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The Secrets to Sleep

July 16, 2018

I’m blessed to be the uncle to the most adorable little two-year-old girl. She has such a fun, spunky personality and lights up any room she enters. I remember a time, when she was about nine months old, hanging out at her house doing all the things a nine month old does. We were riding the golf cart, playing on the swing, reading books, and playing hide-n-seek. Suddenly, it was time for a nap. Usually, my wife rocks her to sleep but, on this day, she clung to my neck as her eyes gradually grew heavier. As she dozed off I settled into a recliner and just watched her sleep. 


This was the first time I understood the saying “I slept like a baby” because almost four hours later she had not moved, and I was starting hurt from sitting in one spot for so long. I was afraid to move and interrupt this almost magical deep sleep she had found. 


Most people are jealous of this type of sleep because our sleep is tough to come by, full of tossing and turning, and rarely leaves us feeling refreshed when we awake. While sleeping like a baby may not be possible there are a few things we can do to get better, more restorative sleep. 


Before bedtime: 
⦁    Avoid spicy and greasy foods that could cause indigestion
⦁    Avoid caffeine and other sugary drinks that stimulate the body
⦁    Avoid action movies, social media, and games that stimulate the mind
⦁    Use night mode or filters on devices that limit the spectrum of light that trick our brains that it is daytime


Sleep Environment:
⦁    Set the room temperature to 68 degrees
⦁    Block as much light as possible including tv’s, windows, and other sources of light
⦁    Mattress and pillows shouldn’t be older than 8 years old
⦁    Avoid sleeping on your back

 

Other Factors:
⦁    Getting adequate sunlight exposure throughout the day has been shown to increase quality of sleep
⦁    Exercising as little as 10 minutes per day has also shown to increase quality of sleep
⦁    Creating a routine of going to bed at the same time will make it easier to fall asleep
⦁    Keep daytime naps between 20-30 minutes 


Getting quality sleep can not only reduce the amount of fatigue you feel throughout the day but can also dramatically increase other areas of your health. Sleep can improve your reaction time, help form and retrieve memories, reduce depression and anxiety, and even reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. 


In addition to all the above, chiropractic has been shown to remove problems within the central nervous system and bring balance to the fight-or-flight division which can also help achieve quality sleep. If you are unhappy with the quality of sleep you are currently getting, give us a call to see if chiropractic could help you catch a few more Z’s. 
 

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