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Awaken to Better Sleep, Better Health

By Dr. Molly Casey

Your Sleep and You

Sleep is a large part of life. If someone sleeps eight hours per night, that would mean on average that same person would sleep one-third of their lifetime. The best experience of life and health requires knowledge. The truth of what comes at both ends of the spectrum allows us to choose wisely. This sticks true with sleep. A lack of sleep can be detrimental and proper sleep is a requirement for optimal health.

The American Sleep Association (ASA) states that 50-70 percent of U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. This can literally be a life and death situation or a serious injury can result. The ASA estimates that driving drowsy is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries every year. On the other end of the spectrum, the proper amount and quality of sleep helps propel you into optimal levels of health.

Purpose of Sleep

Let’s start at the brain. Your brain and your body need sleep. It’s a basic requirement. Studies have shown that rats deprived of sleep for periods of two to three weeks die. Our brain cells reorganize during sleep. This promotes healthy cognition and function. The brain’s cognitive abilities decrease and ultimately overall body function is hindered when deprived of sleep.

Sleep supports the production of essential hormones required for childhood growth. Repair and restorative processes occur during sleep within all cells of the body for kids and adults alike. Sleep supports metabolism and energy levels.

Chiropractic and Sleep Health

The nervous system is the communication highway in your body. It’s the foundation of your health. When your nervous system is overloaded, stressed and strung out, one of the common side effects is that going and/or staying asleep can be quite difficult. It can leave folks feeling agitated and wired. The lack of sleep compounds the stress on the communication highway and the problem worsens. The cycle continues.

Chiropractic care takes stress off the nervous system by restoring optimal levels of spinal joint motion. The spine houses the central nervous system. When the spine is moving properly, the nervous system has the greatest opportunity to communicate optimally without interference. Often this most basic level of care is profoundly effective in reducing enough stress off the nervous system to facilitate better health and -- you got it -- sleep.

Optimal Sleep Habits

What are the important habits so that you can optimize your time with the Sandman?

Respect it - Sleep is a cornerstone of optimal health, treat it as such. Frequently, the cornerstones of health and life get abused and battered the most. Sleep is no exception. Own that it can make or break your day and your life, really.

Routine and consistency - Get a schedule and stick to it. One hour prior to going to sleep, cut out all electronics and screens (TV, tablets, phones), keep the physical activity to a minimum and slow down your overall pace. Allow your body time to settle down and get ready for rest, if you will. Meditate, read a book, or do whatever you need to do to wind down. Then do that every single night and get your body and sleep schedule on a routine. Yes, even on the weekends. Then be consistent with it. The less fluctuation, the easier the body will be able to adapt and the better you’ll sleep.

Requirements - Individual sleep needs vary. Generally, most adults fall between the seven to nine hours per night requirement. I can promise you this: If you’re regularly running on six hours of sleep or less, you’re certainly not doing yourself, your health, or those around you any favors.

Get adjusted - Chiropractic care promotes optimal health and functioning of the nervous system. Americans are under more stress now than ever before. Whether you feel it or not, give yourself and your body the opportunity to rest as easily as possible through regular chiropractic adjustments.

Sleep is an integral part of your health and life. Mess with it -- meaning not putting much attention into getting proper amounts or quality -- and you will mess with your health. If you take it far enough, it can mess with other lives as well. Your sleep health affects more than you just you. Stop into The Joint Chiropractic and see if we can help you help yourself in bettering your sleep habits.

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