrition to live a healthy, fit, functional life.