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Chiropractor’s Advice for Better Sleep

I’m one of the 40 to 60 percent of the population that regularly has trouble sleeping. In fact, I’m part of a much rarer group - I’m a chronic insomniac, and have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep almost every night. The only time I know for sure that I’m going to get a good night’s sleep is in the days immediately after my routine chiropractic appointments, because my chiropractor knows I’m an insomniac and has tailored his treatments to help me sleep.

With work and family stress, everyday worries and aches and pains caused by uncomfortable beds and pillows, it’s no wonder that so many people experience occasional insomnia. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has some tips to help you get a better night’s sleep without the use of sleeping pills, which often leave you “hungover” the next morning:

  • - Get regular exercise. Morning exercise is best, but make sure to finish up your exercise at least three hours before bedtime.
  • - Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks.
  • - Keep a routine. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.
  • - Keep your bedroom dark, cool and comfortable.

When choosing a mattress, look for one that supports your body weight evenly and allows your spine to stay in its natural alignment.

  • - Your mattress should provide head to toe support. If there are gaps between your body and your mattress, you won’t get the support you need.
  • - Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise or upside down, so that body indentations are kept to a minimum.
  • - Changes in your life can signal the need for a new mattress. If you’ve gained or lost a lot of weight or gained or lost a significant other, your mattress may no longer suit you.
  • - If you’re not looking to buy a new mattress, you can make it firmer by placing a board underneath it or softer by purchasing a 1-2 inch-thick padding to place on top.

After investing perhaps thousands of dollars in a quality mattress, it doesn’t make any sense to skimp on a pillow that’s less than perfect. Be choosy about your pillow. When lying on your side, your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine. When lying on your back, your head and neck should remain level with your upper back and spine. Don’t choose a thick pillow that “props up” your head and neck. Avoid sleeping on your stomach entirely - it can lead to painful subluxations in your spine.

If you still experience pain after choosing a quality mattress and pillow, make an appointment with your chiropractor. Doctors of chiropractic are trained to treat spinal problems that can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Mine works wonders - yours could, too.

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