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Sleep Hygiene

The ideal sleep environment is cool, quiet and dark. Research has shown that continuous sleep can be interrupted by uncomfortable room temperature, light, and noises. A sleep hygiene specialist may also recommend that you select a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding, in addition to moving or hiding a visible clock. This preventa the sleeper from focusing on time passing while trying to fall asleep. Dr. Alex Jimenez describes sleep hygiene as a variety of different habits which are often necessary to achieve a proper quality of sleep in order to rise with full daytime alertness. Sleep is essential towards an individual’s mental and physical health and well-being because it plays an important role in the body’s natural healing and repairing functions. The most important sleeping measure is to maintain regular sleeping patterns. According to Dr. Jimenez, heavy meals before bed, caffeine or alcohol before bed, and even improper sleeping postures accompanied by pain and discomfort, can be frequent poor sleep hygiene practices which can interfere with the sleep quality of many individuals. The various articles pertaining to sleep and sleep hygiene can help provide a useful insight towards improving sleep and overall health. For Answers to any questions you may have please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900


How To Choose The Best Pillow El Paso, Texas

How To Choose The Best Pillow El Paso, Texas

We’ve all seen the commercials, web ads, emails, etc about the best pillow around. Getting a good night’s sleep can be a struggle these days and any type of physical aid is welcome, specifically a pillow. This is especially true of people with chronic, acute cervical neck/back and neuropathic pain. 

Stores carry various lines of pillows that all claim to be the best pillow for neck pain.

With all the different designs out there, choosing the right pillow for your way of sleeping can be a challenge. Dr. Jimenez takes a look at finding the right pillow that will help you sleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed and with no neck/back pain.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 How To Choose The Best Pillow El Paso, Texas

Cervical Support

A pillow supports the:

Throughout the sleep cycle, and therefore has a big responsibility. This guide will help you find the right one to meet your sleep needs.

Sleeping position and the pillow can play a major role in comfort or pain.

Example – Stomach sleepers usually have the most neck pain. This is because the neck is turned to the side and the spine is arched.

For relief, try sleeping either on your back or on the side. This along with a pillow that supports the neck and the natural curve of the spine.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 How To Choose The Best Pillow El Paso, Texas

 

Tips for Buying The Right One

These guidelines apply to anyone looking for a pillow that can support the spine. It should:

  1. Keeps your spine naturally aligned meaning the head should rest directly over your shoulders and should not be propped up or pushed back too much
  2. Can be adjusted for maximum support
  3. Supports your head
  4. Eliminates pressure on the cervical spine
  5. Increases sleep duration
  6. Hypoallergenic for those with allergies

Pillows come in all types and sizes, but don’t get it based on how it’s going to look on your bed. Take into account your body size and match that to the size of the pillow.

 

 

Picking Based On Your Sleep Position

Picking the right one for you and understanding how you sleep is important, as your sleep position can lead the way.

Stomach sleepers

Thin pillows are the way to go and sometimes not using a pillow at all could be beneficial.

Sleeping on your stomach puts more pressure on the lower back than any other sleeping position. Consider sleeping on your side/back or only sleep on your stomach for short periods then once comfortable switch to the side/back position.

Back sleepers

Thin pillows are also the way to go, but this pillow should have some lift at the bottom to help support your neck.

Memory foam is an option for back sleepers because it adjusts to your head and neck shape.

Side sleepers

A firm pillow specifically one with a gusset or a piece of material that adds strength and thickness is more structured and can keep your spine aligned.

 

Specialty 

With severe spine pain or if pregnant, standard pillows do not work. There are specialty pillows that can provide comfort and pain relief.

Chiropractic

Known also as a cervical pillow, these can help if you have chronic neck or back pain that’s not allowing sleep. These are molded to your neck and keep your spine aligned during sleep, and come in a variety of styles and materials. A chiropractor can help you choose the right type and instruct you on how to use it correctly.

Pregnancy

These also come in different types but the aim is to provide support to your growing abdomen. Pregnancy pillows also come with extra body pillows designed to fit under the abdomen and between the knees supporting the entire body.

 

When To Replace Your Pillow

  • It is recommended that individuals should replace every 18 months to 2 years depending on how aggressively you sleep.
  • Using a pillow beyond its lifespan means there is no longer support for your spine which can exacerbate and create new injuries.
  • How to tell when a pillow is done its duty, fold it in half. If the pillow stays and does not return to the original position is a good indicator that it’s time for a new pillow.

 

El Paso, TX Neck Pain Chiropractic Treatment

 

 

Sleep allows your body to heal and the spine to rejuvenate. It helps you handle stress better and manage pain more effectively. It is an essential part of good health so making sure that you get good quality sleep should be a priority – and it is possible.


 

NCBI Resources

The position that you sleep in can help relieve your back pain, but getting good quality sleep will help you manage your pain much better so it should be your goal to get proper sleep every night. And you should change it out on a regular basis.

They can get worn and no longer deliver the support they once did. If you are waking up with neck or back pain or headaches, it could be your pillow. Additionally, studies show that making your bed every day improves your quality of sleep. Make sure that the temperature is comfortable and avoid electronic devices for about an hour before bedtime. Be kind to your spine and make sleep a priority.

 

You Snooze, You Lose El Paso, Texas

You Snooze, You Lose El Paso, Texas

Sleep and weight are like a double edge sword. Less sleep will cause you to gain weight and gaining weight will cause you to sleep less. Since everyone wants to get a better night sleep, we need to cut those tight bonds so that our overall health and mental state to improve.

Less Sleep= More Weight

With our busy fast-paced lives, we tend to take on more commitments than we want. As well as, being stressed all the time. This lifestyle is not good for our bodies when we want to have a better lifestyle. In our previous article, lack of sleep can lead to chronic illness and loss of productivity. Not even that, Japan hold the number one spot of less sleep with 5 hours and less; while the U.S. holds the number two spot with 6 hours and less.

So, when we don’t get enough sleep due to causative factors, two major hormones in our body are affected and not in a good way either. It is our pituitary glands and our hormonal cortisol that get affected when we don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Our pituitary glands are the master controller to all our hormones and are sensitive when we don’t get enough sleep. When we actually get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, our pituitary glands release our growth and thyroid hormones as well as suppressing the stress hormone cortisol.

But in today’s society, according to the National Sleep Foundation, the average American sleeps only about seven hours per night-while other sleep five to six hours per night on a regular basis. With these studies, our body will be more or less in a constant state of partial sleep deprivation. Or if you have an anxious mind or have mental health issues, partial sleep deprivation can lead to chronic sleep deprivation. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to elevated cortisol in the evening, a crucial time for the levels should be diminishing.

 

Cortisol Levels

When our cortisol levels get too high, we can develop insulin resistance, thus leading to weight gain and the high risk for type 2 diabetes. Chronic sleep deprivation can also change your growth hormone release. Instead of sending out one large pulse of growth hormones as soon as our heads hit the pillow, our bodies send out two small pulses, one before we go to bed and one after, thus leading us to have sleep deprivation. The one large pulse is responsible for the exposure of our tissues and reducing our glucose tolerance.

