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Sleep and Your Overall Health

By Janin Hendry

We have all been there, the last-minute work project or sick child that keeps you up half the night. If they do not happen regularly, your body will return to normal, but regular sleep loss across long nights or too early mornings can take its toll.

Why Do You Need a Sleep Schedule?

A regular sleep schedule with specific times to go to bed and get up, even on the weekends, will keep your body functioning correctly. Without a sleep schedule, you will experience greater shifts that can affect your life.

  • Mood control - Being able to control your emotions is a skill that can take mastery. Without a consistent sleep schedule, you will have less control when handling stressful situations such as road rage, your children lying to you, or managing an unstable boss.
  • Physical injury - If you like to add physical exercise to your routines, you are more likely to injure yourself through overwork, strain, or an out of sync body. Sleep repairs your body throughout the night while you sleep, and broken sleep leaves you less recovered.
  • Relationship strain - Tired parents and tired children do not make the best choices or say the best things. When you consistently get a good night's sleep, your relationships improve with the people around you. You will have less marital stress and will be able to handle the antics of your children more easily.

How Can You Get Better Sleep?

There are many ways you can set up your new routine for better sleep. You can try multiple systems to set yourself up in the best way for your days.

  • Set alarms for waking and sleeping - It is better for you to wake up without an alarm, but when you train your body to your new routine, set the alarm. When the alarm goes off, you either have to immediately get up or go to bed to start your body on the routine.  
  • Have a relaxing pre-sleep routine - Limit your screen time and spend at least the last half-hour relaxing at something that does not cause stress. You can read a book, knit, or relax in a tub of warm water. Choose an activity that will not strain your eyes and will force you to relax.
  • Leave work at work - While you cannot always leave your work behind, have a cutoff point for doing it at least an hour before bedtime. Your mind needs time to stop thinking about the next day's problems and to unwind enough for sleep.
  • Age-specific bedtimes - Put your kids to bed on a schedule as you put yourself to bed. Children can be very stressful after a long day at work, and a 4-year-old does not need to be up at 10 p.m.
  • Limit caffeine after 2 p.m. - Too many foods contain stimulants, and the more you take in, the greater chance of poor sleep. Limit the amount of caffeine you take in during the day and stop in the early afternoon. Your body needs to expel the day's caffeine, so it can turn off on the schedule you choose.

Sleep is important for good overall health. You and your family should work to keep yourselves consistent in your waking and sleeping for the best possible productive days.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Coppell, Tex. 

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