Tag Archives: sleep

Lack of Sleep Makes You Crave Sweets

Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your health. They can be weakened immune system, increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and poor coordination. Add one more increased craving for sweets.

Insufficient sleep is linked to increased caloric intake and to obesity.

In a randomized crossover study, 24 people slept for either five or eight hours per night for three consecutive nights.  The shorter sleep increased objective sweet-taste preference and intake of calories and carbs at the buffet meal.

While shorter sleep was associated with an overall increase in caloric intake, it affected different individuals very differently. Some ate a lot more (up to +679 kcal), but some actually ate less (down to −261 kcal).

One of the simplest thing you can do to improve your health is to sleep 7-8 hours a day.

Acute Sleep Curtailment Increases Sweet Taste Preference, Appetite and Food Intake in Healthy Young Adults: A Randomized Crossover Trial – PubMed (nih.gov)

The Study: Metabolic effects of sleep disruption, links to obesity and diabetes

Decreased sleep duration is associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Controlled laboratory studies have shown that decreased quantity and quality of sleep negatively affects glucose regulation and alters food intake and energy balance.

The study conclusions:

Experimental sleep restriction alone or in combination with misalignment, and decreases in sleep quality negatively affect glucose regulation. Sleep curtailment alters energy expenditure, weight regulation, gene-expression, and inflammatory cytokine levels.

Below is a cool chart from the study. It’s amazing what a lack of sleep can effect.

this image is from the study.

Besides eating right, exercising and chiropractic care, getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is necessary for a healthy life style.


Mattress buying Guide

Buying a mattress can be quite a daunting task. One of the most frequent questions I get is which mattress is the best to purchase. This blog post is designed to help you make a better decision.

There is an endless amount of options, materials, and features available making it difficult to determine which mattress is right for you.  The average adult sleeps for eight hours a night; this means that you could be spending up to a third of life lying on your mattress, making this purchase all the more important.

The first question to ask yourself is do you need a new mattress? The average lifespan of a mattress is 5-10 years. Many manufacturers will have warranties that extend beyond the 10-year range, but for most the 8-year mark is when it is time to look at replacing the mattress. However, if you wake up every morning feeling sore or with back pain that tends to resolve within 15-30 minutes of being awake, this could indicate that you should be looking to replace your current mattress.

Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all for mattresses. Everybody has a different body type, a different way to sleep, and experiences comfort differently. Some people will require a softer mattress and others will prefer a firmer mattress. In the end, this is personal preference and very subjective. We will provide you with some general guidelines to consider when testing out mattresses but there is no replacement for going to the store and testing out different options yourself. We recommend when testing mattresses, you lie on them for at least 10 minutes as this will give you a much clearer indication to its comfort level and how your body responds to its level of support.

The Ten Minute Test

What is the ten minute test? Can you lie on the mattress for ten minutes comfortably without moving? How can you sleep on the mattress for 6-8 hours a night if you can’t lie comfortably for ten minutes? If you can’t your body is telling you something.

Another factor to consider when purchasing a mattress is whether your purchase has a comfort guarantee. Even after doing all your due diligence and testing it in the store you may notice after a couple night’s sleep you will realize the mattress you selected simply is not right for you. Some companies offer a comfort guarantee in the event you decide you are not satisfied with your mattress (typically within 30 or 90 day periods). Every guarantee is different, and some have fees associated with the return. Therefore it is important to understand the fine print associated with any specific guarantee. This guarantee will protect your purchase and ensure that you will not be spending the next eight years waking up with a sore back from sleeping on the wrong mattress.

It is also important to understand the cost associated with mattresses. Prices vary widely and range anywhere from $200 to $5000 +. Unfortunately, price does not always correlate with quality or the right mattress for you. It is recommended that you budget at least $800-1000 for your new mattress. This budget should be enough to purchase a quality mattress that fits your needs but also one that is built to last you the 8-10-year range.

Once you determine your budget the next step is to figure out which style mattress best suits your needs.

Innerspring mattress: The innerspring mattress is also known as a coil mattress. It is arguably the most traditional style of the mattress and currently one of the most common mattresses on the market. It is typically a firmer mattress style, and the individual coils can offer quality support for your back. The “coil counts” on innerspring mattresses tend to indicate better comfort and support as the number increases. With that in mind as long as you have a minimum coil count of 400 the difference in higher count mattresses is typically nominal.

