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3 Reasons You're Not Getting The Sleep You Need

While it's good to focus on your health by maintaining a regular fitness routine and eating healthy and nutritious foods, if you’re not focusing on getting a good night’s sleep, you’re still missing out on living a truly healthy lifestyle.

Sleep is incredibly important for the body to function at its best capacity; lack of sleep or decreased quality of sleep has been linked to issues from high anxiety to increased risk of stroke, diabetes, or even premature death. While some answers are probably pretty obvious – don’t drink caffeine right before bed, for example – there are other more subtle factors and habits in your daily life and nightly routine that may be contributing to a decreased quality of sleep. Here are three possibly surprising reasons why you’re not getting the sleep you need, and how to fix them.

Aches And Pains

Physical pain and lack of sleep often go hand in hand, and it makes sense. If you’re experiencing joint or back pains, you’ll find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Conversely, if you’re having trouble getting adequate rest for any other reason, it could contribute to, or even create, joint pain, and thus a horrible cycle is born. Fortunately there are a few strategies you can try to alleviate pain during the night. Wear pajama pants or shorts with pockets in them, and place a tennis ball in the pocket on the side experiencing pain, and you’ll be discouraged from sleeping on that side, preventing being woken up in the middle of the night by a sudden burst of discomfort. You can also turn to massage as a therapeutic solution to pain relief and as a sleep inducer. Even if you don’t have the expenses to get a professional massage, or a partner to rub your shoulders, you can buy a massage tool to knead your knots away and increase blood flow. 

Stress And Racing Thoughts

When it comes to nighttime anxiety, aromatherapy has proven itself to be a wonderful sleep aid and tension reducer. Lavender is incredibly helpful at reducing levels of anxiety, so be sure to rub some lavender-scented lotion on your hands before bed, or place a drop of essential oil onto your pillow. If you’re worried about stains, you can try placing the oil on cotton balls and tucking them underneath the pillow case. 

An Unnatural Environment

Temperature and light both play a key role in determining whether your sleep is restful and deep or light and disrupted. If you live in an urban environment, lights from the city may still be seeping into your window and tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daylight. If this is the case, turn to blackout curtains, which work wonderfully well in reducing the light that comes into your room. Another reason sleep may become disrupted is due to unnaturally warm temperatures in your room; wear breathable material to bed, and choose natural fabrics over synthetic ones for your bed sheets.

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