Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or do you find yourself wide awake at three in the morning staring up at the ceiling, wondering if you’ll fall back to sleep at all before your alarm goes off? If you answered “yes,” you are not alone. I’ve had times where I couldn’t fall asleep. It usually happens right before a vacation. I can relate to the “I’m too excited to sleep!” Disney commercial. Everyone suffers from an occasional sleepless night, but it begins to be a problem when insomnia occurs on a regular basis. Research has shown that up to 50 percent of the population suffers some type of sleep problem, with up to a third having struggled with it for at least a year.
The average adult requires a little over eight hours of sleep each day. However, very few people are able to manage that with lives that are more hectic than ever: our jobs, our children, and other obligations require us to be up with the birds and has us going to bed far later than we would if we were following our own biological rhythms. A disruption to our circadian rhythm, which governs our hormone production, body temperature, and sleep, can lead to insomnia.
We all need adequate, restful sleep in order to perform at our best. Prolonged insomnia can cause mental fuzziness and interfere with how you perform your daily activities. It also increases your risk of depression, headaches, auto accidents, and can lead to substance abuse. Of course, worrying about the lack of sleep you are getting rarely helps you get more sleep! Stress, anxiety, and widespread use of coffee and alcohol are some of the greatest contributors to insomnia.
Learning how to effectively manage stress is one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, and making some changes to your lifestyle may make a difference in the number of hours of sleep you get. Following are a few strategies you can try that have been effective for me, my wife, and my patients:
It can’t hurt to try these strategies. You have nothing to lose and might gain some much needed rest. Give them a try — different ones have worked for me and my wife at various times. They may help you too!
Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.