Dr. Laura’s Top Three Tips for Better Sleep
We recently had the chance to “fall back” from daylight savings and gained an extra hour of sleep, but I have a feeling that for most of you, just one extra hour isn’t going to cut it. Over the last few months, I’ve had many of you mention struggles with sleep.
We all know that sleep is important, which can make it even more frustrating when you can’t fall asleep, wake up frequently or don’t get “good” sleep even when you do get the recommended amount (7 – 8 hours for adults; 9 hours for school-aged children and teens; 10 – 12 hours for preschoolers; 16 – 18 hours for newborns and infants).1
The good news is, there are EASY things you can do to help! Below are the top three tips I would recommend as well as links to articles with additional ideas and tricks if you’re interested in learning more.
- Log off. As our screen time has drastically increased with online meetings and school, so has our exposure to blue light. Blue light interferes with melatonin production, causing the brain to think it is still daytime. If you have to be on devices close to bedtime, consider wearing blue light blocking lenses about 90 minutes before bed or using an app on your phone to block blue light.2 To help you make the transition, iPhone users have a few easy, helpful options:
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to Display & Brightness under Settings and tap the Night Shift setting. This alters the screen temperature of your device to a warmer color, thereby filtering out the blue light during the timeframe you set.
- Also under settings, on your iPhone or iPad, find Do Not Disturb. From here, you can set a time your phone will automatically silence incoming calls, notifications and text messages when your phone is locked other than those from emergency contacts.
- Tune Out. Tune out the outside world and tune in to great sleep by using a white noise machine or binaural beats – I actually use binaural beats at home for myself and my kids! Binaural beats are a technique of combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create the perception of a single new frequency tone. Check out this article from Psychology Today to read about all the benefits. And bonus, there are a lot of great apps available to use!
- Keep it corked. No one wants to hear it, but if you want a great night’s sleep, you should avoid drinking alcohol within four hours of bedtime.2 Though that glass of wine might help you get to sleep, alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep, and you also tend to wake up more throughout the night. Water or even a sleepy time tea are great substitutes!
These articles from the International Chiropractors Organization and MindBody Green have a lot of great information as well, including supplements that help support sleep and tips for finding the best mattress to for your spine. In addition, don’t forget that chiropractic plays an important role in maintaining your overall health, including your sleep health!
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