SHIFNAL CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC

Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

01952 460 947

Sleeeep!

13/02/2017

10 reasons to get a good sleep, and ways to get it!

More and more people are struggling to get enough sleep.  The 24 hour society we live in these days mean we can access and be accessed at all hours of the day and night, not to mention the possible effects of looking at screens on our ability to switch off and get some shut-eye.

That being the case, it’s important not to just shrug it off as “the way it is”.  Here are 10 benefits to a good nights’ sleep:

  1. Clearer thinking – studies have shown that without sufficient sleep our thought process slow down and we can also have difficulty remembering new things.  It has also been shown that lack of sleep can cause bad decision making; it has even been suggested that disasters such as the 1986 Challenger shuttle explosion and the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster were caused by sleep deprived workers.

  2. Reduce pain – particularly relevant for a lot of my patients!  There is a direct relationship between how much deep sleep you get in a night and your pain tolerance.  Even pain medication is less effective if you haven’t had enough, and it’s well recognised that conditions such as fibromyalgia are made worse by lack of sleep.

  3. Calmer kids – children require more sleep than adults, and it’s important they get it!

  4. Relationships – not only is it important not to go to bed on an argument, a good nights’ sleep can help avoid the row in the first place.  We become increasingly selfish and lack empathy when we’re tired, and a long term lack of sleep has actually been linked to an increase in divorce rates and relationship break downs.

  5. Fewer accidents – we all know that tiredness can kill, but did you know that it quite possibly kills more people than drink-driving? Your brain will literally just shut you down, and you can drop into micro-sleep; it only lasts seconds, but it can be enough for you to lose control of your vehicle.

  6. Happier life – sleep has powerful effects on your mood.  It has been reported that a single extra hour’s sleep a night feels better than a £50,000 pay rise!

  7. Weight – insufficient sleep increases cravings for food and sugar by 33%, appetite is increased by 24% and the hunger-reducing sleep hormone leptin is supressed.  All of this will lead to you eating more, and not even of the healthy stuff!

  8. Live longer – people who sleep well live longer and are less likely to develop serious health issues such as diabetes.  It could even be one reason why women tend to live longer than men – they get more of the deep sleep, on average, then men!

  9. Earnings – while some well-known figures such as Margaret Thatcher and Donald Trump proudly boast how little sleep they are able to function on, it is generally recognised that the more sleep you get the higher your earnings are.  If you think about it, that makes sense – you are less grumpy, miss fewer days through ill health and are able to think more clearly than you sleep-deprived co-workers!

  10. Athletic performance – I very much doubt you could find a single top-level athlete who is able to perform to the best of their ability after losing sleep the night before.  All competitors will try and make sure they get to the venue as far in advance as possible, so that they are well settled and rested.

So that’s all well and good, but how do you manage it?

  • Relax! The body is designed to sleep.  Rather than trying to “chase” sleep, practise doing nothing and simply “letting go”

  • Avoid stress.  Set a regular bedtime and five yourself time to wind down.  Turn off mobile phones two hours before sleep, and avoid work or stressful activities

  • Cut stimulants.  Avoid caffeine, nicotine, heavy meals and alcohol before you go to bed.

  • Switch off.  Turn off the television and avoid digital screens as you wind down.

  • Don’t work.  Avoid doing work in the bedroom – keep the bedroom a quiet and relaxing place

  • Keep fit.  Exercise every day – try 30 minutes of walking or cycling, ideally not within four hours of bed time.

  • Clockwork. Set a regular time to wake up every day, to encourage a normal sleep-wake cycle

  • Cosy.  Keep your hands and feet warm.  Use thick socks or a hot water bottle if necessary.

  • Bed fit.  Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow – you’re going to spend a third of your life on them!

  • Good soak.  Take a hot bath 2 hours before bed, as the increase in body temperature primes you for sleep.

Comments (1)

  1. The Joint - Pasadena East:
    Feb 23, 2017 at 06:18 PM

    My patient's sessions are always more effective when they've had a sufficient night of sleep! Pain is exacerbated and stress levels go up, making back pain that much worse.. Thanks for the share :)


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