During times of stress and crisis, proper sleep is more important that ever to help overall health and your ability to cope with difficult times. To help with this effort, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) published a paper on May 5, 2020, that offers “Tips for Better Sleep to Encourage Overall Health and Well-Being”.
The F4CP paper begins by noting, “Staying up late and sleeping in may be a common habit for many Americans, but it could be harmful to our health. A study published this year in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology comprised of nearly 2,000 people whose sleep patterns were tracked over three years found that those with irregular sleep schedules had a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease.”
The NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also stressed the importance of proper sleep on their website. “Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.”
The F4CP wants the public to know that the month of May is Better Sleep Month. Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president of F4CP, noted that proper structure is important for proper sleep. “With all of the overwhelming research demonstrating sleep’s health benefits, anyone experiencing disrupted or inadequate sleep for an extended period, for whatever physical or emotional causes, should seek help from a healthcare provider to help them find a solution,” Dr. McAllister said. “Not only could correcting the cause of the disturbance improve their rest, but increased sleep quality and quantity will help them feel much better as well.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) also stresses the importance of sleep on its website. “Sleep is vital to the normal biological and psychological/emotional functions that humans must engage in to survive. Sleep enables the body and mind to rejuvenate, reenergize, and restore. Sleep allows the brain to perform vital tasks such as organizing long-term memory, integrating new information, and repairing and renewing tissue, nerve cells and other essential biochemical processes.”
The ICA offers some practical tips for proper sleeping which include avoiding sleeping on your stomach. But for those with chronic sleep issues, the ICA offered the following advice. “See a doctor of chiropractic if you continue to have trouble sleeping. If you consistently find yourself feeling tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder. Your family doctor of chiropractic can evaluate your needs and develop a personalized comprehensive care and wellness plan, and, if necessary make an appropriate referral to another professional or professionals.”