When we don’t get enough sleep throughout the day, the fat cells can’t handle the insulin in our bodies and will drop as much as 30 percent. When our cells resist insulin in our bodies, our blood sugar goes up and the excess sugar we produce is stored in our bodies as fat. This is dangerous to our health because not only we will gain the weight, but we will be at the risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. According to the CDC, 11.1 percent, adults who snooze less than 7 hours per night have type 2 diabetes, while 8.6 percent of adults who snooze more than 7 hours per night may already have the disease.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 You Snooze, You Lose El Paso, Texas

Late Night Munchies

One study stated that, people who snooze less tend to be heavier than people who sleep the recommended amount. The study looked at the younger age group and discovered that short sleep duration appears independently associated with weight gain. And the CDC also stated, 33 percent of adults who snooze less than 7 hours are obese, while 26.5 percent of adults who sleep more than 7 hours are obese as well. But the question still remains, why do we gain more weight when we snooze less?

The answer is that our hormones are the ones that get affected the most when we don’t get enough sleep. Hence why we get the late-night munchies. When we are supposed to get our full 8 hours of sleep, our bodies release hormone leptin, which regulates how satiated we feel, and releases hormone ghrelin, which stimulates our appetite. So, when our hormone leptins go down and ghrelins go up, our minds think that we are very hungry and that we need to get up to satisfy that hunger with carbohydrates, thus making us loose those few extra minutes of sleep. So, it’s not your willpower that is making you wake up to eat at around 2 a.m., it is your lack of sleep that is causing the imbalance in your body.

More Weight= Less Sleep

Like we stated in the beginning, sleep and weight are like a double edge sword. Being overweight or obese can keep you from getting enough sleep as well. There are some weight-related issues like, sleep apnea, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and arthritis that can be an issue from getting those recommended snoozes.

Sleep apnea is very common for obese or overweight adults. When we have sleep apnea, our airways collapse or is blocked when we snooze. Our breathing gets very shallow or even stop while you sleep and can last for a few seconds to a couple of minutes or even longer.

We do wake up with a choking noise or snort then we go back to sleep, but when it’s the day time we are at risk for daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea can be treated with breathing devices but major lifestyle changes can help you lose this medical condition.

When you are suffering from COPD, you will notice a shortness of breath and have more trouble sleeping. People with COPD may be overweight or obese can actually exercise to combat this condition. However, you must consult with your doctor if you want to change your lifestyle and fix this condition.

Painful, arthritic joints can keep you up at night. Granted that there are anti-inflammatory and pain medication that may help you sleep; but if you are overweight or obese taking those medications, they will add on more problems like digestive discomforts or a dependence.

 

Conclusion

Here at Injury Medical Clinic, we do consult with our patients about the importance of exercising and eating healthy to assist whatever ailments they may have. Whether it is stress or medical conditions, we strive to make our patients feel good.

In conclusion, sleep is highly important and should be on the top of the list for a better lifestyle as well as placing weight in second. Granted with our busy work schedules, and fast-pace lifestyles, we ignore sleep and we gain the weight. If you have any sleep conditions like COPD or sleep apnea, please seek professional help to get it under control. But if you change your lifestyle a little bit by eating right, focusing on mental health, exercising, and sleeping at the appropriate times; not only your mood changes but your body will heal tremendously and you will feel like you can conquer the world.


 

The Most Effective Chiropractor | El Paso, Tx (2019)

 

 

Neck pain and back pain are common symptoms which can develop because of sports accidents, automobile crash injuries, and a variety of other wellness issues. Painful symptoms can ultimately impact an individual’s daily physical activities, tremendously affecting their well-being. Patients clarify their neck pain and spine pain symptoms improved after they visited Dr. Alex Jimenez. Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of a variety of injuries and/or aggravated conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Patients highly recommend Dr. Alex Jimenez and his team as the non-surgical alternative for neck pain and spine pain related to sports injuries, auto accident injuries, and other health problems towards pain relief.


 

NCBI Resources

Chiropractic can help you sleep. In fact, one-third of people who undergo chiropractic adjustment report sleeping better immediately, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The benefits are not just for adults – 40 percent of infants slept better after just one chiropractic session. That is good news, considering one-fourth of babies experience sleep problems and when babies don’t sleep, nobody else in the house sleeps either!

 

Top 4 Botanicals Good Night Sleep El Paso, TX.

Top 4 Botanicals Good Night Sleep El Paso, TX.

After a long day of work, you tiredly march your way to your bedroom. You take off your work clothes, slip on your comfiest pajamas, your bed is inviting you to just go under the covers and get that full 8 hours of recommended sleep that the media tells you to. However, you realize that you have that project you have to finish in two days to show your boss.

Thus, you are working on that project in those two days; after work, in the wee hours of the night until completion. Surprisingly, when your head hits that pillow and you close your eyes for a few hours; your alarm starts to alert you awake to start your workday and you are exhausted.

The world today is still experiencing a lack of sleep, as people still have busy lives and are just getting about 5 hours or less of sleep.  Japan still holds the record for having 5 hours of no sleep, while the U.S. is in second place of getting about 6 hours or less of sleep. But there is some good news as there are some natural ways to get the full recommended amount of sleep without the use of medication and can help keep you stay asleep throughout the night. Here are the top 4 botanicals that are used by professionals.

 

 4 Botanicals

 

#1 Ashwagandha

Located in southwest India, Ashwagandha has many health benefits that can help people with different ailments and has many different names including the most common name, “winter cherry.” The plant contains alkaloids, phytosterols, saponins, iron, and steroidal lactones. With these chemical constituents, they are known as withanolides.

In small dosages, it can reduce your cortisol levels to where you feel a bit more relaxed. Not only that Ashwagandha root has been used to improve your brain function, boost your memory, and your reaction time gets improved and is completely safe and widely available.

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Top 4 Botanicals Good Night Sleep El Paso, TX.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Top 4 Botanicals Good Night Sleep El Paso, TX.

 

 

#2 Chamomile

Chamomile has to be one of the most common herbs that helps anyone that has trouble sleeping. When the herb is dried up, you can actually seep the plant into hot water and with a small dash of honey, it can be the most relaxing, hot beverage that you can sip and relax to. The herb contains apigenin, which is an antioxidant that will bind to certain receptors in your brain. So that being said, chamomile’s properties can make you sleepy and reduce your anxious mind to be at ease.

Another reason to drink chamomile is that it can actually relieve anxiety and depression. When our body is anxious, our brain produces more glutamate, which can be harmful to us. So, by sipping or taking the herb as a supplement, it can target what receptors that are making us anxious and calm them down immensely.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Top 4 Botanicals Good Night Sleep El Paso, TX.

 

#3 Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is part of the mint family that goes by many different names but the main purpose for this herb is to actually calm your mind. If you have an anxious mind and your beta brain waves are overstimulated it can be very bad for your health. This herb has about 100 active phytochemicals and has high flavonoids that have both antioxidant and neuroprotective effects that are beneficial. Studies have proven that lemon balm can calm the mind, uplifts your mood, and soothes the central nervous system.

One of the compounds that lemon balm has is called rosmarinic acid. This compound acts like a sedative, which helps you relax when you are stressed out but can be taken in small dosages. When your brain is overly active, sometimes a bit of this herb can help you relax and be calm.

When you combine lemon balm and valerian in a tea, the combination has been helpful to relieve restlessness and insomnia. So, if you want to try to get a good night’s rest, try sipping a hot cup of lemon balm tea before you go to bed.

 

 

#4 Lavender

This herb is one of the top plants that everyone in the world uses. Lavender is a multipurpose plant that has so many properties that can help us. Using lavender in aromatherapy can actually help to reduce your stress and promote wellness and calmness. Studies have shown that lavender oil can be useful to treat anxiety, depression, restlessness, and insomnia. The actual smell of lavender is pleasant and is known to make you calmer when you sniff it from any stores or farmer’s market that sells the plant.