Memory foam mattress: Memory foam mattresses mold to the contour of your body better than any other type of mattress.  This results in fewer pressure points when you are sleeping. These mattresses tend to be by and large a softer mattress, but that still depends on the model you purchase as some brands make firmer memory foam models.  It can also serve to absorb movement, helping decrease the disturbance of sleeping with a partner. One of the main drawbacks of a memory foam mattress is that it tends to absorb heat and can be a very hot mattress to sleep on.

Latex Mattress:  Latex mattresses tend to be firmer, with bouncy support throughout the mattress. One of the main features of a latex mattress is that the material remains cooler as the latex foam does not absorb heat the same way that memory foam does.  Latex mattresses are often considered to be a good option for a patient suffering low back pain due to their combination of softness and support. A latex mattress will also provide the same feeling of a foam surface similar to the memory foam however it the contouring of a memory foam mattress.

Pillow Top: A pillow top mattresses do not indicate a type of mattress rather, it describes the addition of soft layer sewn on top of the mattress. They can be any one of innerspring, latex or memory foam mattresses underneath the pillow top layer. This results in a softer, more cushioned top surface with a firmer base of support.

These are the main categories of mattresses, but there are many other variations on the market. One final style to consider is an adjustable mattress. These mattresses can change the firmness from firm to soft at the touch of a button. This provides you with the ability to try different levels of firmness until you find the right amount for you. Many of these beds also have adjustable bed angles which can further customize your sleep experience.

Firm or Soft mattress?

Now that we’ve discussed what styles of mattresses exist, the next step is determining whether you need a firmer or a softer mattress. Everyone’s preference is different however there are several factors that we can look at to help guide our decision.

The size of the individual sleeping on the mattress is the first important factor. If you are a lighter person, then a pillow top mattress is likely not a good fit. To maximize the pillow top, you must be heavy enough to compress the top layer to be supported by the underlying material of the mattress.

If you are a lighter individual, you will look for a softer top layer. That way you can benefit from the lower supportive layer of the mattress. Typically, the denser the top layer, the more uncomfortable a lighter person will be.

If you are a heavier individual, then you will aim for a denser top layer and a firmer mattress. This is the case where a pillow top mattress may be a good option. For heavier people who are still looking for that soft feel while they sleep, they can look at a pillow top mattress, which offers the soft cushion with a firmer coil supporting them under the top layer.

Side sleepers, Back sleepers, Belly sleepers

The next important factor in choosing your mattress style is your sleeping style. Everyone sleeps differently, from side sleepers, to back sleepers, to belly sleepers (although this is not recommended for the health of your back) everyone sleeps in a different position.

For a side sleeper, it is typically recommended that you look for a soft to the medium mattress. The mattress must be soft enough for you to sink in but also offer enough underlying support that prevents having pressure points in the back and neck. Your body has curves, and you want your new mattress to support all those curves while you sleep to eliminate any risk of soreness when you wake up.

Back sleepers, on the other hand, tend to require a medium to a firm mattress. When sleeping on your back, it is essential that the mattress offers an adequate amount of support and firmness or you will run the risk of sinking in and sleeping in a poor posture. The worse your sleeping posture is the increased likelihood that you will wake up with back pain.

Finally, stomach sleepers tend to need the most support. This sleeping position puts the spine in a vulnerable position as the slightest angle from sinking into the mattress can lead to sleeping associated back pain. Therefore, if you must sleep on your stomach, aim for a firm mattress that avoids any pressure points. If you are a stomach sleeper who constantly wakes up with back pain, we recommend trying to slowly change your sleep posture to your side or back. Although, it is never easy to make such a change often this is the best option for the long-term care for your back.

These are simple guidelines that you can use to help decide on your new mattress purchase, but it is not a replacement for physically trying the mattress yourself. Comfort is always subjective, and you will not know what your style preference is until you try one for yourself.  Remember to take your time and test as many options as possible, not only is it a financial investment but it is also an investment in your long-term health and well-being.

https://www.mattressnerd.com/mattress-buying-guide/ https://sleepopolis.com/guides/how-to-choose-a-mattress/ https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/mattresses/buying-guide/index.htm

What Pillow should I get?

