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Sleep 101

Legend Says

This may not be the only reason you’re struggling with your sleep!

Sleep. It is essential.  We could all do with more of it, or at least better quality sleep.

The increasing dependence on stimulants such as coffee and energy drinks is somewhat telling that many of us are running low on energy and need a boost.

Interrupted or inadequate sleep on a regular basis not only leaves you tired through the day but also increases the risk of health ailments including fatigue, depression, heart disease and stroke.  There are seasons in life that demand more causing us to sacrifice sleep, although understandable, this could be counterproductive as your ability to perform and focus is greatly reduced without adequate rest.

Hormones such as insulin and ghrelin that are responsible for sugar metabolism and appetite are negatively affected in those who average less than 8 hours sleep a night, increasing risk of diabetes, obesity and making it harder to maintain a healthy weight.  Your immunity is also decreased making it harder for your body to fight off infections.

Your body is a complex machine, designed to live in cycles of night and day, dark and light.  Your autonomic nervous system responds to the level of light triggering the release of various hormones that wake you up in the morning and other hormones that help you fall asleep at nightfall.

In short if you want to be happier and healthier, sleep more, if not, sleep less. Here are four things you can do to get more sleep.

Prioritise quality sleep.  Your time during the day is limited, consider creating structure in your day to allow for a better sleep regimen.

I have mentioned the need for stimulants as a symptom of poor sleep but they may also be one of the causes.  As a rule, avoid caffeine after 1-2pm.

Limit the use of screens at night.   The light emitted from devices trick your brain that it is daytime, limiting the release of your natural, sleep inducing chemicals.

Have your spine and nervous system checked by your local Chiropractor.  Recent research demonstrates the impact of chiropractic adjustments on the part of the brain that controls autonomic nervous system which plays a large role in sleep.  This may explain in part why some who receive regular chiropractic care find their sleep improves.  Another reason may be that as areas of pain improve, sleep comes more easily.  No large-scale studies have been done on chiropractic and sleep so bear in mind that results may differ however the role of the nervous system in sleep is evident and chiropractic works to improve the function of this system.  Consider seeing one of our great Chiropractors this week to see how you can improve your sleep.  Get in touch here.


To Your Best Health
Dr James MacKay



Get to know Dr James:
” With the desire to dedicate myself to a career that would be fulfilling each and every day, I chose Chiropractic. Chiropractic is about helping your body run at its best so you can
heal and 
deal with everything life throws at you.”

Dr James’ passions are Chiropractic, motorbikes, power lifting and most importantly food!

Read More Blogs by Dr James



Lelic, D, Niazi, IK, Holt, K, Jochumsen, M, Dremstrup, K, Yielder, P, Murphy, B, Drewes, A and Haavik, H (2016), “Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localization study,” Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016 (2016).

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