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11 Tips for Better Sleep

Having a great night’s sleep and waking up refreshed is essential to being productive and maintaining a strong immune system.  Keep reading for some advice on getting better quality sleep that will also help your back. 

  1. Make sure the room is dark. Blue light from television and computer/tablet screens tells your brain it’s daytime.   You can put a few night lights up so you can see if you need to use the bathroom during the night. 

  2. Use a pillow that is supportive of your neck.  Ask your chiropractor or physical therapist to help you find the right pillow or pillows.

  3. Sleeping on your back is the healthiest option. If you do sleep on your side, make sure you are un-curled as the position in which you sleep helps to mold your spine both good and bad.  Establish a routine before you go to bed so your body knows that it is time to sleep.

  4. Reading prior to sleeping helps your brain relax. 

  5. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. Chamomile tea is very relaxing.

  6. Using an essential oil diffuser with lavender can be soothing and help you relax before bed. 

  7. A white noise machine or fan can help you sleep better as well, however, this can have the opposite effect depending on the individual. 

  8. Make sure you do not have too many covers on your bed. This can cause you to awake due to overheating. 

  9. Make a list of what you are grateful for before going to bed. A happy attitude will lead to better sleep. 

  10. Take slow, deep abdominal breaths using the 4-2-4 breathing technique (four seconds in, hold for two seconds, slow breath out for four seconds and hold the breath out for two seconds). This helps relax your body and allows you to fall asleep more quickly and have better sleep quality. 

  11. Make sure your mattress is supportive.  We spend 6-8 hours on average sleeping, so the quality of your mattress is important to your spine health.  Ask your D.C. or P.T. for their input for help in this critical decision.

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