Are you Sleeping on the Right Pillow?

Determining the right pillow is a personal choice that a person will make every so often. When it comes to thinking about sleep equipment, most people solely focus on the mattress. The mattress is one of the most important sleep equipment you will buy, but when it comes to sleep quality pillows are just as important. How you lay your head when sleeping plays a huge role in determining the type of support you need. Pillows not only impact the quality of sleep but can prevent any neck discomfort.

Why Does Your Pillow Matter?

A proper pillow will facilitate a good night’s sleep without you waking up at night or waking up with pain or a stiff neck. Having the wrong pillow over time can exacerbate unnecessary neck pain. There are a few factors that go into making a guide for yourself to determine the proper pillow for you.

Back Sleeper:

Sleeping on your back might appear to be comfy, but will highlight the underlying issue of snoring if you have a pillow that allows your head to sink. As you lay your head back, gravity will push the tongue back and block your throat. A better alternative will be a pillow that offers height, neck support and keeps the throat at a comfortable level.

Side Sleeper:

One of the most common positions to sleep in is on the side. You will need more support to keep the neck at a neutral angle.

Stomach Sleeper:

Sleeping on your stomach might be comfortable for a few nights, but after a while can become taxing on your back and neck. However, having the right pillow can negate some of these issues. A firm/plump pillow will force your neck into an odd angle that might lead to some discomfort. A better alternative would be a softer option.

When Is It Time To Replace Your Pillow?

On average, a pillow should be replaced every 18 months. The old age rule “ you pay for what you get” applies to this transaction. A higher quality pillow will last longer than an inexpensive option. Something you can do to your pillow to see if you need a new one is, take it out of the pillowcase to see if there are any stains or fold it in half and see if the pillow stays folded. If either of these are a yes then it is time to replace your pillow.

Can sleeping cause pain? Part One: The Shoulder

Yes, sleeping in a “bad” position can cause you to have pain. Here are some shoulder positions that could contribute to pain and also recommended solutions that could help prevent pain and help with the healing process.

1. Rotator Cuff Syndrome

Many patients have pain in the shoulder when they sleep. One of the most common complaints for patients with shoulder pain is the inability to sleep on the effected side.

There are some common positions that can contribute to shoulder pain. For example, sleeping with the arm in the overhead position. This could lead to impingement of the shoulder muscles. Another position would be sleeping with arm under the pillow while on your stomach. Both of these positions can chronically impinge the rotator cuff (shoulder muscles).

Here are some examples- minus the PJ’s- that could cause shoulder pain.

Solution: Avoid sleeping on the affected side. Consider sleeping supine(on your back) , or with the affected side up, placing a pillow or towel between the arm and body for support and to minimize the effects of traction ischemia. If you have trouble sleeping on the opposite side of the pain you could sleep with something (pillow or towel) between you and the bed. See below for examples.

A towel can be used under the effected arm. It can be adjust to various size.
Using the towel under the rib cage help takes pressure off the shoulder. Adjusting the towel size can help you find a more comfortable postion

Some of you might be thinking ‘I’ve slept in this position my whole life and I have no problems.’ That’s great and you might never get shoulder pain from these positions!

Like always, one size does not fit all but if you do have problems the above advice could help with healing faster.

If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulder or need help with sleeping positions please call the office and make an appointment. We can help!

How much protein do you need per day?

How much protein do you need per day?

As with most things in nutrition, there’s no simple answer. Your individual needs will depend on your health, body composition, the main goal you have, and level of physical activity (type, intensity, and duration). Even when taking all of this into account, you’ll end up with a starting number, which you’ll need to adjust through self-experimentation.

Daily requirements are expressed in grams of protein, either per kilogram of body weight (g/kg) or per pound of body weight (g/lb).

