Health

Take Charge Now

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CoplinHeadshotBAround our house, the first question of the day is “How did you sleep?”.  As the interviewees on TV would say “Greta question”, while they desperately think of an answer. But it is a great question, especially for the many people who have trouble sleeping. You all know of course the adult need for 7-8 hours a night of sleep a night(Central Speaks March 16, 2017). Aside from someone whose sleep is troubled by a medical condition, there are a number of drug free practices that may help you sleep better.
    Of course, you know I am going to tell you to exercise more. Regular exercise helps you sleep more easily and deeply. Just don’t exercise too close to your sleep cycle as the hormonal effect of exercise will help keep you awake.
    Establish a regular sleep cycle. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps establish a regular sleep cycle.
    Avoid stimulants such as caffeine drinks and chocolate. Alcohol may make you sleepy but later in the night, the carbohydrate effect will wake you up with a sugar buzz. Give yourself a four-hour window when possible after consuming any of these stimulants…nicotine included.
    Make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable. (Sorry if you are still displaced from the flood. Focus on how good your bed will feel when you get back in it) Try to have a good firm mattress that feels comfortable to you.  Some mattress pads will help with that and help make you feel a little cooler, so it doesn’t seem so hot when you are sleeping.  Try dark a shade, ear plugs, or turning on a fan for a soothing effect.
    Reduce your day’s stress by sitting and reading for a few minutes before going to bed, keep a journal of what is bothering you.  Sometimes writing it down shows it isn’t necessary to sweat the small stuff. And you know the great stress reliever—a ten-minute walk.
    There are even apps that track your sleep cycle, wake you slowly, offer mood music or soft lighting
    So, take charge of your life. Improve your human experience. Sleep more and…. take your ten-minute walk right now with someone you care about. A ten-minute walk will help relieve your pain. A lot of aches and pains of our muscles, tendon and ligaments come from underuse, not over use. When these tissues of our body are not used regularly, they become tight and uncomfortable, especially in the lower back. A ten-minute walk is a gentle way to get moving and keep moving to stay limber, flexible and pain free.   And don’t forget to call your Physical Therapist…You’ll be glad you did
Tom Coplin PT
Central Physical Therapy

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