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5 Tips to Optimize Your Sleep

Take it from a wellness Doctor in Greeley: sleep is crucial for your health! Not getting enough sleep can make you irritable and grumpy, but it also does so much more. Sleep is important for your immune system, allows the body to repair itself and build muscle and even regulates hormones and metabolism. However, many suffer from a lack of sleep and find it difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep!

If you struggle to sleep, you’re not alone—research has found that 27{2c3391cbf05b53d5566dfbef99f8eba4ee55c1cb4e0f1962d6127c94cfa87601} of American adults have trouble falling and staying asleep most nights, and 68{2c3391cbf05b53d5566dfbef99f8eba4ee55c1cb4e0f1962d6127c94cfa87601} of adults struggle with sleep at least once a week. Just because you struggle sleeping doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. There are actions you can take and habits you can make (or break) to improve your chances for a restful night’s sleep.

Here are five ways to set yourself up for a restful night:

1. ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE!

a family brushing their teeth

Create a bedtime routine that tells your subconscious that you’re winding down for the night. Wash your face, brush your teeth, read a chapter in your book or write in your journal, then climb in the bed and LIGHTS OUT! Whatever the nighttime routine looks like for you, stick to it.

This trains your brain into knowing it is time to settle down and settle in! If you don’t have a bedtime routine now, start small—choose one habit to adopt and slowly add more to your routine.

 

2. Turn OFF the electronics!

man staring at his phone at night in his bed

Most of us watch TV before bed (even IN bed) and even more of us are playing on our phones. Not only does the action on our TVs, tablets, and phones get our brains “running”, but it’s thought that the blue light from electronics is melatonin-inhibiting.

Melatonin is crucial for sleep, and when we are lacking it, we start to lack in sleep. So, turn off those devices AT LEAST 30 minutes before sleep, however an hour would be ideal!

Plug in that phone in a different room, and open a book instead. Turning off your electronics helps your brain and body wind down for the night and transition more easily into a restful sleep.

 

3. Use your bed for SLEEP!

baby sleeping comfortably

As mentioned above, many people climb in bed with a bedtime snack and turn on the TV or working on a work project or sit on their bed during the day to read, talk on the phone, or work. Our brain starts to associate the bedroom with work or snacking.

Then, when our head hits the pillow, we end up feeling hungry or our minds start racing with all of the things that need to get done. Train your brain to recognize that once you’re tucked in under those blankets, it’s time to sleep! Setting aside your bed just for sleep can be challenging, especially in a small space.

Move some of the non-sleep activities to other areas, such as the couch or dining table. You can even designate a special chair for all of the things you normally do on your bed to still give yourself a comfortable place that isn’t for sleeping.

 

4. Have a healthy day. 

man eating a healthy breakfast

A good night’s sleep starts during the day. Practice healthy habits during your day to keep your body functioning properly and in a good rhythm. Exercise regularly to burn energy and tire your body out. When you’ve worked your body throughout the day, it’s more likely to be tired when it’s time to go to bed.

However, be careful not to exercise within a few hours of going to bed in order to give your body time to calm down. Follow a healthy diet throughout the day with balanced meals. Be especially mindful of what you eat and drink in the last few hours of the day.

Drinking caffeine or alcohol too late in the day or eating large meals close to bedtime can also make it hard to fall asleep. Some people also find that chiropractic treatments help their insomnia and that they have improved sleep after a chiropractic adjustment.

 

5. Make it comfortable. 

man sleeping with proper neck support

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep if your bed and bedroom aren’t comfortable. Start with comfortable bedding and a pillow that supports your head and neck. If you suffer from sleep apnea, try using a pillow to elevate the top half of your body as you sleep on your back.

Create a comfortable environment in your bedroom by setting the temperature so that it isn’t too hot or cold. Adding a white noise machine or ceiling fan can help block out distracting noises. Add light to the room that can be dimmed closer to bedtime, and check that your curtains block out light and sound.

A comfortable bedroom looks different for everyone and should be made for your personal preferences. Create a comfortable space for you that invites your body to sleep.

 

Takeaway

 

We tend to overstimulate and confuse our brains when it comes to sleep. Most of us are going trying to get in those last few moments of the day to finish up work or watch mindless TV. We surf social media or play a game thinking we are “winding down” but in reality, we are doing the opposite. Sleep is vital to our overall health and wellbeing, so make it a priority in your everyday routine.

Try these five tips and let us know if you find yourself sleeping better! Better yet, see if a chiropractic consultation can help you catch more z’s.

 We are committed to educating and inspiring individuals and families to cultivate health and healing throughout their lives.

Dr. Erik and Dr. Patricia

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