When we think of a healthy lifestyle, we immediately think of diet and exercise. But there is a third component to health that is often overlooked: restorative sleep. With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to stay up too late and get up too early, burning the candle from both ends. However, if we are to gain the maximum benefit from the foods we eat and the exercise we get, we must allow our bodies to get restorative rest.
Everyone is different, however most people find that they need a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night to function at their best. Less sleep than this on a regular basis may affect the functioning of our bodies. The purpose of restorative sleep is to repair tissues and cells that have been damaged and allows us to recover from the stressors of the day. Without this time for repair, our bodies begin to hold more muscle and joint stiffness. We will notice aches and pains that weren’t there before. We may become more irritable. Our cognitive function decreases. We become more easily confused or forgetful. It becomes more difficult for us to make decisions. And small problems begin to appear huge and insurmountable.
How Do We Get the Restorative Sleep We Need?
There is no magic time to get to bed or wake up. You need to find the hours that work best for you. Some of us are night owls, and some are morning people. After that, self disciple has to come into play. Here is how several highly-successful people get their sleep:
- Bill Gates—midnight to 7:00 a.m.
- Jeff Bezos—10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
- Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)—9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
- Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter)—10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
- Benjamin Franklin—10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (Remember “Early to bed, early to rise…”)
The important thing is to find what works for you, and be consistent in getting yourself to sleep early enough to be able to get the hours your body needs.
How Sleep Can Be Improved with Chiropractic Care
While we are asleep, a lot of activities take place in our bodies that are not under our conscious control. The function of our heart, breathing, and our digestive system happen without our managing them in the least. If we are not controlling them, what is? It is our nervous system. Whether we are awake or asleep, our nervous system is always “online.” But it needs regular maintenance, just as the rest of our bodies. The best way to keep the nervous system running optimally is to get regular chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care will help to remove any sources of nerve interference which reduce communication between the brain and body systems. The benefit is more efficient functioning and better overall health, as well as better, more restorative sleep.