What Can I Do To Get a Restful Night Sleep?

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In this time of uncertainty, there has been an increase of fear, depression, boredom, confusion and isolation all which keeping are keeping a lot of people up at night.  Many are having a difficult time relaxing, getting to sleep, and staying asleep.  What can we do to get that restful night sleep?

Sleep Promotes Healing

Your body and mind are ‘always on’ and requires constant fuel.  Together they coordinate not only how you physically move but control the functionality of various organs such as breathing and your heartbeat.  Your mind is where all your thoughts, senses and emotions are housed.  A diet high in nutrients fuels the body which is used to fight off infection, inflammation, and improves mood and energy levels.  A good night sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet.  It aids in restoring health and keeps the body and mind working efficiently.  A restful night enables the body to recover and repair itself.  A study published February 12, 2019 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine and led by Stoyan Dimitrov and Luciana Besedovsky at the University of Tubingen, explains that lack of sleep can bring on depression and chronic stress.

Don’t Let Stress Affect Your Health

In times of great stress, sleep becomes even more important.  There was 2 study’s done on sleep.  One study showed that individuals who get less than 7 hours of sleep are more susceptible to the common cold compared to those who get 8 or more hours of sleep.  The second study, that sleep improves the immune system and promotes healing. COVID-19 definitely qualifies as a stressor for most of us.  Stress of working at home or not working while homeschooling; mixed with the fear and worry of the unknown, has led to unhealthy eating and sleep habits, and interrupted routines.  Dr. Thanuja Hamilton, a board certified Sleep Medicine Specialist and featured on ABC’s Pandemic Season 1 episode 110, reported that since COVID-19, going to bed late, sleeping in and napping is causing social jetlag which can make you ill. There has also been an increase of nightmares, vivid dreams, and people are waking up more often.  Stress eating of greasy acidic foods has also increased, which can lead to indigestion and effect dreams.  

Recommendations For a Good Night’s Rest

Making a daily routine and creating a schedule that promotes consistency and is the key to making your life more organized, productive, and encourages you to be your best self.  Setting your morning alarm, taking a shower, getting dressed and physical activity will help in lessening anxiety.  To cut down on those racing thoughts that creep up when trying to sleep, create a bedtime ritual 1-2 hours before bed, disconnecting from all technology and start journaling a grateful or gripe list.  Breathing and stretching exercises mixed with some mediation can also create a peaceful environment and help to relax you before bedtime.  Powell Family Chiropractic wants you to know that sleep matters and is essential for your health.  Embracing these tools will give you the freedom to sleep and reap all its benefits.

Author
Nerissa Powell

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