I decided to share my feelings on the importance of a pillow and why I recommend it as a step for achieving wellness.
My 5 Health Essentials are necessary to incorporate into your lifestyle and to practice weekly, to achieve wellness. They are:
Recovery is synonymous with healing. We all can relate to the gratification we get from a great night of rest. Similarly, recovery is a household phrase used to discuss exercise and the requirement to rest your body, allowing muscles/ muscle groups that were stressed during workouts, a chance to recover.
Most adult patient I have come across, have an underlying issue with their health. Surprise, it is issues with their sleep cycle!
Many times, pain interfering with sleep is the culprit for why we decide to visit our Doctor and add this to our busy schedules in the first place.
While researching the prevalence of this health issue, I discovered an alarming statistic from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) website.
“Almost 20 percent of all serious car crash injuries in the general population are associated with driver sleepiness, independent of alcohol effects. Further, sleep loss and sleep disorders have a significant economic impact. The high estimated costs to society of leaving the most prevalent sleep disorders untreated are far more than the costs that would be incurred by delivering adequate treatment.
Hundreds of billions of dollars a year are spent on direct medical costs associated with doctor visits, hospital services, prescriptions, and over-the-counter drugs. Compared to healthy individuals, individuals suffering from sleep loss, sleep disorders, or both are less productive, have an increased health care utilization, and an increased likelihood of accidents.
The issue is not just lack of rest, it is important to get quality rest, so your body can recover as efficiently as possible.
Primarily, the biggest problem with lack of proper rest is, it affects cognitive function. For example, medical errors were reduced in hospitals that decreased hours which interns were required to be on call.
Another reason why proper rest is difficult to attain is because of the increase in distractions with technology. For example, adolescents who stay up late on their phones, watching tv, or using the computer are suffering academically.
Sleep apnea, work related injuries, and motor vehicle accidents are trending as Americans with lack of proper rest grow too tired to function.
Can you see the threat? This is dangerous and getting out of hand.
We need to improve our quality of Life as it relates to the Health Essential of Recovery, to save our children and to save our community.
Rest Position = Level of Recovery:
The pillow is a great start. The D-core design (see link) promotes proper support of the cervical spine (neck) and is most efficient in the supine position (sleeping on your back). Sleeping on your side will work with this pillow, but I encourage you to refrain from this practice because it will lead to shoulder, rib, hip, and/or low back pain.
It’s important to understand the prone sleeping position (face down) is detrimental to your spinal alignment and will cause chronic muscle spasms, tension headaches, and generalized discomfort throughout the day.
Because the position we sleep in equals one-third of our lifetime, we need to develop healthy sleeping habits, to ensure improved quality of rest and recovery.
*Mint Life Hack:
It is difficult to switch from lying face down when sleeping, to the proper resting position (facing up). Therefore, I recommend using a body pillow and hugging it, while lying on your back to mimic the sensation of lying face down. Practice relaxation in this position, every night for at least ten minutes before going to sleep. Start by setting a timer on your phone for ten minutes and as your body adapts to relaxing in this position, you will learn to fall asleep and stay in this position while you sleep.
Do this for 30 days and review your previous entries every night. Eventually, you will see a pattern
Next step is to track your hours of sleep with a sleep log. Keep a journal next to your bed, write down what time you are lying in bed, to fall asleep. The goal of course is to fall asleep before the ten minute timer goes off and eventually no longer use it.
When you wake up and get out of bed in the morning, write down the time. Add notes for disruptions to your sleep, whether something woke you up, or you got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Also write down your initial thoughts on quality and rate how restful your night of sleep was out of 10. For example, a completely satisfying night of rest will equal 10/10. Alternatively, a horrible night of sleep with interruptions, tossing, and turning will equal 1/10. Each week, add your total and divide by 70 for your weekly sleep quality score percentage. If your score does not improve from one week to the next, discuss this with your Doctor. Let’s work together to find a healthy and attainable solution for you.
Mint Chiropractic addresses deficits in the 5 Health Essentials because each one is interwoven with human performance.
Therefore, your Mint Doctor will work with your individual needs, set goals (in each of the 5 Health Essentials), help you achieve health gains, and challenge you further, to strive for greatness and maintain balance in your life.