How To Sleep Better?
How To Sleep Better?
Almost every patient of mine that comes through our office doors has an issue with their sleep. For some reason, they just aren’t getting enough sleep and/or are having a hard time staying asleep. My name is Dr. Milan Modi and I’m an Upper Cervical & Structural Rehabilitation Chiropractor at East Cobb Upper Cervical Spine Clinics. Let’s talk more about this serious issue.The purpose of this article is not to get into the list of sleep disorders and their causes, but rather an overview how to get better sleep and what the possible implications could be for the lack of quality sleep.
Personally, I’ll admit I don’t have the best nighttime routine. I’m aware people have a PM skincare routine, pre-bedtime routine, etc before calling it in for the night. I’ll share with you what I do; it’s minimal.
What To Do After Dinner?
Usually, I’ll have dinner about 2–3 hours before getting bed. This is important. Falling asleep or laying down on a full stomach isn’t pleasant. Food stays in the upper part of the stomach and upper intestines causing you to feel full or bloated. The digestion process isn’t efficient when you eat and immediately get into bed. So, what should you do? Walk for 15–20 minutes indoors (or outdoors if the weather is nice) post dinner. Movement will jumpstart the digestion and absorption process. Also, you will be upright. This means, because of gravity, the steak and potatoes you had for dinner will stay towards the bottom of the stomach, moving into the intestines easier.
Benefits Of Melatonin
Melatonin has been a wonder supplement for me. I take 5 mg about 30–45 minutes before getting into bed. Melatonin isn’t like Benedryl (the drowsy effects) nor is it like Z-Quil by Vicks. The supplement isn’t intended to cause sleepiness. Instead, melatonin works by promoting sleep. This means, once you’re asleep, it’ll help you stay asleep, as well as, get into deeper sleep longer. Deep sleep, otherwise known as, REM sleep, is the best form of sleep because our body is truly “resetting” for the next day’s adventures.
Caution: While developing an addiction or dependency for melatonin is very unlikely, it’s important to not take it every night. Ultimately, you want your body to produce it’s own hormones, sufficiently.
Keep Your Room Dark and Cool
Before I get into my room, I’ll turn down the temperature of my house to a nice 68-degrees. For my house, this is cool enough to fall asleep, but not too cold to start shivering. For reference, during the day time, the thermostat is set at 70-degrees. Yes, even 2 degrees makes a big difference.
While I rather not get into the physiology of why cooler rooms causes better sleep, have you ever noticed a hot, stuffy room causes more tossing and turning? Turn down the thermostat a bit and watch what happens.
Next, make sure your room is dark — and I mean dark. I use black-out curtains in my room. If you’re not a morning person, this may become an issue for you. However, for me it’s not. With black-out curtains, not one speck of sunlight is allowed to come through the window. The darkness promotes higher levels of our sleep hormones. Remember, sleeping is when we heal, reset, or re-charge. I’ll cover my window approximately 99%. I’ll allow one sliver of space just so I can see outside in the morning.
In conclusion, remember these 3 tips:
- Eat 2–3 hours before bed
- Consider supplementing with melatonin
- Make sure your room is dark and cool.
By implementing these considerations into your daily nighttime routine, I believe the quality of your sleep will increase exponentially.
Final thoughts on How To Sleep Better
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