Better Sleep = Better Health
Feeling tired? Poor sleep habits and disrupted sleep are the root cause of many of the health problems we see at Brookview Wellness. Healthy and consistent sleep is the foundation of wellness, and it is hard to make improvements to your health status if you are not sleeping well. Sometimes, a little information can make a big difference, so let’s talk about sleep and how you can get better ZZZs in no time.
Causes of Poor Sleep
Poor sleep is the side effect of many different lifestyle choices, employment circumstances, health conditions and habits. Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always at the top of our list of priorities. We tend to settle for the sleep we can get rather than making it a priority to get the sleep our bodies need to function optimally. Some of the most common causes of poor sleep are:
- Metabolic issues (high blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, high cholesterol)
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic pain
- Excessive screen time
- Late night eating
- Caffeine and sugar consumption
- Shift work
- Side effects of medication
Sleep apnea in particular is a common cause of poor sleep and degraded health we encounter with our patients. It can be difficult to detect on your own, and it often goes undetected for too long. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results in the repeated disruption of your breathing while sleeping. This is most commonly caused by an obstruction of your airways due to the relaxing of your throat muscles while you sleep. It does not necessarily have anything to do with your weight, health status or fitness level. Sleep apnea can affect anyone, which makes it a sneaky and often overlooked cause of sleep deprivation. Think you may have sleep apnea? Read on for some suggestions to help you manage this disorder.
Any single one of the causes listed above disrupt your sleep, but many of us are dealing with more than one of these issues. With so many things affecting our ability to sleep well, it can seem impossible to get a good night’s rest. You may not be able to eliminate all of the causes of poor sleep. However, there are many things you can do to improve your sleep and increase the number of nights you get the sleep your body needs.
Tips for Better Sleep
Getting adequate sleep does not have to feel like a chore or sacrifice. There are several small changes you can make today that can help you sleep better tonight. Some other remedies may take longer to show results, but it will be worth it when you wake up rested and feeling strong.
Some easy changes you can make to improve your sleep tonight are:
- Stop eating three hours prior to bedtime
- Sleep in a dark room that is a comfortable temperature
- Limit screen time two hours before you sleep
- Decrease caffeine consumption during the day
- Decrease sugar consumption during the day
- Exercise daily, even just a light walk can make a difference
- Meditate or do some calming deep breathing exercises prior to sleep
In addition to these small changes, adding a supplement to your day can also improve your sleep quality. Both melatonin and magnesium can aid in getting better sleep. Talk to your primary care physician about these options and the appropriate dosages for your needs.
Sleep apnea may be the culprit if you find yourself waking up gasping for air, waking with a headache, waking up often and/or finding yourself excessively tired during the day. This disorder is hard to diagnose because you are asleep, but asking your partner to monitor you while you sleep could be helpful input into your sleep patterns. If you sleep alone, there is a helpful app called SnoreLab that allows you to record yourself while sleeping. Should either one of these monitoring solutions indicate that apnea may be your issue, it is often suggested that you have a sleep study performed. Your primary care physician can refer you for this service which is done in the comfort of your home. A sleep study is valuable insight into your sleep patterns and issues.
Some of the causes of sleep disruption will take more time to address, but the results will lead you to better health of both your mind and body. If you suspect that metabolic issues, chronic pain or inflammation may be the cause of your lack of quality sleep, Brookview Wellness would love to partner with you to improve those issues. Our functional medicine, chiropractic and massage therapy services can help you manage and improve these issues leading you to better sleep and restored wellness. Schedule an appointment or discovery call today and let’s get you some great rest!