Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Low Back Pain and Sleep – Part 2

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Last month, we discussed the relationship between sleep deprivation and low back pain (LBP) and found that LBP can cause sleep loss AND sleep loss can cause LBP. It’s a 2-way street! This month, we will look at ways to improve your sleep quality, which in return, will reduce your LBP. There are many ways we can improve our sleep quality. Here are some of them:

  1. Turn off the lights: Complete darkness (or as close to it as possible) is best. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes.
  2. Stay cool! The bedroom’s temperature should be ≤70 degrees F (21 degrees C). At about four hours after you fall asleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level. Scientists report a cooler bedroom mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
  3. Move the alarm clock. Keeping it out of reach (at least 3 feet) forces you to get out of bed and get moving in the AM. Also, you won’t be inclined to stare at it during the night!
  4. Avoid loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
  5. Reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep.
  6. Get to bed before 11pm. Your adrenal system does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and adrenal “burn-out” results in fatigue and other problems.
  7. Be consistent about your bed time. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  8. Establish a bedtime routine. Consider meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy, or essential oils, or massage from your partner. Relax and reduce your tension from the day.
  9. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed to provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

There are other “tricks” that ensure a good night’s rest that we will continue with next month as this is a VERY important subject and can literally add years to your life and life to your years.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Low Back Pain and Sleep – Part 3

Monday, January 21st, 2013

For the last 2 months, we’ve discussed the importance of sleep and its effect on low back pain (LBP). Last month, we offered 9 ways to improve sleep quality, and this month we will conclude this topic with 11 more. Sleep deprivation has been called, “…an epidemic” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To achieve and maintain good health, we must ensure restorative sleep!  Here are additional ways to do that (continued from last month):

  1. Avoid snacks at bedtime …especially grains and sugars as these will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you not only wake up but falling back to sleep becomes problematic. Dairy foods can also interrupt sleep.
  2. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. This will raise your body temperature and cooling off facilitates sleep. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals to your body that “it’s time for bed.”
  3. Keep your feet warm! Consider wearing socks to bed as our feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. Cold feet make falling asleep difficult!
  4. Rest your mind! Stop “brain work” at least 1 hour before bed to give your mind a rest so you can calm down. Don’t think about tomorrow’s schedule or deadlines.
  5. Avoid TV right before bed. TV can be too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly as it disrupts your pineal gland function.
  6. Consider a “sound machine.” Listen to the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to drown out upsetting background noise and soothe you to sleep.
  7. Relaxation reading. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novels, as it makes sleeping a challenge.
  8. Avoid PM caffeine. Studies show that caffeine can stay active in your system long after consumption.
  9. Avoid alcohol. Though drowsiness can occur, many will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. This can prohibit deep sleep, the most restoring sleep (~4th hour).
  10. Exercise regularly! Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep.
  11. Increase your melatonin. If you can’t increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime and absolute complete darkness at night, consider supplementation.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Fibromyalgia, Sleep and Restless Leg Syndrome

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Fibromyalgia (FM) and sleep dysfunction seem to go hand in hand. In fact, most people who have FM complain of problems associated with sleeping. Sleep problems can include difficulty falling asleep with or without waking up one to multiple times a night. Also, the inability to reach “deep sleep” results in waking up un-restored. People with fibromyalgia frequently state, “… I feel exhausted when I wake up; I have no energy.” They often feel more tired in the morning, and many go back to sleep during the day to ease their fatigue. Another common FM complaint is having great difficulty concentrating during the day, often referred to as, “…fibro fog.” Other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are also often associated with FM.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move the legs at rest, thus interfering with sleep. Restless legs syndrome is more common among those who have fibromyalgia. Patients with RLS describe this as an unpleasant sensation in their legs and sometimes their arms or other parts of the body accompanied by the irresistible urge to move the legs in attempt to relieve the sensation. The terms, “itchy” or “pins and needles” or “creepy crawly” are frequently used when describing the sensations and can range from mild to intolerable. Symptoms are typically worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting and frequently results in sleep deprivation and stress. The intensity of the symptoms can vary, frequently worse in the nighttime, better in the morning. RLS may affect up to 10% of the population in the United States, especially women, and can affect both young and old, even young children. The severe cases usually affect the middle-aged or older and account for about 2-3% of the 10% incident rate. The diagnosis is often delayed, sometimes for 10-20 years. Although the cause is not clearly described, genetics seems to play a role given about 50% of those affected have a family member with the condition.

Other conditions often associated with RLS include iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, iron deficiency, diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Treatment applied to these conditions often indirectly helps RLS resulting in sleep quality improvement. Medications such as anti-nausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some anti-depressants, and cold/allergy medications that contain antihistamines can worsen symptoms. Pregnancy can also trigger RLS, especially in the last trimester. It commonly takes about 3-4 weeks for the symptoms to quiet down after delivery. Other factors that affect RLS include alcohol intake and sleep deprivation itself. Improving sleep and/or eliminating alcohol can be quite effective treatment strategies. There are no medical tests that confirm the diagnosis of RLS, but blood tests can at least rule out other conditions, and when all the tests are negative, the diagnosis is made based on a patient’s symptoms, family history, medication use, the presence of an interrupted sleep pattern with daytime fatigue, and knowledge about the condition.

