How To Sleep Better

How great is a good night’s sleep? It is amazing! Americans spend a lot of money searching for the wonderful coffee commercial morning. The one with that feeling of waking up to the morning sunbeams, having a relaxing stretch and starting the day feeling great. How do we normally feel in the morning? Like a dog’s chew toy that was left in the yard overnight. It is absurd how many patients I see that tell me that their pains happened after sleeping. It an embarrassing answer when someone asks how you got hurt:

“How did you hurt yourself? Did you do a sick trick on your skateboard?”

“No, I was sleeping.”

We should get seven to nine hours a night sleeping, but to a lot of people that sounds miserable. They know that that much time laying in bed will bring aches in the hips and shoulders, tightness in the back and a kink in the neck. Sleep is meant to be rejuvenating, not punishing. Here are some tips to help you get that coffee commercial morning that you crave:

  1. Make sure you have a good bed. That sounds easy enough, but what is a good bed? A good bed is a mattress that is firm enough to support your weight, but soft enough that it does not create pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Everyone is different with different needs. I suggest trying a lot of beds and finding your personal sweet spot. It is easier to make a firm bed soft than it is to make a soft bed firm.
  2. Relax physically and mentally before bed. The tension that we carry during the day is going to try and go somewhere at night. I recommend turning off all the screens that you can. Watching TV, using a computer and scrolling on your phone all create eye strain and muscle tension. Read a book, meditate, stretch, sit on the porch and watch the sunset, or take a bath. Do something that relaxes you and gets you away from electronics.
  3. Try to create a dark and cool sleeping environment, the kind that our ancestors enjoyed not that many generations ago. We don’t have to sleep outside under the stars, but creating a safe, quiet and cool resting space will help our natural sleep cycle.
  4. Chiropractic care can help relieve any aches, pains and other issues that accumulate during our daily lives. Our modern habits create tension in our shoulders, neck, and back. Chiropractic is the safe, effective remedy.

Sleep can be restful and wonderful. Hopefully these tips can re-kindle your love of sleep!

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Warming Up For Summer

I think we all love summer. The cold, dark days of winter are mostly behind us. The flowers are blooming, the days are longer, and the grass is growing. It’s a wonderful time to shake off the winter rust and return to an active lifestyle. Walking, hiking, gardening, biking, golfing…there are a lot of -ings that we do! These things are all great for our physical and mental wellbeing. As we start to get ready for summer, it is smart to follow the example of Major League Baseball.

I always look forward to the Mariners starting their Spring Training. The players return from their winter whatever and start to get ready for their summer jobs. The first few days are spent jogging, stretching and lightly throwing. These professional baseball players gradually get their bodies ready for activities. If these pros need a few days or weeks to get ready for summer, how important is it for us weekend warriors to prepare ourselves? Too many injuries occur in the summer because we have been sitting on the couch for the last five months, binge watching Game of Thrones and suddenly we think that we can walk five miles up and down hills.

Just like any other activity, we must allow our bodies time to adapt and build up its strength and stamina. Start slow, take appropriate breaks and do not think that you can suddenly jump back into an activity that you haven’t done since fall. As you do this, you will avoid major problems and injuries. Minor aches are expected and normal but give us a call before they become major issues. Chiropractic care should be an essential part to your summer activities.

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