Importance of Sleep

Many people in today’s society underestimate the importance of sleep. An old Chinese proverb states, “Only when one cannot sleep does one know how long the night is.” How true this is and I dare say that there are many of us that can relate to this saying.

Recent surveys have shown that between 40-60% of the general population has trouble sleeping. This can be due to daily stress, pressure at work in trying to meet that deadline, problems within the family, inappropriate bed or pillows, aches and pains in the body and many other issues that get in the way of a good nights sleep.

Dr Frederick R. Carrick, the president of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Neurology says, “Sleep is one of the most important functions of the brain. The ability of the nervous system to regulate sensory input is considered a prerequisite to sleep. Specific areas of the brain change in their function to prevent transmission of sensory information that might keep us awake. Patients suffering from pain or other sensory conditions that contribute to a continual activation of the brain may have difficulty sleeping.”

In today’s society, sleeping problems accounts for millions of hours of lost work, poorer life performance, ruined relationships, higher work and car related accidents, along with billions of dollars in medication and doctors bills. Many people have reverted to taking prescription medication as a result of not sleeping, instead of using alternative treatment.

In 2001 an article in the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association stated that sleeping disorders like insomnia were linked with “painful musculoskeletal conditions that may result in sleepiness, irritability and feelings or misery.”

Dr Carrick also stated “Chiropractic treatment in general is a good alternative for those individuals who do not feel rested and who do not wish to take prescription drugs to assist them in obtaining quality sleep.”

Chiropractors can offer relief to people suffering musculoskeletal pain that affects their sleep. We can also offer advice in sleeping posture, mattress and pillow selection along with other sleeping solutions.

Here are a just few helpful tips to help you get that good night sleep:

  • Drink a glass of milk. Milk contains Tryptophan, which increases the levels of    melatonin in the brain that slows down the brain and makes you sleepy.
  • Have a regular bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. Best done in the morning. Not too close to your bedtime.
  • Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks near bed time.
  • Eat at least 2 hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t watch television or look at a computer 30 minutes before going to bed. The light can mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight, which fools you brain into thinking it’s not time for sleep.

Please call your Chiropractor at AHS on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.