Insomnia deserves serious attentionDear Dr. Miller: I suffer from insomnia. Can you give me any advice on this subject?
Dear Dr. Miller:
I suffer from insomnia. Can you give me any advice on this subject?
Sleep can have a major impact on your health. It is refreshing, comforting and an adequate amount of sleep is necessary in order to function at your full capacity. According to the Better Sleep Council, sleep is the natural restoration process of our bodies. It is an important segment of a healthy immune system, and is an important part of mental, physical and emotional health. You should try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping there are several different approaches that you can take to try to solve this problem.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, surveys have shown that 40 to 60 percent of the population has trouble sleeping. The ACA has some advice for dealing with this problem.
They recommend regular exercise preferably in the morning or at the very least no closer than two or three hours before bedtime. If you exercise any closer to your bedtime, your increased heart rate might interfere with sleep.
Limit caffeinated drinks and eliminate them altogether in the afternoon and near bedtime. Try to drink an equal amount of water to any caffeinated drink that you may have.
If you drink water at night, drink tap water at room temperature since cold water could upset your digestive system. Along the same line of thought, eat your evening meal early so you can digest your food before bedtime.
Get into a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. This helps your body to learn when to rest.
Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and keep the temperature cool and comfortable. Remove clutter from your bedroom and make it a soothing oasis of relaxation and comfort.
The Better Sleep Council recommends a good mattress. They advise that if your mattress is five to seven years old, if you wake up with aches and pains, if you have gotten a better night’s sleep on some mattress other than your own, or if your mattress has lumps or sags, it may be time to look for a new mattress. The American Chiropractic Association advises that your mattress should give you support from head to toe, with no gaps.
Changes in your weight, medical conditions or even a change of partners can indicate a need for a new mattress.
Choosing a mattress is very subjective, and there are many different comfort preferences that people have.
Don’t just sit on a mattress when you are buying a new one. Actually lie down on it for about three to five minutes in order to see whether it is right for you or not.
You can’t tell what a mattress is like for sure by just sitting on it. Whether you prefer a mattress that is firm, or one that is soft, shop for the best value, not the lowest price. It is worth it to buy the highest quality sleep set that you can afford.
You should also look at your pillow. When you are lying on your side you should make sure that your upper back and mid and lower spine are level with your head and neck. A mushy pillow may give you too little support.
If you usually end up sleeping on your side with one hand under your pillow you may have a pillow that does not give you enough support. Look for a pillow that is firm and is made from materials that support your head.
When you are shopping for a pillow, choose one that is right for your body. Remember, even though you might have a good mattress this might not be enough. It is just as important to choose the right pillow if you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
The Better Sleep Council states: “…although we spend 33 percent of our lives asleep, we barely give it a moment’s notice … until we can’t sleep. Then we think of it to the point of obsession.”
The American Chiropractic Association quotes and old Chinese proverb, which says, “only when one cannot sleep does one know how long the night is.”
Those of us who have experience insomnia can relate to this. Lack of sleep is a serious matter and should be dealt with. Since sleep is one of the most important functions of the brain, it needs to be a health priority for everyone.
Please send your questions and comments to: Dr. Carl Miller, Lake Superior Chiropractic, 2121 E. Fifth St., Superior, WI, 54880 or email Cmill005@yahoo.com.