Chiropractically correct sleep is when you sleep in a position that does not cause stress to the spine, the muscular system, or nerves. The position that works well for most healthy people is the fetal position. A person lies on either side, with the legs flexed toward the abdomen and the back also slightly flexed. This takes stress off the spine and allows the organs to spread themselves out so there is less intra-abdominal pressure against the diaphragm. A pillow under the head or neck will deflect a lot of weight from the shoulder you are lying on, along with slightly turning your shoulder out underneath.
kitten sleeps on the back like a log
Sleeping on the back is also an acceptable position but it is important to place a small pillow under the lower back region in order to support the natural curve in that part of the spine. Failure to do this can result in a restless sleep and a morning backache.
The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Some individuals may need more and some may need less.
Everyone has had trouble sleeping, but you can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
Caffeine can keep you awake and can stay in your body for up to about 14 hours. Cutting caffeine intake for at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you sleep better. If you had too much caffeine, try eating some carbohydrates to reduce the effects.
People vary in how rapidly their bodies break down caffeine and in how sensitive they are to its effects.
Caffeine can certainly affect a person’s ability to sleep well for four to six hours after consumption. In some people, it can interfere with sleep for eight to 12 hours afterward.
If you have trouble getting a sound sleep, which is important for good health, record the times you have caffeine and how you feel and sleep afterward for a week or more. For most people, the amount of caffeine in a small piece of chocolate doesn’t need to be counted, but you should keep track of coffee, tea and soft drinks with caffeine, as well as any caffeine-containing pain relievers. This record will help you identify the time of day at which you should switch to non-caffeinated products or cut back.
The quality of your mattress and pillow may affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. When you are uncomfortable, falling asleep is more difficult and can lead to restlessness.
- Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid. It may help you fall asleep, but will cause disturbances in sleep.
- Relax before bedtime. Stress makes you miserable. Develop some kind of pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between the day’s stress and bedtime. This can be 10 minutes or as long as an hour.
- Exercise at the right time for you. Regular exercise can help you get a good night’s sleep. The timing and intensity of exercise can play a key role in its effects on sleep. If you feel energized after exercising, you probably should not exercise in the evening.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable. For some, even the slightest noise or light can disturb sleep. Don’t use the overhead light if you need to get up at night; use a small night-light instead. Ideal room temperatures for sleep are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Eat right, sleep tight. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. Foods that help promote sleep include milk, tuna, halibut, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, bok choy, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, asparagus, potatoes, buckwheat and bananas.
- Restrict nicotine. Having a smoke before bed although it can feel relaxing puts a stimulant into your bloodstream similar to that of caffeine.
- Avoid napping. Napping can only make matters worse if you usually have problems falling asleep. If you do nap, keep it short.
- Keep pets off the bed. If your pet sleeps with you, this can cause you to wake up during the night, either from allergies or pet movements.
- Avoid watching TV, eating and discussing emotional issues in bed. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. If you associate the bed with distracting activities, it can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Adults (18+ years): Adults require seven to eight hours of sleep each night, yet according to a survey by the National Sleep foundation, many are getting less than seven hours. Adults spend less time in deeper sleep than younger people, and by age 65 many adults experience a significant decrease in the proportion of time spend in delta sleep (the deepest sleep). Although older adults spend less time in deep sleep, average total sleep time increases slightly after age 65. However reports of difficulty falling asleep coincide with the increase in sleep time. As you age, sleep becomes shallower and fragmented – a reason why the elderly wake more frequently than younger adults.
Do you get enough sleep? If any of these doe not help, there might be a problem that is needs more specific help.