There are a number of factors that you can control to help you obtain a good and restful night of sleep. This article will examine proven methods that can be used to help you sleep and decrease your neck and back pain.
Have you been having a problem obtaining a restful night of sleep? What helps a person get a good night’s sleep? Sleep has cycles, and not allowing these cycles to occur at night results in poor or inadequate rest.
Doctors are continually asked by patients what can be done to get a good night’s sleep. There are numerous advertisements for sleep aids, old wives tales and home remedies which have been touted as the answer to sleep. None of these are satisfactory to maintain good sleeping habits for care of your neck and back pain. Let’s examine some reasons for this sleep deprived epidemic.
Signs of Inadequate Sleep
Signs and symptoms of poor sleep include:
- Slow Reactions – danger driving or working
- Memory Loss – this is temporary due to the sleep deprivation, but could result in difficulty for the student taking examinations or the executive in the business setting.
- Headaches, Neck Aches And Pains – complaints that on some days one doesn’t feel well and “aches all over” can be a side effect of deficient sleep.
- Decision Making And Short Attention Span – for those in critical situations with the need to be attentive, poor or inadequate sleep can cause harm or bring undesired results.
Long Term Signs and Results of Poor Sleep
There are potential problems for the person who has chronic insomnia. Literature has documented the association of chronic insomnia with the following conditions:
- Diabetes Risk
Summary of problems caused by poor or inadequate sleep includes the following:
- Compromised Immunity
- Alerted Appetite
- Altered Metabolism
- Higher Blood Pressure
- Slow Reaction Times
- Increased Accident Rate
- More Sensitivity To Pain
- Stimulant Seeking
- Decrease in Human Growth Hormone Production
What Are Some Benefits Of Getting Good Sleep?
- Increased Tissue Healing
- Improved Recovery Rates
- Pain Modulation
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Weight Control
- Memory Improvement
- Stronger Immune Response
What Should Be Done To Get A Good Night’s Sleep?
There are a number of factors that contribute to poor or inadequate sleep. The American population as a whole does not make sleep a priority. We are fooling ourselves by saying “I can get by on 5 hours of sleep”. It is important that we get enough sleep and make it a priority. At the turn of the 20th century, Americans averaged 9.5 hours of sleep. At the start of the 21st century we have fallen to just under 7 hours of sleep per night on average. The ideal standard is 8 hours.
Americans do not keep a regular schedule of sleep. We should be on a 7 day a week schedule of going to bed and getting up. Have you ever wondered why Monday morning you wake up and have the “Monday Blues”? Over the week-end most people stay up a few hours longer than during the work week and get up a hour or two later the next morning. But Sunday night they try to go back to their 5 day a week schedule. Your circadian rhythm has been altered much like jet lag. Monday mornings can be difficult.
If you are going to take a nap, there are two time frames that are the most beneficial. The first sleep cycle that benefits you is the 30 minute ‘”cat nap”. After 30 minutes, you should get up and continue your day’s activities. The next time frame for the most restful nap is around 90 minutes. Your sleep cycle is to your benefit to be up in 30 minutes after a nap. If you are woken up after an hour, your sleep cycle is in Delta sleep and you are not as refreshed as you would have been with the nap. It takes awhile to get to the point that you don’t feel tired from your hour nap. The same scenario occurs with the 90 minute nap. This is a natural point in the cycle for you to wake up. Napping longer than 90 minutes results in the same feeling you have as after an hour nap, and the longer sleep may adversely affect your night’s sleep routine. The 30 minute nap is ideal for a rest period. This sleep activity has been called “a power nap” by some.
Remember to make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule for going to bed and getting up in the morning. Finally, follow the suggestions for napping and you will be more refreshed and alert.
The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office have experience in offering advice and recommendations to help improve your sleep habits.