Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Restorative Sleep

Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA)



Many people would agree that there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Stressful day at the office? Long hours running errands with the kids? All this can be repaired with restorative slumber.
 
On the other hand, not getting the eight to nine hours of sleep that you need may leave you feeling grumpy and tired all day. But here’s something you may not know: you have far more control over the quality of your sleep than you think.
 
Choose a good mattress
If you wake up with aches and pains that were not there when you went to bed, it may be time to get a new mattress. A good mattress supports the natural contours of the body, letting your muscles and joints fully relax.
 
Test your pillow
The quest for a restful night’s sleep should always include a proper pillow. Keep in mind that your head weighs eight to twelve pounds. A good pillow provides comfortable support for your head, neck and upper back muscles so they can get some much-needed rest.
 
Don’t sleep on your stomach
Canada’s chiropractors recommend sleeping on your back or side. These positions allow your head, neck and spine to relax into their natural alignment. This reduces stress and strain on your muscles and joints that can disrupt your sleep and lead to aches in the morning.
 
Get to bed on time
Try to go to bed at the same time every night – even on weekends – to keep your sleep cycle in a regular rhythm. Avoid naps, but if you must, limit naps to less than 30 minutes, and be sure to have your siesta before 3:00 p.m.
 
Wind down
Avoid caffeinated beverages, heavy meals, alcohol and vigorous exercise within two hours of bedtime – they can all disrupt sleep.
 
Bedtime rituals
Some people like a hot shower before bed while others like to listen to relaxing music, watch TV or read. These cues let your body know it’s time to prepare for sleep.
 
Light up your life!
In the morning, open the curtains or blinds soon after you wake up. Bright light helps to regulate your natural biological clock.
 
Still sleepless?
If you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes of tossing and turning, get up and do something boring in dim light until you feel sleepy. Try not to look at the clock – it may only make you feel anxious.
 
Sleep is an important aspect of your overall health – both your body and mind rest and refresh while sleeping. If you have continued difficulty getting a good night’s rest, consult a health professional such as a chiropractor who can help identify the problem and find solutions.