A Natural Approach to a Better Night’s Sleep
Got a mild case of insomnia? It might be time to discuss a holistic option with your local functional medicine doctor in Overland Park. Dr. Melinda will review your symptoms, as well as any test results, and help you with a natural approach to a better night’s sleep.
Until then, let’s take a look at ways to naturally improve sleep:
- Minimize or Avoid Stimulants
- Nighttime Tension & Anxiety
- Sleep Planning & Preparation
- Light, Noise, Temperature, & Environmental Issues
- Check Your Bedding & Pillows
Staying Away From Nighttime Stimulants
Here are a few tips on how to avoid stimulants at night:
- If you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep, avoid alcohol, caffeine, and Sudafed before bed.
- Aerobic exercise is also a no-go later in the day.
- You might not realize it, but that afternoon cup of coffee or chocolate bar can keep you up at night. caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so it’s best to avoid it after 2 pm.
- Decongestants can also make it harder to sleep, so Sudafed is a no-go before bed.
- Some medications can have stimulating effects, so it’s important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if they might be affecting your sleep.
Evening Activities That Could Be Causing You Anxiety
If you’re struggling with anxiety and finding it hard to sleep at night, try avoiding certain activities before bed. These include watching the news, reading stimulating materials, checking your finances, and arguing with loved ones. Instead, try to wind down with a yoga or breathing CD, and write down any troubling thoughts in a journal. This will help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
Stop Winging it and Set Yourself a Bedtime!
Sleep should be treated like any other important appointment you wouldn’t dream of missing. Just as you would never miss a meeting with your boss, you should never miss your meeting with ZZZs. Build some “you time” into your schedule by planning for 8½ – 9 hours in bed.
Making Your Sleep Area Comfortable
Have you ever thought about all the things keeping you awake? Is it thoughts in your head or things going on around you? For example, is it the neighbor’s dog keeping you awake? Maybe you should consider a sound machine. It’s not just for small children. Many adults find white noise to be calming and helpful in staying asleep. Are you hot? Nighttime is a great time to turn the air down and/or get the fan going. Did you know that people typically sleep better snuggled under the blankets? Studies show that a cold environment will help you get comfortable and ready to snuggle right in!
Finally, what about the light? We all love a bathroom nightlight, but you might need to close the bedroom door so it doesn’t bother you while you’re trying to sleep. Dark window coverings can, also, help.
Do You Have the Right Mattress and Pillows?
Everyone is different, but if you find yourself constantly uncomfortable at night or the next day, it’s probably time to invest in new bedding. We know it can be costly. However, have you ever considered how much of your life you spend in bed? Also, if you aren’t rested, is the rest of your day productive? When you put pen to paper it’s worth the investment! Consider a pillow between your legs, hypoallergenic pillows underneath your head, and an adjustable mattress.
Do You Need Supplements to Sleep?
Lastly, you should discuss supplements with your functional medicine doctor in Overland Park. She might suggest melatonin, taurine, magnesium, or other supplements. But first, discuss your patterns and symptoms to find the right answer for you.
Contact Us For Your Initial Consultation
If you’re looking for an integrative medicine doctor in the Kansas City area, consider making an appointment with Dr. Melinda in her Overland Park office. She is a highly experienced functional medicine doctor who takes a natural approach to treating her patients. Dr. Melinda has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and started functional medicine training after seeing the impact it made on her mother who had an autoimmune disease. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for health with each of her patients. You can fill out a form on our website to get started setting up your appointment.