Total Snooze Fest: 5 Changes to Help You Sleep Your Best

Snooze fest

Maybe you think talking about sleep is a Total Snooze Fest. However, it’s vitally important to optimizing immune system function and helping block potential illness. There are numerous things keeping us up at night, but a poorly designed bedroom shouldn’t be one of them. Make this simple changes to turn your sleep space into a nighttime oasis.

Building Your Sleep Cave…

1 – Block the Light

Your sleep cycle is highly dependent on light, both artificial and natural. Stay away from screens and their stimulating blue light for at least an hour before bed. Keep the TV off as you sleep, too. If you insist on screen time before bed, at least consider blue light blocking glasses.

Wearing an eye mask and light blocking curtains are options for keeping your bedroom dark. This helps block excessive light from outside. Exposure to light can confuse our brains into thinking it’s daytime, and not time to sleep.

2 – Drown out Noise

Do you think you’re used to the sound of traffic driving by your window? Even if you do, it’s likely it’s keeping you from achieving deep sleep. Earplugs can block out the noise, but white noise machines go a step further. Instead of cars whizzing by, they sub in soothing sounds which actually facilitate sleep. If you’re on a budget, a well-placed fan will do the trick.

3 – Eliminate Allergens

Your sleep quality is affected by things like pollen, dust, pet dander, and mold. Wash linens in hot water and keep your pets off the bed to mitigate some issues. Further, use protective covers on your pillows and mattress as a defense against dust mites.

For a more powerful solution, invest in an air purifier, along with a humidifier (or dehumidifier depending on your needs). Just remember to change the filters regularly and seek quieter models.

4 – Correct the Temperature

Our bodies are evolutionarily primed for sleep by lower environmental temperatures. The National Sleep Foundation recommends having the thermostat set between 60-67 degrees. Cooler temps help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and get the rest vital for healing and an optimized immune system.

Hot sleepers can try cooling, moisture wicking bedding made of natural fibers. If you still have trouble, take a warm bath or shower before bed. This causes your body’s temperature to fall a bit quicker, signaling sleep. Another tip is to add an extra blanket at the end of the bed. Warm feet tell the brain it’s bedtime.

5 – Invest in a Supportive Mattress and Pillow

We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. Doesn’t it make sense to sleep on something that will properly support you (and your spine)? Evidence suggests that poor sleep can negatively affect your health. If your mattress is developing the “trough” appearance, it’s time for a new one. You should also select a pillow which is supportive for your head and neck. Please reach out for additional help on choosing the right pillow.

Hopefully, these strategies will truly make your night a Snooze Fest. Quality sleep is extremely important for blocking infections and having optimal immune system function.

Keeping Health Simple During These Trying Times

Optimizing Immune System Function to Help Block the Coronavirus

Keeping Health Simple

Keeping health simple during these trying times can seem, well, not so simple. If you spend any time watching the news, reading the paper, or scrolling social media, it’s coronavirus this, COVID-19 that. And, who’s information is reliable? We’re expected to sort through that, too?

Over the past couple of weeks at Keystone Chiropractic, we’ve realized that one of the best ways to optimize your body and block the coronavirus (or any other germs, for that matter) is to focus on what you can control. Previously in blog and video format, we’ve discussed our Health Made Simple series. With those 4 KEY requirements in mind, below we’ll discuss strategies to optimize immune system function.

EAT

Eat Healthy Foods

This can’t be understated! Eating real food is key to getting the nutrients and energy the body needs. Using these quality raw materials, your immune and nervous systems can function at optimal levels.

Vitamin D3

Along with eating real foods, it may be necessary to supplement Vitamin D3. This helps keep your immune system tuned and sharp. While it’s best to get Vitamin D3 through sunlight exposure, supplementation is still often needed.

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Excessive sugar consumption, especially added sugar in processed foods leads to widespread, chronic inflammation. This heavily stresses the immune system, and makes it ill equipped to respond to any invaders.

Avoid Alcohol

While the alcohol in hand sanitizer may help kill viruses and bacteria, drinking alcohol will not. Alcohol often reduces quality sleep. It’s during sleep when our body heals the most. Reducing alcohol consumption can improve sleep and help optimize immune response.

Drink Lots of Water

Staying well hydrated is crucial for optimal immune function. It also helps in keeping things moving through your digestive system. It’s key that you get at least half of your body weight in ounces each day (i.e. if you weigh 150 lbs, drink at least 75 ounces of water per day).

MOVE

Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercising is known to help the immune system block invaders. Walking 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week, has been shown to ward off sickness, and reduce symptoms if you happen to become ill. Exercise also lowers stress, improves blood flow, and helps with sleep, which are all important to optimal immune function.