Today, many people use lavender because of its calming aroma and used it in their crafts. Whether it be for cooking, soap making, essential oil and aromatherapy remedies, and yoga wellness. It is a versatile herb that has many properties to ease our anxious minds.

These four herbs are some out of the many, many herbs that are out there to help us get a better chance to fall asleep. Sleep is very important to us that some people take for granted. A lot of people will use the phrase, “Sleep is for the weak,” but that phrase is dangerous due to the fact that sleep is not for the weak.

When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies take a nasty toll as we feel sluggish and irritable to those around us. Not only that it is bad, but sleep deprivation can lead to many health problems that can be fixed. Granted that we want to tackle as many commitments and finish projects before deadlines; however, does that gives us the right to sacrifice sleep so we can have a fullfed life of happiness.

If we start by changing our sleep habits with any of these herbs, our bodies can naturally start repairing itself. Once that happens, then your body will thank you for getting the full eight hours of sleep. These herbs are not a cure-all, but they are helpers to ease your brain and help calm down any anxious thoughts you may have. So, if you try out these herbs to relax a bit, maybe even get a full night’s rest, then go for it. Because sleep is not for the weak, sleep is for everyone.

 

 

 


 

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Insufficient or poor sleep has been linked to numerous health issues. People who don’t get enough sleep or their sleep quality is poor, have a higher risk of developing dangerous health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, preferably uninterrupted, within 24 hours on a regular basis. There is more to a good night’s sleep than just quantity though. You should be able to fall asleep within about 20 minutes after you lie down and stay asleep.

 

 

 

NCBI Resources

Proper sleep hygiene and the application of organic herbs and the 4 botanicals aforementioned, can help promote a healthy amount of sleep. The outcome could result in a wide array of benefits, including an improvement in problem-solving and work performance, weight management, and even promote the prevention of chronic health issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mood disorders like depression. You may find numerous products and information regarding how to manage proper sleep. A research study from 2016 indicated that individuals in the United States alone spent over $41 billion on sleeping treatments, where it is expected to rise up to $52 billion by the year 2020.

 


 

Cited

Here’s What Lack of Sleep Costs the U.S. Every Year: https://fortune.com/2016/11/30/sleep-productivity-rand-corp-411-billion/

Ashwagandha: https://www.pukkaherbs.us/our-mission/pukkapedia/ashwagandha/

12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#section4

12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#section11

5 Ways Chamomile Tea Benefits Your Health: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-benefits-of-chamomile-tea#section1

5 Ways Chamomile Tea Benefits Your Health: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/5-benefits-of-chamomile-tea#section6

Can Lemon Balm Help Reduce Stress and Boost Your Health?: https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-health-benefits-of-lemon-balm-89388

Lemon Balm: Uses, Benefits, and More: https://www.healthline.com/health/lemon-balm-uses#insomnia

What Lavender Can Do for You: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-lavender-can-do-for-you#uses

Lavender: Health benefits and uses: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265922.php

Chiropractic Adjustments Can Improve Your Sleep El Paso, Texas

Chiropractic Adjustments Can Improve Your Sleep El Paso, Texas

Most people know that a chiropractor can help with musculoskeletal problems, such as backaches and slipped discs, but many people do not realize that chiropractic can do much more. In fact, chiropractic can even improve your sleep.

Getting enough quality sleep each night is good for your health. Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other serious conditions, according to Harvard Medical School.

But what if you allow yourself plenty of time but still have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?

Chiropractic can help you sleep. In fact, one-third of people who undergo chiropractic adjustment report sleeping better immediately, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The benefits are not just for adults – 40 percent of infants slept better after just one chiropractic session. That is good news, considering one-fourth of babies experience sleep problems and when babies don’t sleep, nobody else in the house sleeps either!

3 Ways Chiropractic Can Improve Your Sleep

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Chiropractic Adjustments Can Improve Your Sleep El Paso, Texas

1. Pain relief

Pain can prevent you from getting a decent night’s sleep, especially if you have chronic pain that lasts for three or more months. In fact, one study shows that 20 percent of people with chronic pain experience at least one symptom of insomnia, compared with only 7.4 percent of people without chronic pain. Chiropractic can alleviate pain associated with backaches, headaches, whiplash, migraines and more to help you get the sleep you need.

Chiropractic can also help you sleep by providing a drug-free approach to pain relief. Many prescription pain relievers, such as those containing morphine, oxycodone, and opioids, can make you drowsy throughout the day. Daytime drowsiness might cause you to take naps throughout the day, which can interfere with your ability to sleep at night. The drug-free approach of chiropractic allows you to stay alert all day and sleep well at night.

Extensive research presented by the National Institutes of Health shows that chiropractic is as effective as other treatments, such as drugs, at relieving pain. Perhaps the best part of chiropractic is that the research shows that pain relief lasts up to 18 months of treatment – which means you can remain pain-free without using drugs for a year and a half.

2. Relieves muscle tension and stress

Stress can prevent you from falling asleep or sleeping well. Stress can also cause uncomfortable muscle tension that interferes with sleep. The National Sleep Foundation lists muscle tension as one of the three signs that you are under too much stress to sleep. Tension and poor sleep can be a vicious cycle, as tension can cause poor sleep and poor sleep can cause tension.

Chiropractic often includes massage to melt away painful muscle spasms. These therapeutic massages are relaxing, which helps you unwind enough to fall asleep. Chiropractic also stimulates blood flow, which helps bring oxygen to your brain and other parts of your body.

Your chiropractor may also be able to suggest gentle exercises, stretches and relaxation techniques to help you relax tense muscles and quiet your stressed-out mind.

3. Suggested sleeping positions

Your chiropractor may offer suggestions on sleeping positions and other ideas about how you can sleep better. Your chiropractor may discourage you from sleeping on your stomach if you are having back pain, for example, or be able to recommend a particular pillow or mattress to help you sleep better at night.

For more information on how chiropractic can improve your sleep, talk with your chiropractor. You may start sleeping better as soon as your first visit.


Reduce *IMBALANCE & PAIN* with Functional Orthotics | El Paso, Tx

 


Foot Orthotics

Foot Dysfunction can very easily cause a domino effect that extends all the way to the back. The feet are the foundation of the body and when there is a problem with the way they function it can cause the entire body to shift out of alignment.

 

VasyliMedical Thinking Straight Ahead

Recipe Ingredient Substitutions

Here is a guide to give your kitchen a healthy makeover! Here are tips to help you create a healthy environment for your home, and these substitutions will help you make delicious allergy-friendly dishes.

 

MamaZs-Recipe-Makeover

NCBI Resources

We live in an extremely sleep-deprived society. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States does not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation reports that 45 percent of adults in the US admit that insufficient or poor sleep has had an impact on their daily activities at least once in the previous week. What’s more, about a third of the people who said they slept the number of hours that doctors recommend reported experiencing poor sleep quality.

 

How The Quality Of Sleep Affects Your Overall Health | El Paso, TX.

How The Quality Of Sleep Affects Your Overall Health | El Paso, TX.

We live in an extremely sleep-deprived society. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 3 people in the United States does not get enough sleep on a regular basis. Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation reports that 45 percent of adults in the US admit that insufficient or poor sleep has had an impact on their daily activities at least once in the previous week. What’s more, about a third of the people who said they slept the number of hours that doctors recommend reported experiencing poor sleep quality.

How Lack of Sleep Affects the Body

Insufficient or poor sleep has been linked to numerous health issues. People who don’t get enough sleep or their sleep quality is poor, have a higher risk of developing dangerous health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Over the long term, it has been linked to a shortened lifespan. It may be tempting to forego sleep to have a few extra hours of awake time, but the price is far too high. Your body and mind need sleep and when you deny that need you set in motion the potential for some severe impacts on your health.