Treatment utilizing chiropractic management has been reported to be effective in managing RLS associated symptoms including the use of spinal manipulation, muscle release techniques, exercise training, and at times, physical therapy modalities. Nutritional approaches that emphasize muscle relaxation have also been reportedly helpful.

If you, a friend or family member requires care for FM, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

Low Back Pain and Sleep – Second Part

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Previous month, we discussed the relationship between sleep deprivation and low back pain (LBP) and found that LBP can cause sleep loss AND sleep loss can cause LBP. It’s a 2-way street! This month, we will look at ways to improve your sleep quality, which in return, will reduce your LBP. There are many ways we can improve our sleep quality. Here are some of them:

  1. Turn off the lights: Complete darkness (or as close to it as possible) is best. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes.
  2. Stay cool! The bedroom’s temperature should be ≤70 degrees F (21 degrees C). At about four hours after you fall asleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level. Scientists report a cooler bedroom mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.
  3. Move the alarm clock. Keeping it out of reach (at least 3 feet) forces you to get out of bed and get moving in the AM. Also, you won’t be inclined to stare at it during the night!
  4. Avoid loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary.
  5. Reserve your bed for sleeping. Avoid watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep.
  6. Get to bed before 11pm. Your adrenal system does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and adrenal “burn-out” results in fatigue and other problems.
  7. Be consistent about your bed time. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.
  8. Establish a bedtime routine. Consider meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy, or essential oils, or massage from your partner. Relax and reduce your tension from the day.
  9. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed to provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

There are other “tricks” that ensure a good night’s rest that we will continue with next month as this is a VERY important subject and can literally add years to your life and life to your years.

We realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

The Lazy Person’s Way To Weight Loss. Study Says: SLEEP MORE To Drop Pounds!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Are you lazy? Come on. You can admit it and it will be our little secret! Well, even if you aren’t “lazy,” I’m sure you look for the quickest and easiest way to get things done. For example, if you had these two weight loss programs – that work equally as well – which one would you pick…

(1)You have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. every day and run 5 miles, then you eat almost nothing for breakfast, then almost nothing for lunch, then you work out like a dog for 2 hours after work, and eat a teeny tiny dinner. Then, you go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow. And you do this every day. Or…

(2) You take a pill, sleep late… and wake up skinny. Obviously, you’d probably choose #2. Any sane person would – as long as the “pill” was safe. Anyways, you get the point. Well, there is no “pill” that works like that. But, a study has just been published that claims sleeping is a very important part of weight loss.

In fact, research from the University of Chicago showed dieters who slept for 8.5 hours lost 55 percent more body fat than dieters who slept only 5.5 hours. The authors of the study stated, “Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction.”

Researchers think sleep may affect levels of a hormone called ghrelin. Increased levels of this hormone have been shown to increase appetite and increase fat retention. The subjects in this study who slept less claimed to be hungrier than those who slept more. According to the study’s authors:“Together, these results suggest that the loss of sleep at times of limited food intake amplifies the pattern of ghrelin associated changes in human hunger, glucose, fat utilization, and energy metabolism.” It should be noted the sample size in this study was small and further research on this subject is needed to make definitive conclusions.

Tip Of The Month: “How To Sleep Your Way To Better Health!!!

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply go to bed and wake up skinny? How about take a nap and become rich? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Well, you can’t! But there is something you can do while sleeping that’s much more important than all the money in the world. What is it? You can decrease aging, boost your immune system, fight disease and improve your overall health. In a recent study of people receiving a Hepatitis A vaccine, researchers found that participants who got plenty of sleep after being vaccinated had a stronger immune response to the vaccine.
This likely conclusion that a person who has proper rest would also be likely to have a better immune response to other viruses than someone without proper sleep.
Four weeks after receiving the vaccine, the participants who got proper sleep had almost double the amount of antibodies (a guide as to how well the immune system is working) as the sleep-deprived group.
Researchers suggest that the release of certain hormones during sleep may boost the immune system. An important thing to note, however, is that it is not just as simple as sleeping more. What complicates things is that some people require a lot of sleep… while others only need a little. Research has also shown that your own internal clock makes that determination.
Some people need nine or more hours of sleep while others need less than six. This seems to be the reason why it is extremely difficult to change sleeping patterns… no matter how hard you try. Researchers say that the best thing to do is try to accommodate your sleeping pattern and not fit into someone else’s.
Now That We Know How Important Getting The Proper Amount Of Sleep Is, Here Are Some Tips On Getting A Better Night’s Rest:
Avoid eating sugar before bed. Raising blood sugar can make sleep difficult. When blood sugar eventually falls, you may wake up and not be able to fall back asleep. Make your room as dark as possible. Light disrupts your sleeping rhythm and can lead to poor quality sleep. Total darkness is best… when possible. This means sleeping with the TV on is a no-no!
Keep a diary. Writing down your thoughts before getting into bed will help keep your mind from racing and calm you down.
Keep your house cool. Most people keep their house too hot. The best is about 70 degrees.
Eat protein before going to bed. Protein helps to release chemicals from the brain that aid in sleep.
Stay away from caffeine. Research has shown caffeine stays in your system much longer than previously thought. Even a cup of coffee in the early afternoon can keep you from falling asleep.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol makes you feel tired and fall asleep… but… the quality of that sleep is very poor.
Don’t drink within 2 hours of sleep. This will keep you from having to wake up to go to the bathroom during the night. If you do have to go, try not to turn on a light.