RECHARGE

Adapt to Stress

I often think it’s silly to say “get rid of the stress in your life.” Let’s be real, that’s not happening. Instead, incorporate things like prayer, meditation, yoga, or a gratitude journal, into each day. These are activities which have been shown to reduce the harmful effects of chronic stress, and in turn, increase immunity.

Get Sleep

This is the time when your nervous system and immune system are at peak activity. Sleep is when your body takes time to heal. Cutting yourself short or sleeping poorly deprives your body of this critical time. Look to previous blogs on specific tips for improving sleep. You should shoot for at least 6-8 hours every night.

Brain-Body Connection

NeuroStructural Chiropractic Care

Ultimately, optimal immune system function and its ability to mount a defense, is tied to our body’s ability to adapt to internal and external challenges. How we adapt is controlled by nervous system function.

As a NeuroStructural Chiropractic office, our goal is to work with patients to ensure a well connected nervous system free from any obstructions. We do so because the nervous system controls and coordinates everything in the body, including the immune system.

Obstructions can occur when the spine shifts from its normal position. If this happens, it creates disconnect and less efficiency. At Keystone Chiropractic, we restore the spine toward normal. This optimizes communication between the nervous system and body, including the immune system.

Will NeuroStructural Chiropractic Care, by itself, prevent illness like COVID-19? No. But it is part of optimizing your immune system to block any virus.

Things may be chaotic right now. The coronavirus and news surrounding it is like little we’ve experienced before. Our office is a place of health, healing, and support. We encourage you to stay calm, don’t panic, but concern yourself with the things over which you have control. Social distancing, hand washing, and the strategies above for keeping health simple are a great place to start.

Top Exercises Everyone Should Consider

Top Exercises Everyone Should Consider

At Keystone Chiropractic, we strive to help you achieve the best results possible. Part of that includes providing exercises which aid in, or complement, the corrective process.

Below are the Top 4 exercises that nearly everyone should consider doing.

Planks/Dead Bugs

In general, we can all use a bit of work with our core strength. Often, especially if you’re seated most of the day, abdominal and postural muscles aren’t activated. A weakened core can lead to decreased efficiency while working out and back discomfort. It also leads to instability in the lower spine and pelvis. While planks and dead bugs may not give you six-pack abs, they will reinforce this area of the body.

Core strength is vital to protecting the correction of the lower spine and pelvis. Planks and dead bugs are designed to work on the abdominal muscles in the front and postural muscles of your low back. This develops a “belt” of muscle around your mid-section to help stabilize the foundation of your spine.

Psoas (Hip Flexor) Stretch

A chronically shortened or flexed psoas is another consequence of being seated most of the day. This is a large muscle running from the bottom of your mid back to your pelvis and is responsible for bringing your knee toward your chest.

Because of its direct attachment to the spine, a shortened hip flexor can have detrimental effects to the structure of the spine. It can also cause a variety of discomforts, including low or mid back soreness, hip pain, and may even result in some knee pain. Performing this stretch can help combat the effects of being seated and static most of the day.

Chin Tucks (Anterior Head Exercise)

Everyday activities are predominately causing us to lean forward and look downward. Whether that comes from using a computer, staring at our cell phones, or working with a client, we spend a lot of time in that position. Gradually, this leads to imbalanced muscles on the front and back of the neck, a loss of the normal neck curve, and structural abnormalities of the upper spine.

This exercise strengthens the anterior and posterior (front and back) neck muscles. Over time, chin tucks support the correction of structural shifts in the upper spine and the stability of a Normal c-shaped cervical curve.

Pectoral Stretch

You are looking forward and down most of the day. Often, this causes a rounding of the shoulders, and ultimately chronically shortened pectoralis, or chest, muscles.

Tight pecs tend to exacerbate the anterior (forward) shift of the head and straightening of the neck. As a result, it’s important to gently stretch these muscles, opening up the chest, and reducing the forward pull of the pecs.

**It’s important to note that these exercise are complementary to Corrective Chiropractic Care. These alone will not resolve any underlying structural issues.

If any of these exercises exacerbate your current condition, please do not perform and ask your Structural Chiropractor for modifications.

If you have questions about performance, we are happy to provide you instruction on these, as well as other exercises. They are part of our complementary recommendations during your corrective care at Keystone Chiropractic**

Boost Your Run with Structural Chiropractic

Looking to Boost Your Run or recover from a running injury? Structural Chiropractic should be part of the solution.

Boost your run with help from the Preferred Partners mentioned in this video. Follow the links below to check out their businesses.

Heartland Soles

Fleet Feet

Expedition Wellness

The NeuroStructural Process

The NeuroStructural Process outlines the operations of Keystone Chiropractic. In our office, we take time to understand your concerns and share with you what you can expect. Following a comprehensive, objective examination, we are able to detail the need for corrective care and develop a personalized recommendation. Check out Our Process to read more!

NeuroStructural Correction process BlogCast