Sleep is when your body and brain rest and rejuvenate. When you have adequate sleep, you will find that you are more focused and you have better mental clarity.

You will also notice increased energy and a better mood. When you don’t give your body the rest, it needs you will begin to feel drained and irritable.

You may also notice that you get sick more often as sleep is directly tied to immune function. One study even found that people who got eight hours of sleep a night were less likely to catch a cold or develop cold symptoms that those who got less than seven hours a night.

Those who got less than seven hours were three times more likely to get sick. There is no denying, sleep is essential.

quality sleep el paso tx.

Amazing Benefits of Sleep

There is no denying that sleep is vital for a healthier mind and body. This includes quality of sleep. Poor quality of sleep can be just as detrimental as not getting enough hours of sleep and can still lead to sleep deprivation. A great deal of research has been done on the effects of sleep and has shown that getting good sleep provides excellent benefits including:

  • Longer life
  • Increased production at work
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Less anxiety and depression
  • A better outlook on life
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Healthier spine
  • Better pain management
  • Improved grades
  • Lowered risk of certain health conditions
  • Better memory
  • Increased creativity
  • Reduced chance of auto accidents
  • Lower stress level
  • Better decision making
  • Enhanced attention or focus

Portrait of a Good Night’s Sleep

Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, preferably uninterrupted, within 24 hours on a regular basis. There is more to a good night’s sleep than just quantity though. You should be able to fall asleep within about 20 minutes after you lie down and stay asleep.

When you wake, you should feel refreshed and alert, productive throughout most of the day – although it is normal for a person to notice a temporary decrease in energy and alertness later in the afternoon.

If your family members, friend, or spouse notice any unusual or troubling sleep behaviors such as snoring, restlessness, pauses in breathing, or nightmares it could indicate a more significant problem other than the interrupted sleep. It is well worth visiting your doctor to get help and remedy the situation because sleep is one of the essential needs your body has – and you can’t survive without it.

Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Treatment

Lower Back Pain When Sleeping: Which Position is Best?

Lower Back Pain When Sleeping: Which Position is Best?

Sleeping. New parents chase it, Type A personalities fight it, but everyone needs it. The thing is, most people don’t get enough of it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of adults in the United States report that in a seven day period lack of sleep affected their daily activities.

Sleep quantity is not as much of a problem as sleep quality. Around 35 percent of people who said they slept for 7 or 8 hours a night still reported that their sleep quality was “only fair” or “poor” and 20 percent said that they did not feel refreshed upon waking. When a person is dealing with pain, such as lower back pain, it can make it even more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

The Importance of Sleeping

Sleep is vital for good health. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cites insufficient sleep as a contributing factor to a variety of conditions including obesity, diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease. It is also a significant contributing factor in many machine related crashed, worksite accidents, and automobile accidents, leading to injury, disability, and even death.

Sleep allows your body to heal and the spine to rejuvenate. It helps you handle stress better and manage pain more effectively. It is an essential part of good health so making sure that you get good quality sleep should be a priority – and it is possible. These are the best sleep positions to get your best sleep when you have lower back pain.

Stomach Position

Sleeping on your stomach is usually the least back friendly sleep position, but some people can’t sleep any other way. Take the strain off of your back by supporting it with a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis. Using a pillow may put too much stress on your back, so you might need to try to sleep without one. Another alternative is to use a flatter, less fluffy pillow. Try different positions, such as drawing one leg up or splaying your legs more until you find on that is right for you.

Back Position

If you sleep on your back, you likely won’t be comfortable just lying flat. Try different positions such as placing a rolled towel under your knees or the small of your back to provide added support. Use a good pillow to support your neck. Some pillows are made specifically for people who sleep on their backs; you may want to give it a try.

Side Position

Many people with lower back pain find sleeping on their side to be the most comfortable sleep position. If you sleep on your side, pull your knees up slightly so that they are almost perpendicular from your body. You may have to make some adjustments to how bent your legs are before you find a position that takes the pressure off of your back. Place a pillow between your thighs and knees. You may want to use a body pillow to provide even more support all along your legs.

sleeping position lower back pain el paso tx.

 

A Word about Your Pillow and Your Bed

The position that you sleep in can help relieve your back pain, but getting good quality sleep will help you manage your pain much better so it should be your goal to get a good, restful sleep every night. You should change out your pillow on a regular basis.

Pillows can get worn and no longer deliver the support they once did. If you are waking up with neck or back pain or headaches, it could be your pillow. Additionally, studies show that making your bed every day improves your quality of sleep. Make sure that the temperature is comfortable and avoid electronic devices for about an hour before bedtime. Be kind to your body; make sleep a priority.

Lower Back Pain Chiropractic Care

Natural Remedies and Botanicals to Promote Sleep

Natural Remedies and Botanicals to Promote Sleep

Envision yourself waking up entirely rested, prepared to deal with any obstacle and adopt all the joys of the world with gratitude. The majority of us know what a good night’s sleep resembles, but are we really getting the proper rest we should be getting? Within this stressful universe, it’s tough to achieve the sleep schedule that our brains and bodies require to operate to its fullest potential.

 

Proper sleep hygiene and the application of organic herbs and botanicals can help promote a healthy amount of sleep. The outcome could result in a wide array of benefits, including an improvement in problem solving and work performance, weight management, and even promote the prevention of chronic health issues, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mood disorders like depression. You may find numerous products and information regarding how to manage proper sleep. A research study from 2016 indicated that individuals in the United States alone spent over $41 billion on sleeping treatments, where it is expected to rise up to $52 billion by the year 2020.

 

How Much Sleep Do People Need?

 

As you may anticipate, children need more sleep than adults. The average child requires approximately 11 hours of sleep each night, where most adults only require about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, people in the US only get 6.8 hours of sleep each night. While this may not seem like a huge difference, collectively, the average person is not reaching the minimal amount of sleep of 7 hours, and as a result, your overall health and wellness may suffer. Sleep deprivation is one of the most common behaviors affecting our well-being. Several factors can contribute to this modern lack of proper sleep, including: work schedules, household obligations, and chronic health issues or behavioral challenges. In the majority of these scenarios, our circadian rhythms are entirely out of whack.

 

What Natural Remedies or Botanicals Can Help Promote Sleep?

 

The German Commission E, globally recognized for its understanding information on the role of medicinal herbs, additionally recommends the frequent utilization of certain botanicals, such as valerian, lavender, lemon balm, and hops, to promote the right level of relaxation and support proper sleep. There are several other well-known options which have sedative qualities, such as passion flower, chamomile, and kava kava. Nearly all of those relaxant natural remedies and botanicals are available commonly in teas, but they are also found in supplement form. Nearly always found in specialized mixes, these herbs have various mechanisms of action, and, therefore, behave synergistically when mixed together.

 

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) can alter sleep because of its capacity to interact with neurotransmitters GABA, adenosine and serotonin. A two-week randomized controlled trial research study analyzing the differences in which the sleep aid zolpidem, or Ambien, using a mix of valerian, passion flower and hops, demonstrated no statistically significant change in sleep quality. The root or rhizome of the plant is generally utilized in either teas or it is typically processed into an extract to be utilized in nutritional supplements. The extract is standardized into the valerenic acid compound, often made up to 0.3 to 0.8percent of the substance itself. Doses of the herb can be found in nutritional supplements to be ranging from 150 to 600 mg. The use of valerian generally needs to be given about 2 weeks time until its effects begin to affect the individual, however, research studies are limited to 4 to 6 weeks, therefore, its use past that time frame should be approached with care.

