Not getting enough sleep – or not enough quality sleep that leaves you refreshed and ready to take on the day? Instead are you fatigued, irritable and ready to crawl right back into bed? A major health issue could be in your future: chronic pain. In fact, your odds of suffering chronic pain due to poor quality and/or quantity of sleep may increase by a factor of two or three compared to people who experience better sleep.
I have some tips for great sleep hygiene!
Get regular. Go to bed and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends and days off!
Sleep when sleepy. Try to only sleep when you actually feel tired, rather than spending too much time awake in bed.
Get up & try again. If 20 minutes pass and you’re still wide awake, get up and do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy. Sit quietly somewhere with the lights off to tell your brain it’s time to shut down.
Avoid caffeine & nicotine. Avoid consuming caffeine or nicotine for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. These act as stimulants and interfere with the ability to fall asleep.
Avoid alcohol. It’s also best to avoid alcohol 4-6 hour before bed. It may seem relaxing and helpful but actually interrupts the quality of sleep.
Bed is for sleeping. If you use your bed as a place to watch TV, eat, read, work on your laptop, pay bills, and other things, your body will not learn this connection.
No naps. Avoid taking naps during the day to make sure that you are tired at bedtime. If you absolutely have to nap make sure it’s before 3pm and less than an hour.
Sleep rituals. It can be helpful to do relaxing stretches or breathing exercises for 15 minutes before bed. Even sitting calmly with a cup of caffeine-free tea can be helpful!
Bathtime. A hot bath 1-2 hours before bed will raise your body temperature causing you to feel sleepy as your body temperature drops again.
No clock-watching. Frequently checking the clock during the night can wake you up and reinforce negative thoughts about sleep time.
Exercise. Regular exercise is a good idea to help with good sleep, but try not to do too much within 4 hours before bedtime.
Eat right. A balance diet will help you sleep well but timing is important. It’s difficult to go to sleep on an empty stomach so having a light snack may be helpful.
The right space. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best. Curtains or an eyemask are great to block out the light as well as earplugs to have complete quiet.
Keep daytime routine the same. Don’t avoid activities because you feel tired. Try to keep them the same as you had planned making sure to not reinforce insomnia.
Developing these good habits can provide long-term solutions to sleep difficulties. Of course there are many medications used to treat insomnia, but these tend to only be effective in the short-term. Ongoing use of these medications may lead to dependence and interfere with developing good sleep habits independent of medications.
Chronic pain isn’t something to mess with, but you don’t have to. Let’s discuss any pain you’re experiencing and don’t forget to mention any sleep issues. Whether poor sleep is causing your pain, or pain is causing poor sleep, I can help determine the cause and correct it. Now that’s called a win-win.
Regular soda is bad for you – it’s full of sugar and is packed with empty calories. What’s more, consumption of soda has been linked to heart disease, among other conditions. Think the answer is switching to diet cola? Think again.
Results from the Framingham Heart Study, reported in the research journal Circulation, indicate that even diet sodas increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Of the 6,000 healthy, middle-aged men and women who participated in the study, those who drank at least one soda (diet or regular) per day had about a 50 percent higher risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors).
Compared to participants who drank less than one soda per day, those who drank at least one soda also had a 31 percent greater risk of becoming obese, a 30 percent higher risk of developing increased waist circumference, a 25 percent higher risk of developing high blood triglycerides and high blood sugar, and a 32 percent greater risk of low “good” cholesterol levels.
Researchers adjusted for the fact that people who drink soda tend to have similar dietary patterns – they consume more calories and unhealthy fats, eat less fiber, and exercise less – and still observed a statistically significant association between soft drink consumption and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. While poor overall health habits could be to blame, other theories focus on the caramel coloring and fructose corn syrup in sodas, or the tendency to crave sweets when you consume a diet high in sweets.
