Good Night Sleep
Of course, the easiest answer to any temporary sleep disorder is some kind of medication. Whether it’s warm milk, yuk, melatonin, weak, over the counter or prescription sleep meds… Any or all of those could be important to get through a few sleepless nights.
But I’m about to put to rest. See what I did there? Ineffective and dangerous misconceptions about sleep disorders. With just three simple changes, most people don’t need drugs to sleep through the night.
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If you are lucky enough to have a partner and either kids or pets, make an agreement between partners that mid night emergencies get handled in shifts. With the understanding that the 10 pm to 2 am sleep primetime shift alternates every other night.
Ten and Two
Why? Because 10-2, like driving school, is most important. Everyone has an automatic, built-in repair cycle. And regardless of what we’ve tricked our bodies into managing, it happens between 10 pm – 2 am for nearly everyone. So, if you consistently cheat your body out of its repair cycle, daily stresses start outpacing recovery and then bad stuff will eventually happen.
Like so many workaholics, I used to lie to myself about how productive I could be, once the rest of the world went to sleep.
But early to bed does not mean 2 am, it means 9:30 pm. And early to rise means bootcamp 5 am, every day. Tell it to the Marine. So I switched, gave myself a 9 pm curfew, most nights, and a 4:30 alarm clock. It may have taken some time, but I haven’t needed the alarm for years, now I just get up and let the dogs out. And start writing, like this, I just looked at the clock, it’s 5:07 am…
Hi, I am Dr. Thomas Polucki, WebMD‘s choice for best chiropractor and functional medicine in Santa Clarita. And over the past 10 years I’ve managed over 300 Functional Medicine Practitioners across America as their Medical Director. But more importantly, I hope you get that sleep is personal to me. In fact I often feel like I need sleep more than most people. Not true but I NEED SLEEP!
No amount of coffee in the morning or tea throughout the day makes up for an interrupted night of sleep for me. And I don’t get on a soapbox about coffee and tea, unlike Ted Lasso I like them both. But I will, reluctantly, use my platform, (cringe) to speak out against the evils of energy drinks. Even though they have some of the best marketing, real energy comes from the repair cycle of sleep. And those zombie potions can really mess that up. Do you feel a little trippy on that stuff? Maybe that’s part of the appeal. But not for me. Like I said, I NEED SLEEP.
And if I can avoid ALL the side effects of sleep medication, that’s great too. Does anyone pay attention to those commercials?
So here’s a Master Class breakdown of my top three tips for better sleep:
Food and Beverage
Any food that feels like a drug is poison for you. If you get sleepy by the time you finish your plate, you are having a strong reaction to something you just ate. And while a bowl of cereal may put you to sleep at night, you probably need to stay away from that trick because you’re likely creating a leaky gut in the process. Sorry. So I recommend on making sure you get enough protein, carbohydrate and fat to satisfy your metabolic needs and stay away from food as medication. And get the bulk of your hydration requirements completed before lunch so you can just sip water until twenty minutes before dinner. Because drinking with a meal disrupts digestion. Sorry restaurateurs, science is a b…
I recommend early exercise, as soon as I’m done writing this, it’s twenty minutes of sweat with five to ten minutes of resistance, THEN a good stretch in between resistance sets. But if you must exercise in the evening, half a liter, pint, 20 ounces… of water with a pinch of salt and sugar per half hour workout. By the way more than 45 minutes per workout can screw up your repair cycle too.
And it always comes back to stress and repair. Sure a massage gun and a red light go a long way towards daily maintenance.
But if you learned the closed eye marching test, check in with that daily to make sure that your exercise routine isn’t causing more damage than good. A quick trip to the upper cervical chiropractor will put you back in balance.