 

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a very popular floral herb utilized in fundamental oil form, teas, extracts and in other botanical combinations to promote relaxation as well as to relieve stress and anxiety. Recent research studies have identified that lavender works by antagonizing NMDA-receptors and serotonin transporters. Doses of about 80 milligrams every day of lavender from gel cap type for up to ten weeks were utilized in a research study where participants had previously been diagnosed with an unspecified type anxiety disorder. Both quality and length of sleep seemed to have been enhanced in those subjects without them experiencing the sedative side-effects as demonstrated in pharmaceutical sleep treatments. Other uses of lavender include 1 to 2 tsp in hot water as a tea every day, or its key oil diluted in a carrier oil used for massage or in a hot bath. Lavender is generally considered safe, however it’s also believed to be toxic if ingested orally in large quantities.

 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has long been utilized as an antiviral and stomach-calming compound in addition to being used as a treatment for sleep disorders brought on by anxiety or stress. Various research studies have demonstrated that the mechanism of action of lemon balm may be associated with its interaction to GABA-A receptors within the human body.

 

Hops (Humulus lupulus), aside from its frequently enjoyable pronunciation and serving as the main ingredient in a variety of beers, this is one of the herbs which is most commonly mixed in teas or supplements to achieve as well as maintain an overall calming effect. Researchers haven’t completely discovered how hops causes this effect, however, it’s been demonstrated to bind to serotonin and melatonin receptors. Valerian-hops blend products have also become the most widely researched in placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized controlled trials comparing them to benzodiazepine-class sleep drugs and/or medications with varying results. Like lemon balm, signs for its use as a herbal treatment for relaxation or insomnia includes an extended background in history.

 

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is basically another botanical utilized to remedy stress, anxiety and insomnia. Researchers have discovered that passionflower works by increasing levels of GABA, achieving a comforting effect. In a Japanese research study from 2017, scientists discovered that passionflower extract modulates the amounts of the receptors as well as the genetic expression of the related enzymes in vivo and in vitro. This ultimately resulted in favorable effects on circadian rhythms.

 

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Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight

Natural remedies and botanicals are a natural option for promoting sleep. While various herbs taken in numerous forms can help provide a good night’s rest, other alternative treatment options can also be considered to get you through a full night of rest. Chiropractic care can help promote sleep by carefully correcting spinal misalignments, or subluxations, through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, among other techniques. Spinal misalignments, or subluxations, can cause tension and stress along the back, causing pain and discomfort which can contribute to poor sleep. Regular chiropractic care can solve a variety of health issues which may be causing you sleepless nights, thus helping you sleep better and improving quality of life.

 

Proper Sleep Hygiene Advice

 

Dr. Michael Polsky, a board-certified sleep physician, recommends contemplating proper sleep hygiene for improving sleep. Sleep hygiene is a phrase utilized to refer to how we prepare our bodies and minds for sleep, beginning hours before we actually have to sleep. In fact, the window of 2 to 3 hours before sleeping proves to be significantly the most essential when attempting to get a good night’s rest. Below, are several notes of advice for achieving and maintaining proper sleep hygiene:

 

  • At least 2-3 hours before bedtime, have a light, balanced meal and also reduce fluids
  • Make a strategy to avoid the use of electronic devices 1 to 2 hours before bed
  • Do a little mild activity, like walking or yoga; avoid a hard workout or some other action which is too stimulating
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine, commonly from coffee, tea, or chocolate, drink no more than 1 to 2 cups of coffee or tea before lunch
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends

 

A Simple Tea Recipe

 

Blend a batch of 2 parts peppermint leaf, 1 piece lemon balm, 1 part passionflower, and 1 part lavender. Steep one heaping teaspoon in a teacup of hot water for 5 minutes and enjoy only as a relaxing drink.

 

Sleep deprivation is one of the most common behaviors which can lead to a variety of health issues. While the natural remedies and botanicals mentioned above can be utilized to help promote sleep, other alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, have been reported to help provide a better good night’s rest. Chiropractic care focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of musculoskeletal and nervous system injuries and/or conditions, through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations. A spinal misalignment, or subluxation, can cause pain and discomfort when trying to get proper sleep. Through chiropractic care, a chiropractor can help promote sleep by carefully correcting any spinal misalignment which may be causing painful symptoms. By treating symptoms of pain and discomfort, chiropractic care can help promote sleep, naturally, without the need for drugs and/or medications as well as surgical interventions.

 

In conclusion, proper sleep and rest are essential elements towards achieving and maintaining overall health and wellness. Through the use of natural remedies and botanicals, by practicing good sleep hygiene tips, and by receiving chiropractic care, the average American can begin to experience the benefits of proper sleep. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

 

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Additional Topics: Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

 

 

 

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EXTRA IMPORTANT TOPIC: Low Back Pain Management

 

MORE TOPICS: EXTRA EXTRA: Chronic Pain & Treatments

 

Mattress Shopping? What To Know

Mattress Shopping? What To Know

Getting a good night’s sleep is absolutely integral to good spinal health. Sometimes, though that isn’t possible. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 92 percent of people believe that a comfortable mattress is important for good, restful sleep. A bad mattress, or one that is old, or one that is simply wrong for your body can contribute to sleep deprivation, lower back pain, headaches, stiff neck, and anxiety and depression. With so much at stake, it’s easy to see just how important it is to select a good mattress.

Ask About How The Mattress Is Made

Learn about the construction  and what the different components mean for your comfort. Different mattresses have different coils and they are arranged differently. The padding can vary in thickness. The depth can range from 7 inches to 18 inches on the average. Understanding the various components can make it easier for you to find the one that is right for you.

Look For Comfort, As Well As, Support

A good mattress is comfortable and has good support. Support is good but if you don’t have comfort then it won’t be effective.

If it is too firm (too much support) it will cause pain on your body’s pressure points. You want your hips and shoulders to slightly sink into the mattress. However, if you prefer a mattress that is firmer to support your back, you can get one with padding on top.

Don’t Let Price Be The Determining Factor

You naturally want to get the most for your dollar, but remember that you get what you pay for. A cheap mattress can translate to a poor quality one.

Look for quality and value rather than price. If money is an issue, do some comparison shopping to find the mattress you want for the best price.

Sales are another way to save money on a purchase, but look out for advertising gimmicks. Know the meaning of the terms that are used and know what you are looking for before you go for that so-called great deal.

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Educate Yourself On The Different Mattress Types

Do you want a memory foam or would latex work better for you? What exactly is an innerspring mattress? Are adjustable beds really all they are cracked up to be? Do some research and brush up on the different types of mattresses so that you can approach your shopping trip with confidence and as an educated consumer. It will definitely work in your favor.

In The End, It’s All About Personal Preference

There is no mattress that is a one size (or type) fits all. Different people will respond differently to mattresses. The best thing to do is try them out. Spend at least 20 minutes laying down before you make the decision to purchase or not.

Finally, if you find that your quality of sleep has recently gotten worse, that you are tossing and turning or wake up with pain in your back, neck, or head, it could be time to change your mattress – or pillow. If you can see your mattress sagging, that could be another indication that it is time to get a new one.

Mattresses are designed to withstand a certain degree of wear and tear, but they don’t last forever. The quality, the weight and other factors contribute to how quickly it wears out. So if you notice any of the warning signs it may be time to get a new mattress so that you can get back to peaceful, restful sleep.

