Posts Tagged ‘sleep’
A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
I was reminded of balance today from the owner of The Dailey Method in Lake Forest where I work out. She was discussing the importance of finding the time for yourself, regardless of the joys and obstacles in your life.
Balance has a different meaning for everyone, but I want to focus on the importance of health in your life and how that plays a huge role in feeling centered. We’ve all been in a place where we ate whatever was convenient, didn’t have the time to work out and went to bed still answering emails. More than likely this caused a need for more coffee in the morning and the entire cycle started over. Not only will this decrease your energy and your mental focus, but this will start to increase pain in your entire body.
How do we find balance in a world where we are pulled in multiple directions everyday? It comes down to planning and making time for what is important to you. We get stuck thinking about what needs to be done right now, and don’t think of the impact we are having on our bodies long term.
“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live” ~Jim Rohn
Daily and monthly activities that make a long term impact on health
- Take Vitamins – 2 minutes
- There is a lot of back and forth regarding the validity of supplementation. In 2004, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found significant declines in the mineral and vitamin content of 43 crops grown in the United States. Some of these crops showed declines for 40-80% loss of vitamins such as C, A, potassium, magnesium and more. Those statistics have only continued to decline. We now have to eat 8 oranges to get the same amount of Vitamin A that our grandparents got from a single orange!
- In my professional experience and expertise from these studies and others, a person should be taking physician quality vitamins and at a bare minimum a multivitamin, omega, probiotic and Vitamin D3. Always remember there are tiers to supplements, and recommendations are made individually.
- Daily Activity – 20 minutes
- Daily activity is a necessity for all systems of our body. Daily physical activity can improve mood, boost energy, boost good cholesterol and more! Find something you enjoy, and put it on your schedule!
- Sleep – 5-8 hours
- Sleep is where your body restores all systems. The National Heart, Lung and Blood institute has shown that ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for numerous chronic health conditions. If you are finding it difficult to sleep you should contact your MD or DC to see what may be the cause of your sleeplessness.
- Get Adjusted – 10 minutes once a month
- Chiropractic adjustments restore balance to the most important system in the body, your nervous system. Every person, of every age can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment. There are research studies linking improvement in pain, blood pressure, scoliosis, frozen shoulder, ear infections, neurological conditions and more from chiropractic adjustments.
- Every spine should be checked, just like having your oil changed and your teeth cleaned. Preventive care of your spine and nervous system will help you experience “overall increased bodily function” as studies state. Who couldn’t use an improved immune system, improved mood and energy, decrease mental stress and more?
These are just a few of many items I make the time for to feel balanced and healthy. There are always pieces being added to the health puzzle such as balanced home cooked meals, meditation, socializing and more. What is important is that you create your own list and find a way to fit them into your schedule. It’s important to remember the long term benefits of these suggestions instead of looking at the short term obstacle of fitting them in your schedule.
“Balance is not about better time management, it’s about better boundary management. Balance means making choices, and enjoying those choices.” – Betsy Jacobson
After an extremely trying day, one of the first thoughts you may have is how great it will feel to get under the covers for some shut eye. Can the type of mattress you have really be impacting the health of your back? Studies are saying YES!
In a published review from Medscape General Medicine, they found that up to 50% of people with back pain also suffer from sleep disturbances. They also concluded that poor sleep can be used to predict delayed healing after an injury. Furthermore, sleep is one of the key components to healing, regardless if an injury or illness.
The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found significant improvements in subjects pain levels, sleep quality and stress-related symptoms when they replaced their mattresses. We all know how stress can affect not only our quantity of sleep, but the quality as well. What the study goes on to say is that the reverse is also true. A lack of sleep will actually cause your body and mind stress, leading to increased pain!
What mattress one person prefers will vary compared to the next, but as a general rule the firmest mattress you can sleep on comfortably is your best bet. How about your positioning, do you know what is best?
Best: On Your Back
Sleeping on your back on a medium-firm mattress will BEST support the curves of your spine. You will need a thin or form fitting pillow to support the neck. You do not want too large of a pillow as this can lead to neck strain and headaches. (Keep in mind if you have conditions such as acid reflux, you are meant to sleep with your upper body at an angle, but not just your head)
Next Best: On Your Side
On your side does support the curves of your spine, but a proper pillow is imperative. The pillow should support and keep your head level to the bed. You may need a pillow between your knees to even out your hips as well.
Worst: On Your Stomach
Some patients have told me they can only fall asleep on their stomach. As a rule of thumb, I would prefer they try to change the habit immediately. Having your head turned to the side for most of the night is extremely damaging to the structure and soft tissue of the neck, but pending the firmness of your mattress you may start to experience low back pain as well.
What type of mattress have you found improves your sleep and pains? Are you a stomach sleeper? Share your experience with us! While you may feel great laying on a mattress in the store, it is important to buy a bed with a trial period. 60-90 days or longer should be enough time for you to know if the bed works for you.
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Over the years we’ve seen numerous women throughout and following their pregnancy. Many of these women bring their newborns in for treatment as well. As we check in with mom we always check in to see how their babies are doing. Are they sleeping enough? Are their cries satisfied with changing or being fed? Are they pooping enough or too much?
As simple as these questions are, there are many times the answers are no to more than one of the above questions. When a baby is struggling, the first question has to lead to diet of baby and mom. If our patient is breast feeding, then we need to address her diet to find out where the babies distress is coming from.
There are many foods that infants prove to be sensitive to causing symptoms such as colic, sleeping difficulties, diarrhea, constipation, digestive distress and gas. Every patient is different, but the first foods to remove from the diet include:
- Cow’s Milk (Including byproducts)
Step one is to review the list and see what the breastfeeding mother might be eating on a regular basis. This may be daily, or a few times each week. Try to cut those foods out for a week and see if the babies symptoms improve. Sometimes it is as easy as a diet change and the colic, crying and constant distress is solved!
When a baby is formula fed and has the same types of symptoms, it is time to address the formula. Goat milk has proven to be the top substitute since it is the closest to human milk. This is very easy to digest as long as the goat milk is certified “free of BGH and antibiotics”. There are of course other options that we would review with the family on a case by case basis.
It is important to have babies with any type of symptom evaluated by a trusted health professional to find the most appropriate and natural solutions for the babies symptoms as to not add toxins to their systems. If you or someone you know is noticing these types of symptoms with their newborns, do not hesitate to have them contact our office with questions.