By: Erin E. Ducat DC, CSCS, CCSP
Everyone is supposed to be snoring in bed on Christmas Eve while Santa sneaks in with a few presents to put under the tree. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee that a few of you are going to be up, instead of sleeping (and no, I’m not talking about the last minute panicked present wrapping you might need to do!).
Insomnia, which is having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, is a wide-spread problem in our culture and it has negative effects on your spine health as well as a host of other body systems.
Many times we are tempted to start taking an over the counter sleep aid or ask our doctor for a prescription such as Ambien to help us get some Zzzzz’s. Before jumping to a chemical solution, consider some effective natural alternatives out there.
1. Create a sleepy environment.
We all sleep best in a cool, dark room that is void of stress. If you are constantly getting text messages or Facebook updates on your phone, it might be best to put it in another room as you sleep. The same advice applies to your laptop and tablet.
2. Create a routine.
It’s best to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Sometimes it might be difficult to do on the weekends, but try your best. Your body works on a rhythm and constantly changing it confuses everything.
3. Put a plant in your room.
New research shows that putting a live snake plant in your room increases the natural oxygen levels which can help you sleep better. Plus it looks fashionable, right?
4. Try natural supplements.
There’s a number of different supplements that can help you fall asleep. Personally, I prefer a combination of Melatonin (10mg for tough cases, you can find this at most drug stores) along with Myocalm PM, which contains Passion Flower, Valerian Root, Hops, Lemon Balm, Calcium and Magnesium (you can find this at Mark Drugs in Roselle or at our office — it’s available through professionals only). Remember, if you still have trouble sleeping despite taking these supplements for a few weeks, it’s important to see your family doctor or chiropractor. We want to make sure your insomnia isn’t part of a bigger problem!
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