Injury Medical Clinic: Back Pain Care & Treatments

Rest Helps Restore Spinal Health

Rest Helps Restore Spinal Health

You try to do all the right things when it comes to taking care of your spine. You lift the right way, exercise, practice good posture, stretch, drink plenty of water, and take frequent breaks to walk around if you are seated for an extended period of time. Those are all excellent habits to keep, but there is something else that you should be doing – and it is one of the most overlooked and undervalued health practices. Rest!

Running On Empty: The Silent Epidemic

Stress can do severe damage to your emotional and mental health, but it can also hurt your body as well. Many people carry stress in their lower backs which means that when stress goes up it can result in lower back pain. It can also make you more sensitive to pain.

It is estimated that 66 percent of all doctor visits have a stress related component. What’s more, 50 percent of people who suffer from stress rate it as moderate to high. We live in a culture that makes it commonplace to run on empty. The problem with that is sooner or later you are going to crash and your body will bear the brunt.

Rest is important for helping you alleviate and manage stress, but recent studies show that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. There is another reason to get your seven to nine hours in, though, that is directly related to spinal health.

rest spine health el paso tx.

What Rest Can Do For Your Spinal Health

When you rest you give your body time to replenish depleted stores of energy. Adequate sleep improves your immune function, memory, metabolism, learning, and healing. You will be more alert, happier, and have more energy. It is also very beneficial is you are trying to lose weight.

Excess weight can put pressure on your spine and cause it to curve, causing back pain. This is especially true if you carry your weight in your abdomen. That extra weight in the front pulls your spine into a sway back curve making it painful to stand for long periods of time.

When you lay down and rest you allow your entire spine, associated muscles, and other parts of your body to rejuvenate and relax. You probably don’t realize it, but your muscles in your back and abdomen work all day to keep your body properly supported. Even when sitting there are muscles engaged. Laying down allows all of those muscles to finally relax.

Rest also allows your spinal discs to rehydrate. The spine is made up of fluid filled discs that sit between the vertebrae, acting as a cushion. As you go about your day, thanks to gravity, your discs become compressed. This compression causes the disc to lose fluid (which is about 88 percent water). This can cause pain if the discs are not properly rehydrated – and that is a two-step process of drinking adequate water and getting enough rest.

Drinking water will put the fluids into your body, but as long as you are upright, the compression will continue. Laying down to go to sleep takes that pressure off of your spine so there is no compression and the body can naturally rehydrate the discs. A few hours here and there is not really effective because it does not give the body enough time to do its job. This means that you need to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

Along with all the other great, healthy reasons to get a good night’s sleep, you not have one more to add to the list. A healthy spine will keep you standing tall and help keep you mobile, It is important to do all you can to take care of it.

Injury Medical Clinic: Neck Pain Care & Treatments

Sleeping With Low Back Pain Guide | El Paso, TX.

Sleeping With Low Back Pain Guide | El Paso, TX.

Sleeping: Lower back pain makes it hard to fall asleep, and the pain can awake anyone any hour of the night.

To help reclaim your sleep schedule, here are some simple guidelines to sleeping with lower back pain:

Sleeping With Lower Back Pain Guidelines

Sleep On Your Side To Relieve Pain

One of the most common causes of lower back pain is a pulled back muscle. This occurs when a muscle in the lower back is strained or torn as a result of being over stretched. Symptoms typically resolve within a few days, but the intense pain can make it difficult to fall asleep. The longer you lie in bed, the more unconditioned the body becomes, the worse the symptoms become.

No single sleeping position works for everybody with a pulled back muscle. But a good place to start is to test sleeping on your side. When sleeping on your side, try the following:

  • Avoid a tight curled-up fetal position (knees pulled in toward the body), and instead sleep with your body slightly elongated.
  • Slip a slim pillow between your knees to support the natural curvature of your spine.
  • Find a head pillow that holds your head midway between each shoulder. If your pillow is too thin or too thick it can bend your neck at an uncomfortable angle.

There is benefit from wearing a disposable heat wrap to bed, which can help alleviate the pain from a pulled back muscle. These wraps deliver muscle relaxing, low-level heat over the course of several hours. They may help to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Soothing Audio Relaxes The Mind & Body

When the lights go out, almost all of the stimuli that held your attention during the day dissipates. People tend to focus more on their back pain, and as one pays more attention to the pain, the anxiety can rise, which, makes it harder to fall asleep.

Listening to various soothing audio can relieve anxiety and the experience of back pain by redirecting the focus away from symptoms. Nighttime audio options include:

  • Audio Books For Children
  • Classical Music
  • Relaxation Podcasts

Regardless of what kind of audio chosen, make sure it is free of harsh sounds or intense plots. Otherwise there won’t be any sleep.

sleeping el paso tx.

Mattress Quality Matters

On the internet one can discover all sorts of suggestions for extending the life of a sagging mattress. These methods include

  • Sliding Plywood Under The Mattress
  • Ditching The Box Spring

These tricks can work for some, but the best approach is to replace a worn out mattress.

It is important not to neglect the mattress because a sagging mattress can exacerbate lower back pain by placing additional stress on the spinal structures. This can make it harder to fall asleep.

When sleeping with lower back pain, the most expensive mattress is not always the best. Instead, the best mattress is ultimately one that provides the best sleep.

Here are a few tips to help get you started for a proper mattress:

The mattress needs to support the natural curvature of the spine. This means the spine should look similar when lying on you’re back or side as when you’re standing with good posture.

Visit the local mattress store and try out various mattresses. After 15 minutes on a mattress, one can tell if it is a good fit.

Don’t be afraid to take your time.

Sleeping with a partner, consider a larger-sized mattress. This will allow both room to sleep without startling the other.

Hopefully, the aforementioned advice will help you find relief from lower back pain and enjoy more restful sleep.

Chiropractic Clinic Extra: Back Pain Care & Treatments

5 Chiropractic Tips When Choosing The Perfect Pillow

5 Chiropractic Tips When Choosing The Perfect Pillow

Perfect Pillow: Neck pain is nobody’s friend, and it is definitely not an ideal sleeping companion. Pain-filled nights can leave a person dull, groggy, and not ready to face the day in the morning. Unfortunately, certain sleeping positions can further aggravate neck pain to the point it robs a person of a good night’s sleep.

If you suffer from neck pain, the toll it takes on deep sleep isn’t news to you. What may surprise you, however, is choosing the right or perfect pillow can make a huge difference in whether you lie awake grumpily watching the clock or snuggle cozily into dream land.

A million pillow choices await you. The first order of business is determining the primary position you sleep in. Certain shapes of pillows cradle the head and neck more comfortably, depending on the sleeping position.

Now that you have determined your favorite sleeping position, you are ready to shop for a new perfect pillow. Be certain to keep these five tips in mind before you settle on your new bed mate.

When Choosing The Perfect Pillow:

#1: Ask For A Recommendation From Your Chiropractor.

Before selecting your new pillow, talk to the person who understands the cause of your neck pain, your chiropractor. He or she will give you some valuable pointers on choosing the pillow that will be most beneficial.

#2: Do Your Research.

Fire up the Internet and search for pillows by your sleeping position. Read the reviews from people who also have neck pain, and see which pillows helped them. Note the pillow name, price, and store that sells it.

#3: Think About The Filling.

Pillows are filled with a variety of materials, and you will need to consider which one is right for you. Feather pillows may offer neck comfort, but if you are allergic this is the wrong choice.

