Get Enough Sleep!
This article on sleep was provided by Dr. Michael Vanella, a top-rated Virginia Beach chiropractor.
The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance. People are compared to drunks when they have lost too much sleep. Getting a good night’s rest is so important that I’ll talk about sleeping, mattresses, and sleep positions.
I know for me missing a good night's sleep is the easiest way for me to get sick. I can choose not to eat crap food that lowers my immune system and allows me to get sick. I’ve done it long enough now I really don’t miss the stuff. Usually, all I see are the consequences of eating it rather than any fantasy belief it’s going to change my life for the better.
However, I digress. One of the biggest things I see adults and children lack when they are having problems sleeping is a bedtime routine. I remember when I was a kid 9 o’clock was bedtime. Still sticks in my head because Charlie’s Angels use to come at 9 pm and I could never watch it. I already had like an hour of calm time and so now it was time to clean myself up, brush my teeth, say goodnight to everyone and off to bed.
Nowadays I stay up a little later than 9 pm, but it is the same time most nights. The routine still is the same, although I sometimes read or journal before doing prayers.
Most people I talk to with problems sleeping do one or more of the following:
- Go to bed different times each night and I mean by an hour or more. There is no routine just when they feel like doing it.
- On the computer or phone before bed. Blue light really messes you up with sleeping. I run programs on my computer and phone that dims the blue light as it gets darker.
- Do stimulating activities right before bed. Exercise and games really get you going and make it hard to relax and come back down. I hear so many people say they are playing games on their phones and how worked up they get.
- Falling asleep on the couch. Just don’t do it. It’s a couch, not a bed.
- Have a television in their bedroom. Sorry to say the bedroom is only for sleeping and sex. Your mind gets trained very easily on what’s going to happen in certain places.
So to summarize: go to bed at a regular time each night, have quiet time for 30-60 minutes before bedtime, stay off electronic devices and keep the TV out of the bedroom. Hopefully, you had a bedtime routine when you were a kid and can fall back on that. If not then it’s time to start one.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATTRESSES
Given that the average person sleeps for 8 hours a day that means that the average person will sleep for 229,961 hours in their lifetime or basically one-third of their life. That’s precious time that could be spent watching Fight Club 105,325 times. However, a good night’s sleep is vital for everyone to survive.
Since we are lying horizontal for so much of our lives we should be comfortable. Our muscles really need to be able to relax to get a restful night's sleep. One part is having a clear and connected nervous system that we take care of in the office. The other part is having enough support for your body from your bed. Now that’s the rub, ‘for your body’. We know that mainstay corporations want us to think that we are all the same just with different hair colors, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. We all have a minimum of 3 physical differences from the person next to us. There are usually on the inside so we never know that we have a blood vessel that ‘zigs’ instead of ‘zags’ or a muscle that goes above instead of under. All these things help dictate how we relax as an individual.
Now, why do I tell you all this? Well, it’s the long answer to the $64,000 which is, “what is the best mattress?”
Sorry to say, folks, there isn’t any. If there were, someone would have all the money in the world. The real question is, “what is the best mattress for me?” Again I don’t have the answer to that since only you and your body know that. However, there are guidelines to help you find out what is the best one for you. These are what I believe are the best ways to find the best mattress for you:
- You need the firmest mattress you can take since they will only soften over time. They will never harden and you can’t do much to change that. However, you can do many things to soften them.
- Personally you want one that you can flip. I’ve had mattress people tell me that the non-flip ones have the same longevity. I think that’s a bunch of malarkey. Mattresses are now way too expensive to not last 8-10 years which is about the life of one of them if you were wondering.
- You need to spend time on the mattress. Doing the 1-2-3 bounce test doesn’t tell you squat. Just that your kids will enjoy jumping on it. You need to lie on a mattress for at least 10 minutes or until your body fully relaxes in what every position(s) you sleep in. The salesperson expects you to do this, but they are happy to see you one in 3 minutes if you like.
- You need a good return policy. This is because everything is mass-produced. Just like clothes. #1 is a whole lot different than #2063. Just because they have a return policy doesn’t mean it is easy or free. Ask questions.
SLEEP POSITIONS ARE IMPORTANT TOO
There are two different types of information in the world. One that lives in a vacuum and one that lives in the real world. With most of the sleep position information out there it is the former. Like most people have heard that sleeping on your back is the best position for you. But is it really? The human body needs to move and some of us move more than others. Lying on your back for 8 hours and you will wake up feeling worse than when you went to sleep. You will awaken stiff, painful and a good chance that your liquids in your body will have pooled which never feels good when they start to move. Also sleeping on your back is the easiest way to have nightmares if you are prone to them.
So what’s the best position? Like the point I’ve made through this series is that there is no best position, just what is best for you. For example, people with digestive issues do better sleeping on their left so their digestive juices do less irritation.
My best advice is to work with how you sleep. Because like you kids, once you are out of the picture they will probably do what they want. The same is for your body. You may try to sleep on your back, but if you are a side sleeper you will soon be there as soon as you fall asleep. If you are able to fall asleep in a different position at all?
That’s the point. We are creatures of habit, sleeping habits that we’ve had for decades. Just deciding to change will probably end up in many sleepless and/or restless nights. So sleep the way you enjoy it. The only thing I suggest to people is if they are stomach sleepers don’t use a pillow or put it under your chest. This is done so you don’t deform your neck while you sleep which can cause a lot of problems over time.
I hope that all this information helps you get the good night’s rest that you deserve.