  • If you’re of a healthy weight and sedentary, aim for 1.2–1.8 g/kg (0.54–0.82 g/lb).
  • If you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to keep your weight, aim for 1.4–2.2 g/kg (0.64–1.00 g/lb). Try for the higher end of this range, as tolerated, especially if you’re an athlete.
  • If you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.4–3.3 g/kg (0.64–1.50 g/lb). Eating more than 2.6 g/kg (1.18 g/lb) is probably not going to lead to greater muscle gains, but it can minimize fat gains when “bulking” — i.e. when eating above maintenance in order to gain (muscle) weight.
  • If you’re of healthy weight, active, and wish to lose fat, aim for 2.3–3.1 g/kg (1.04–1.41 g/lb), skewing toward the higher end of this range as you become leaner or if you increase your caloric deficit (hypocaloric diet).
  • If you’re overweight or obese, aim for 1.2–1.5 g/kg (0.54–0.68 g/lb). You do not need to try to figure out your ideal body weight or your lean mass (aka fat-free mass). Most studies on people with obesity report their findings based on total body weight.
  • If you’re pregnant, aim for 1.66–1.77 g/kg (0.75–0.80 g/lb)
  • If you’re lactating, aim for more than 1.5 g/kg (0.68 g/lb)
  • If you’re vegan or obtain most of your protein from plants, then protein requirements may be higher due to the inferior protein quality (both the EAA profile and bioavailability) of plant-based proteins relative to animal-based proteins.


Congratulations, Bob!


We want to say a huge congratulations to one of our amazing patients! Bob recently completed the “Strolling Jim” UltraMarathon. This race included 4,000 feet of elevation, 4,000 feet of decline and a total of 41.5 miles! What an accomplishment, Bob! We are so proud of you!
We also received the message below from Bob after his race. We are so glad we could be a part of your journey. 🙂
“Thank you to Dr Steve and Nickie for, without whom, I could not have achieved my goal of finishing my latest UltraMarthon of over 40 miles and 4000 ft elevation AND 4000 of decline. Thank you Dr and Nickie!!!!!”

If you’re training for a race Dr. Steve can help! Call the office and get race ready!

Strengthening the Glutes Can Help Back Pain!

Here’s a great exercise to help strengthen the Gluteus medius.

Myofascial pain syndrome (primarily involving the gluteus medius) is present in the majority of patients with LBP (73%) , sciatica (50%), and LBP with sciatica (85%).”

Kameda M, Tanimae H. Effectiveness of active soft tissue release and trigger point block for the diagnosis and treatment of low back and leg pain of predominantly gluteus medius origin: a report of 115 cases. J Phys Ther Sci. 2019;31(2):141-148.

It hurts when I do my rehab exercises!

What to expect when starting rehab or exercise program?

It’s normal for the pain to increase when starting any rehab or exercise program if you have chronic or persistent pain.  This is normal and over time this will improve.  Exercise/rehab will decrease the pain over time.  It will take time.  So stick with it and you’ll get better!

Here’s a nice paper that goes into the mechanism of how exercise works.

Does exercise increase or decrease pain? Central mechanisms underlying these two phenomena


Did You Know Exercise Could Do This?

Exercise can:

1.     Help control weight (weight loss and weight maintenance)

2.     Reduce risk for cardiovascular disease

3.     Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes & metabolic syndrome

4.     Reduce the risk of certain types of cancers including but not limited to colon, breast, endometrial and lung

5.     Reduce the risks of contracting osteopenia and osteoporosis

6.     Reduce the risk of hip and pelvic fracture in the elderly

7.     Improve balance and coordination

8.     Decrease fall risk in the elderly

9.     Decrease pain and increase function in patients with osteoarthritis

10.   Maintain lean muscle mass and reduce body fat percentage

11.   Control chronic pain with conditions such as fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases

12.   Promote independence, confidence, and self-efficacy

13.   Improve mood

14.   Assist in the treatment of psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, mood disorders and other conditions

15.   Help in the treatment or prevention of substance abuse or other addictions

16.   Increase the length and quality of life

17.   Prevent or slow cognitive decline in conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s

18.   Improve local or global mobility

19.   Improve local or global stability

20.   Improve circulation

21.   Improve respiratory capacity

22.   Improve body mass index (BMI)

23.   Improve measures of strength

24.   Improve power output

25.   Improve sports performance and functional capacity

26.   Improve sleep quality

27.   Increase sexual arousal

28.   Improve energy levels

29.   Reduce fatigue

30.   Improve mental alertness

If you need help getting started with fitness come see Dr. Steve!