Memory foam is a popular choice because of it’s ability to contour to your body’s shape. Give some thought to the type of filling that best suits your sleeping style.

#4: Consider The Size.

Pillows should generally be between 4-6 inches in height, and should alleviate the pressure points around your neck and shoulders. Extra thick pillows or especially flat ones are most likely the wrong choices (again, this depends on your sleeping position).

Your size should also be considered when choosing a pillow. A large person needs a bigger pillow, while a more petite person should go with a smaller pillow. The bottom line is the pillow should provide support and comfort, and hold your neck in a neutral position.

#5: Don’t Try To ‘Make Do’ With A Budget Pillow.

Pillows designed to reduce neck pain are not going to be cheap. With all the less expensive pillows available, its tempting to settle for a more modestly priced option.

Before you end up spending a smaller amount of cash on a pillow that won’t alleviate your current problem, remember the many painful nights and groggy mornings that you would have paid a ton of money just to feel good. Then open your wallet and buy the pillow that will minimize that from ever happening again. Parting with the cash won’t kill you. We promise.

Neck pain and the lack of sleep that results is a serious issue. Addressing it with a good chiropractor is the first step toward improving the situation.

Shopping for the perfect pillow is a close second in importance. By following these tips and taking the time to choose the right pillow, you will be snoozing away pain-free in no time at all!

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Good Night’s Sleep Minimizes Stress Eating

Good Night’s Sleep Minimizes Stress Eating

Good Night’s: Feeling stressed at work can lead to us reaching for unhealthy snacks and extra portions, but a new study has found that getting enough sleep could help buffer the negative effect of stress on eating habits.

Carried out by a team of researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Florida, and Auburn University in the US, along with Sun Yat-sen University in China, the study is one of the first to look at how psychological experiences at work can affect eating behaviors.

The team looked at two studies of 235 total workers in China who experienced regular stress in their jobs.

One study included IT employees who had a high workload and felt there was never enough time in the workday, while the second included call-center workers who experienced stress from dealing with rude and demanding customers.

The researchers found that in both studies employees who had a stressful workday also had a tendency to take these negative feelings home with them, and to the dinner table, leading to them eating more than usual and make unhealthier food choices.

However, the study also showed that sleep could be a way to buffer this effect of stress on unhealthy eating, with the team finding that employees who got a good night’s sleep the night before tended to eat better the next day after a stressful day at work.

Yihao Liu, co-author and assistant professor at the University of Illinois gave two possible explanations for the findings.

“First, eating is sometimes used as an activity to relieve and regulate one’s negative mood, because individuals instinctually avoid aversive feelings and approach desire feelings,” he said.

“Second, unhealthy eating can also be a consequence of diminished self-control. When feeling stressed out by work, individuals usually experience inadequacy in exerting effective control over their cognitions and behaviors to be aligned with personal goals and social norms.”

Chu-Hsiang “Daisy” Chang, MSU associate professor of psychology and study co-author, also commented that the findings that sleep has a protective effect against unhealthy food habits shows how the three health behaviours of sleep, stress, and eating are related.

“A good night’s sleep can make workers replenished and feel vigorous again, which may make them better able to deal with stress at work the next day and less vulnerable to unhealthy eating,” she explained.

The team now believe that companies should take into consideration the importance of sleep and healthy behaviors and think about providing sleep-awareness training and flexible scheduling for employees, as well as rethinking food-related job perks, which have become very common.

“Food-related perks may only serve as temporary mood-altering remedies for stressed employees,” Chang said, “and failure to address the sources of the work stress may have potential long-term detrimental effects on employee health.”

The findings were published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Managing Workplace Stress

8 Sleeping Positions To Revolutionize Your Health

Most of us will spend at least 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Strangely, researchers still aren’t entirely sure why our body needs sleep.What they have found, however, is that the number of hours of sleep you get each night, combined with your sleeping position, can greatly affect your overall health.

Research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) shows that the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for maximum health benefits.2 Their research, which involved a systematic review of scientific literature pertaining to health, safety, and performance, also identified certain sleeping postures that can help alleviate or even prevent several common physical ailments, including back pain and sinus infections.

To help sufferers get the relief and rest they need, we’ve compiled a list of 8 sleeping positions designed to help alleviate these common health conditions.

1. Headaches

If you constantly suffer from painful headaches, take a good look at your sleeping position.3 If you sleep with your head in the same position for an extended period of time and/ or twist your neck while you sleep, research shows that you are more likely to wake up with a headache. To prevent this, you may want to surround your head with pillows to prevent any neck twisting. If you can, try to move your head around at least a little during the night.

2. Digestive Issues and Heartburn

If you struggle with digestive issues (like heartburn), do yourself a favor: slightly elevate your head and sleep on your left side. Studies show that elevating your head keeps stomach acid from flowing up into your esophagus, the main cause of heartburn.4 Additionally, since your stomach sits slightly on your left side, sleeping on your left lets gravity assist in digestion.

3. Neck Pain

To reduce your chances of waking up with an aching pain in your neck, give it a little extra support while you sleep. There are two easy ways to do this.5 One, opt for a feather pillow, which easily conforms to your neck’s shape. Two, roll up a small hand towel and place it under your neck for additional support. If the towel’s texture bothers you, tuck it inside your pillowcase.

4. Back Pain

Back pain can be made worse or better based on how you sleep. According to experts, the best position for relief is lying flat on your back.6 At the same time, place a pillow under your knees or put a small, rolled up towel under the curve of your back. However, you should keep in mind that when it comes to back pain, your best option is to sleep in the position that works for you.

5. Sinus Problems

If you’re suffering from a sinus infection, sleep can definitely be a problem. Thankfully, researchers have found that sleeping with your head elevated is most beneficial in this situation.This position assists in preventing pools of mucus from building up when your head is down, making it much easier to get the rest and relaxation you need to recover.

6. High Blood Pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, you may be surprised to learn that how you sleep can affect your condition. In fact, researchers have found that sleeping in a face-down positon can help lower blood pressure.8 In a study performed at the Ehime University School of Medicine, participants, overall, saw a significant drop in their blood pressure when lying on their stomach with their face down. One important note: you should always speak with your physician about your condition and potential treatment regimens.

7. Shoulder Pain

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, it’s pretty obvious that you don’t want to sleep on the affected side because this puts unnecessary pressure on your muscles and bones.9 Instead, you have two options. One, you can sleep flat on your back, which is a good solution if both of your shoulders hurt. Two, you can sleep on the side that is pain-free with your legs slightly bent. For added support try tucking a pillow under your knees, or clasping one to your chest.

8. PMS-Related Symptoms

If you are a woman who knows all too well the problematic symptoms of PMS, such as bloating, cramping, or moodiness, sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees and your arms at your side can seriously alleviate your symptoms.10 Whatever you do, be sure to avoid curling up in a ball or lying on your stomach, as these two positions put too much pressure and weight on your uterus, resulting in increased irritation and cramping.

Now that you know how your sleeping position can benefit your health, it’s time to try them out.

References:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-50504,00.html
  2.  https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times
  3. https://sleep.org/articles/waking-up-with-headache/
  4.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/69972-sleeping-positions-better-digestion/
  5. http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/say-good-night-to-neck-pain
  6. http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/sleeping-positions-for-people-with-low-back-pain
  7. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-to-do-about-sinusitis
  8. http://www.flatseats.com/General/sleep_down.htm
  9. http://www.sports-health.com/blog/your-sleep-position-harming-your-rotator-cuff
  10. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/sleep-positions
Healing Your Body After Having a Baby

Healing Your Body After Having a Baby

 

There is a growing awareness in the U.S. for childbearing women to seek help in adjusting to their post-baby body. This is not to be confused with the celebrity magazine headlines of “How I Got My Body Back.” The goal is not to return to the same jeans you wore before or to fad diet and slim down to your former self.