Although more research on the topic is in order, for now, experts advise that you limit your intake of all soft drinks – including diet sodas. That’s a recommendation to take to heart.
Have you taken a good look at your feet lately? What do you notice? Are there any calluses, corns or bunions? Do your feet look red or do your toes look cramped and pushed together? Sore, aching feet can be more than inconvenient – they can put you out of commission.
Conditions ranging from calluses and heel spurs to plantar fascitis and Achilles tendon injuries can severely impact your quality of life. Long-term problems will result from these conditions if the proper treatment is not sought.
Here are possible treatment options to give you an idea of how to help yourself and when to seek help from a professional.
Have Dr. Steve adjust your feet! If you have never had your feet adjusted by Dr Steve, you don’t know what you are missing. Aside from helping to support your three arches by getting the bones to move back to where they should be, it feels great.
Talk to Dr. Steve about flexible, custom-made, three-arch foot inserts (Orthotics)! Since the connective tissue under your feet is now permanently stretched out to some degree, you need the support from now on. Once you get the inserts, wear them appropriately. You want to keep your feet stabilized so they don’t get any worse.
Do exercises! Keep the underside of your feet loose by rolling a tennis ball or golf ball under them. Thirty seconds, twice a day will help keep your feet more relaxed and stretched.
Get supportive shoes! Wearing a shoe that fits properly and offers the best support will help keep your feet from over pronating.
School is in full swing which means our kids will be coming home with full backpacks for the next several months. Believe it or not, there is a proper and healthyway for our children (and ourselves) to wear backpacks.
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, nearly 36% of children who use backpacks experience back pain. 34% of children with back pain limit their activities as a result, and 14% are taking medication for the pain.
The video I’ve linked below is a great way to see how to adjust backpacks so they are worn safely.
Back in 2015 I did Ironman Lake Placid. The race did not turn out quite like I wanted it to. I did not reach my goals and in fact, the race was quite miserable. I had some choices to make. I could continue to do the same type of training I did before, quit triathlon, or hire a coach. I decided to choose the last option.
I hired a coach and followed his training plan program for a full year. Then I raced Ironman 70.3 Steelhead (my A race). That race went much better, however I still missed my time goal. I was faster and stronger than 2015, but I still missed my goal. Fast forward to 2017 – I continued to follow my coach’s training plan, which went really well. I was much faster in all my races. The last race of the season went well and I almost placed in the top ten of my age group.
Now how does this story apply to a patient’s health? If you have, for example, lower back pain and it’s ongoing you have some choices to make. You can either do nothing about it and let it get progressively worse or you could see someone (hopefully me) and begin to work hard and make changes to improve and make your body better. There will be some ups and downs and maybe a big setback in your journey. Stick to the plan, have faith, make any necessary changes, and you will improve slowly and surely.
The correct choices in one’s life are usually the difficult ones. So choose a good chiropractic doctor (that would be me) eat your vegetables, drinks lots of water, and exercise. You will be on your way to a better body in no time.
My name is Stephen Sikorsky and I am a chiropractor. A chiropractor is a doctor who treats the human frame without drugs or surgery. We use chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and nutrition to treat and prevent disease.
I’m very excited to have my little piece of the internet! The mission of this blog is to help educate my patients and the general public about health topics. These topics will include chiropractic, exercise, nutrition, and overall health.
The amount of information available on health can be overwhelming at times. The information that will be found on this blog will be simple, effective, and easy to implement into our daily lives, and most importantly, will be what my family and I use to stay healthy.
Overall health and keeping a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated or difficult. Being as healthy as you can be will take discipline, repetition, dedication and the willingness to change, and a master’s mindset. A master’s mindset-for the ones who do no know-is the ability to make the correct choices in your life. The correct choices in one’s life are usually the difficult ones. For example, do your exercises when you’re tired or eat a salad instead of French fries.
To improve one’s health you cannot just do something once and expect change or keep doing what you’re presently doing and expect a different outcome.