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How do you sleep?
How many hours do you get?
Do you wake up refreshed?

Sleep is often the single most undervalued behaviour in our lives. And yet, it is the one with the most immediate power to improve our lives in every waking moment. I regularly ask my clients about the quality of their sleep, particularly if they are putting up with a chronic concern or issue. This is the time when your body does its housework, its repair jobs, replacing and updating. The latest research is even telling us that sleep loss heightens pain sensitivity and dulls your brain’s pain-killing response.

So what if we started treating sleep as essential to our well-being? Here are a few nuggets to get you on the road to better zzzzzzzzzz

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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself… plus it’s FREE!

1. Are you getting enough support?

Your mattress is a major factor in getting a good night’s sleep. It’s said you spend a third of your life in bed so investing in a good mattress is investing in your health.
When lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the bed and not be sagging or bowing. An uncomfortable night’s sleep does not equal a restful night’s sleep. If your mattress is ten years old (or older) it’s time to look at updating. Read more on picking the right mattress.

2. Set your clock

Routine is golden in the world of sleep. Picking a time to start unwinding and preparing for sleep is important. Not alone that, there is a good time to go to sleep. Science is telling us that getting sleep between the hours of 10pm and 2am gets you the most rejuvenating effects of sleep.

3. Screen Time

You knew it was coming. Shut off ALL screens approximately one hour before your chosen bedtime. This means phones, tablets, laptops, PCs and not forgetting the good old television. To cut a long story short, the blue light emitted from these devices triggers your body to produce more daytime hormones just when you should be looking for your lovely sleepy snoozy night-time hormones to be kicking in.

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Read a book in dim light. Avoid a phone or tablet’s blue light emissions.

4. Keep It Cool

When it’s time to rest, your body uses a tool called thermo-regulation to drop your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. A cool bedroom can help imitate a natural drop in body temperature required for sleep. In fact, studies have found an optimal bedroom temperature of between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. So stay cosy under the covers but make sure your bedroom isn’t too hot or cold.

5. Avoid Caffeine

I was surprised to learn (I am always learning when it comes to health) that caffeine stays in your system for quite a long time. It has a half-life of 5-8 hours! Meaning that after say five hours, half of the substance is still in your system. So aim to have a caffeine curfew for deeper better quality sleep. Why? Caffeine interferes with you dropping into your deeper stages of sleep and reaping the benefits of these vital restorative stages.

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Try adding a cup of caffeine-free tea, such as chamomile or hibiscus tea to your bedtime routine

When you sleep your body updates and repairs

Let’s start treating sleep as essential to our well-being and reap the rewards of deep sleep. If you have an ongoing chronic issue, make sleep a priority. Deep restorative sleep is a smart choice … plus it’s FREE!

If you have been putting up with an on-going issue or concern, gentle hands-on care at Natural Back Health may be suitable for you. I am happy to have a chat with you on the phone to discuss what kind of care is suitable for your concern prior to your first visit. If you have any further questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to contact the clinic here or on 087 1815007.

Read more about what to expect from my treatments

Hopefully you find the general information in this article informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.

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Natural Back Health is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The clinic is located at: The Wisdom Centre, Sophia House, 25 Cork Street, Dublin 8.

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