Women who bear children can feel the history in their bodies. A cataclysmic journey has taken place: conceiving, carrying, and delivering a human into the world. It is a beautiful experience to be revered and should not leave the woman with any upset about the glory of what she has been able to do. Yet the entire year of making this happen – the three trimesters plus the so-called “fourth trimester” of infancy – does affect the body, sometimes in a way that bewilders or hinders us.

“This is not to be confused with the celebrity magazine headlines of ‘How I Got My Body Back.’ The goal is not to return to the same jeans you wore before or to fad diet and slim down to your former self.” – Laura Lash

Perhaps because of the nationwide growing practices of yoga and mindfulness, or because Western medicine is opening up to the mind-body connection and the influences of Eastern medicine, we now have women asking for more support in the physical recovery of their bodies after childbearing, not seeking to return to the body they had, but to learn how to improve functionality of their body as it is now. In this article we will hear from a physical therapist, a yoga/Pilates instructor and a bodyworker to learn about common issues and how they can be addressed.

Issues

Nature allows for a graceful advance throughout pregnancy. Week to week with the growth of the baby, a woman’s body has the opportunity to adjust to carrying increased weight. We make modifications in how we sit, carry things, even in the way we get in and out of the car. Sleeping positions are limited and rest can be fitful. After nine-plus months of this accommodation there is the birthing event. The experience varies from person to person but as one of my yoga teachers – cracking a joke about the “will-this-ever-end” mentality – said: “All the babies come out!” And the babies do come out, all with their own unique birth stories. Regardless of the way in which a baby is birthed, it is a huge undertaking for the female body. The mother will then begin to heal herself, at the same time providing nourishment to her newborn, by breast or bottle. The first three months of a child’s life are a precious time for the mother’s mind, body, and emotions. And it can be a challenge to see clearly what the mother’s needs are when the newborn needs constant care. Admittedly, some women require medical attention in their postpartum recovery. More commonly, women are simply trying to get by in the sleepless, incubated state that is new motherhood.

Sheri Baemmert, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, teacher of Pilates, yoga and Thai yoga bodywork, elaborates on her experience with childbirth: “After I became pregnant with my son, I started to really understand what women experience.” As the teacher in class, Sheri’s demonstrations became different.

“Our bodies are amazing, and after my first home birth I realized preparing for birth is like training for the most intense workout you will ever have. ” – Sheri Baemmert, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, teacher of Pilates, yoga and Thai yoga bodywork

“As I got bigger and bigger and had to push myself off the floor instead of just hopping up, I understood what books can’t teach … After having a second child, I realized things don’t bounce back the same why they can after the first child. Again, knowledge can come from books, but wisdom comes from experience.”

There are common issues that arise for the postpartum mother. And as previously mentioned, there is a heightened awareness now that women are allowed, even encouraged, to seek help in improving the function of their core/abdominal muscles, pelvic floor (the muscular base of the abdomen supporting the bladder, intestines, and uterus) or any other body area that has been affected, and is perhaps dysfunctioning, after the pregnancy and birth experience.

Stephanie Powell, P.T., a physical therapist with Mayo Clinic Health System, has been working with women on these issues for 11 years, nine of them as a specialist working with the pelvic floor: “I just always encourage women to let their providers know any concerns they have postpartum, even if symptoms ‘are not a big deal.’ Most common postpartum conditions include urinary incontinence (leaking urine), prolapse (when some internal structures such as the rectum, uterus, or bladder can sit lower in the pelvic floor), and reports of back pain (can be low back, mid back, neck, or all three).”

Approaches

At Prajna, a studio in Eau Claire, Sheri offers cues from her yoga and Pilates background to assist women in strengthening their pelvic floors and finding deep core strength. This work is done on Pilates-specific equipment and on a yoga mat with props. She attracts a wide range of clientele: “Basically anyone ready to commit to rebalancing their body. This includes finding subtle strength. We need to be both strong and flexible. We need to be balanced. We need to undo the consequences of our work style, lifestyle, play style. I offer my clients a full body, breath, mind approach to well-being. Some clients spend the first hour learning how to breath again. Others spend time ‘finding their true deep core.’ ” Sheri is incredibly understanding about the needs of new moms and is delighted when moms bring their babies along for sessions. She makes sessions physically and logistically accommodating so mothers feels it’s possible to repeatedly attend.

Christopher Hayden, LABT, CAR, a licensed bodyworker, will offer Visceral Manipulation (VM) and other modalities at Tuning Tree, a collective of therapists offering services in a new location on South Barstow Street, beginning in May. In his training with VM, he is “learning how to apply gentle hands-on techniques to the internal organs. This is aimed at improving their function, but can also help your body move and feel better.” In addition to postpartum work, VM can aid in digestive health, relaxation, and better movement throughout the body. “I’m excited to bring this work to clients to not only improve functioning, but also embodied self-awareness that really makes a long-term difference,” Christopher says. “I’m pairing up with Sandra Helpsmeet at the Yoga Center of Eau Claire to incorporate yoga techniques and visualizations with hands-on techniques in workshops and individual sessions.”

If you are most comfortable in a clinic setting, physical therapy may help you understand the shifts you’ve experienced and how to work with your postpartum body.

Timing

While caring for an infant, it can be hard to get a true sense of what your needs are. There is very little alone time to contemplate and focus on yourself, compounded by having very little time to take action on what your needs may be. It often gets to a point of fatigue or breakdown before women can recognize that something needs to change for them. By highlighting what is available to women, we can encourage them to seek help earlier on in the first few months of motherhood so they feel supported and can soldier on.

“Early intervention is key for treatment success, so letting women know that we are here and can help them is vital.” – Stephanie Powell, P.T., a physical therapist with Mayo Clinic Health System

That said, treatment is possible at any time. Taking into consideration which approach to care may be best for you, you can work on rehabilitation of the body months or years after childbearing.
Stephanie elaborates on the commitment needed: “Timeline can be variable, dependent on severity of symptoms as well as other medical factors. While all therapists have their own approach, generally starting with once-weekly visits to establish tolerance to treatment, changes in symptoms, and assisting with challenges that may affect success. In terms of treating incontinence, we may see patients every two to three weeks to give them time to work on a home program.”

As wonderful as it is to seek and receive professional help, what simple things can you do to make things easier on yourself? Stephanie has more great suggestions: “Can you keep a few pillows near the area you normally feed baby, to keep your arms propped and avoid hunching the upper back? Are you keeping up with your water intake, and taking bathroom breaks regularly to try avoiding urinary tract infections or constipation? It is easy to forget the little things in the postpartum phase.”

Sleeping Position During Pregnancy With Pictures

Sleeping Position During Pregnancy With Pictures

Sleeping Position: During pregnancy, you may find yourself tossing and turning, as best as you can, trying to get comfortable before falling asleep. Unfortunately, regular sleeping positions may no longer work during pregnancy.

There are a number of reasons for this new discomfort, but there are some sleeping positions that may help you get that much needed rest. When pregnant the body goes through a variety of changes. These changes tend to disrupt the peaceful sleep.

Here are a few suggestions that may not sound or look very comfortable, especially if you have a favorite sleeping position. This is often on your back or stomach. But you may find that they work. Keep in mind that you may do not have to stay in one position all night, rotating positions is completely acceptable and even encouraged.

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