I often talk about sleep in practice. You may be sick of me asking you about it. This blog explains WHY I ask about your sleep and WHY it is important!
The body is reliant on sleep to repair the "learning" and/or damage from the day's activities. The video posted below is a pretty "kick ass" summary of why I always ask about sleep. Watch it.
Sleep allows us to be the superhero's we are throughout the day.
I know it is not always possible to get enough sleep when you have a new born or young children, but this post is to remind you how important sleep it. If you can grab the odd hour here and there, Take it. Your mind and body will thank you for it and the washing can wait! Especially if you are a mumma healing from giving birth!
Here are a few quick tips to help you out, test out what works best for you!
HAVE A SLEEP ROUTINE
This involves a pattern of behaviors that prepare the mind and body to do to sleep. This routine DOES NOT involve technology time. It can involve all or some of the points below though.
You already know this, and you have heard it time and time again. WHY?! Technology such as cell phones emit something called "blue light". This interferes with the natural hormonal cycles in our brain. These hormones are important in allowing us to go to sleep and they reverse to wake us up when the sun comes up.
Ever wondered why when you go camping you are tired and ready for bed by 8pm and wake up when the sun gets up?
CUT THE CAFFEINE
NO! Not the dinosaur daddy. I know this is what your all thinking about me saying cut the caffeine "NO! Not the coffee Ainslee". There are benefits in caffeine (I can hear you breathing a sigh of relief) but let's be real about this. Don't have caffeine after mid day, or at the latest 2pm. Most likely you be feeling like you need it to get through the last of the afternoon, so you sneak one in about 3:30pm and it sees you through until 5pm. Then bedtime rolls around and while you are tired, you are also WIRED from the remaining caffeine hanging out in your system. You get the picture.
LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL
It smells nice. The end. No, that's not the only reason, it actually has benefits for calming our physical body and our mind. and helping us drift off to sleep.
DECLUTTER YOUR MIND
Write a list of the stuff you didn't finish today or need to do tomorrow so your brain can switch off.
Meditate or do headspace, I RATE HEADSPACE, it is worth your time (hit the button below to find out more). Headspaceis 10 minutes of guided meditation daily and it is the BEES KNEES. Did I mention they also have special meditation packages for things like managing chronic pain (that is another blog for another day!)
DECLUTTER YOUR EMOTIONS
A wise person in my life once told me "never go to bed angry". Have you tried it? It is not that conducive for getting a good night's sleep. Make sure you air out (ear out?) any emotions you need to before the bed time routine starts.
DECLUTER YOUR BODY
There are a few choices for this one:
-Pre bed yoga session (doesn't need to be long).
-Epsom salts warm bath before bed (I make some pretty kick ass bath soaks myself, if you are after some then email me for more information, link below).
Warm epsom bath soaks with a few other goodies in there allow the body to detox and also provide time to be still! Humans need to be reminded to be still sometimes.
This is a brilliant time to mention the benefits of magnesium for our sleep, if you are high stress or not getting enough magnesium through your diet then absorbing magnesium (Epsom salts) through the skin or adding extra magnesium into your diet can be a great idea.
DEEP DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
Deep diaphragmatic breathing is one of the only conscious links we have to calm the subconscious brain out of fight and flight and into rest and digest and/or sleep mode.
Don't know how to breathe with your diaphragm? Ask me or your wellness practitioner at your next appointment. You don't have a wellness practitioner? I am sorry to hear that, I would like to encourage people to be proactive rather than reactive with our health. But ultimately the choice is yours.
I have to point out I may be biased on this point, and cannot comment further on whether Chiropractic will or will not help with sleep (rules are rules).
GET ENOUGH SLEEP BUT STRUGGLE TO GET UP IN THE MORNING?
You could try out one of those nifty alarm clocks that reproduces the sun rising which means the hormones in your brain start to kick in (or out) and you wake up "naturally" at the time you set your alarm to and BOUNCE out of bed.
Disclaimer: you may not bounce out of bed, but after using it over a period of time may find it slightly easier to get up.
These are acupressure mats. They have a whole heap of tiny points on them that access acupressure points on the part of your body you apply it to. It is along the same lines as the "bed of nails" type situation from years ago (are they still doing that in some parts of the world?)
I personally find mine relaxing and enjoy time spent on it, please remember this is my opinion, everyone is different. I usually combine time spent on the mat with deep diaphragmatic breathing and/or meditation.
I could actually list a few more points, but I figure the blog will be so long you won't read all of it anyway. So I will save those points for another rainy day.
I hope you enjoyed that and can put into practice some tips to help you get the best quality sleep you can. Let me know how you get on!
Until next time,
Dr A xo
Hi. My name is Ainslee, I am a chiropractor and passionate about guiding people towards living their best. I love to facilitating people to get people well and stay well.