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  • Writer's pictureDoc Marty

On sleep...

Let's change the way we think about sleep.

In this fast-paced world, there are a large number of people that suffer from insomnia. Stimulants like nicotine and caffeine help buffer chronic fatigue, general malaise or just downright and unrelenting lack of motivation. Sales of pharmaceuticals, herbal preparations, tinctures, and a myriad of devices are available to try to get us to sleep better but It seems we’re not winning the battle.

With the advent of the digital age, and the crazy fight for productivity it has come with, should we not consider fundamentally changing the way we think about sleep?. Where is this all stemming from?

what is the source of all of this? We seem to be so focused on attention and focus, a high state of alertness but what if we investigated the other side of the spectrum of stable productivity and attention... sleep!

The 8 hours we’re supposed to recover with are commonly seen as a ‘have-to-do’, a task, or a dreaded chore that needs to be completed. But, could “sleep” actually be the key to unlocking some of mankind’s current maladies? Could it be this simple? If we started to study “sleep” we would learn that sleep has been implicated in almost every mental condition known to man, we would realise that sleep is absolutely essential to recovery and that good sleeper exhibit improved athletic performance. We would see that good quality sleep is intimately related to mood and would better understand why babies value their sleep so much, some of us parents know the hazards of denying a child’s sleep too well! Sleep is so essential to human life and the lack of it can be so harrowing, so torturous, so downright evil that it is even stated clearly in the Geneva convention that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Your sleep is important and making it a priority may seem impossible so here are a few simple measures you can use to help you sleep deeper and to ensure a good nights recovery.

  1. Try turning off the phone an hour before bedtime: the hormone melatonin that ensures good sleep is dysregulated by the use of electronics.

  2. Avoid alcohol: even a single glass causes many disruptions and awakenings throughout the night.

  3. Try maintaining a neutral spine throughout the night: Lying on your side with a pillow between the knees eases the lower back and aids restful sleep. Make sure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress, they are worth the investment.

  4. Try dimming the lights at sunset: The human brain is primed to increase sleep-inducing neurotransmitters as soon as the sun sets, these biorhythms are hard-wired into our DNA and are difficult to overcome. Natural sleep/wake cycles are intimately related to light and dark created by the sun and not artificial light.

  5. Caffeine is extremely detrimental to quality sleep: Try to cut back on any caffeinated beverages after 12 pm, this alone can have a massive impact on sleep quality.

  6. Herbal products that are mild and non-addictive can be beneficial: Sleeping tablets can be very addictive and recent studies have shown an increased risk of cancer and dementia in users. Chamomile tea is a great option.

Reproduced with permission ©

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