It’s an understatement to say that the pandemic has contributed to elevated stress levels for most people this year. For us, this is a big concern because excess stress is a leading cause of all illness. Our job is to help insure that each of you has a healthy, functioning immune system, so we have to help you manage your stress. One of the major results of too much stress is poor sleep. It’s so important, we made it our health topic for the month of October!

What happens when sleep is disrupted for too long? There are the things we’ve all probably experienced after even one night – the brain fog, fatigue, grumpy mood maybe, and inability to focus. Those attributes certainly persist or are exacerbated when sleep isn’t good for multiple nights, but there are far more alarming effects, too. Here’s just a short list of the problems that can arise with chronic insomnia:

  • stroke (four times as likely as in those who get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly)
  • heart attack (twice as likely)
  • asthma attacks
  • seizures
  • weak immune system
  • sensitivity to pain
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • diabetes mellitus (type 2 diabetes)
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • depression
  • anxiety

In bold in the list above are the primary comorbidities involved in the most severe cases of COVID-19. It’s important to note that the CDC’s most recent report shows that 94% of those who have died with COVID-19 in the United States have had, on average, 2.6 additional chronic health issues. There’s a lot involved in healing the immune systems of Americans, but enabling people to sleep well would be an excellent start.

So let’s start by being aware of some factors that can really destroy a good night’s sleep (over which we have some control, that is) –

  • an irregular sleep schedule
  • sleeping during the day
  • lack of exercise
  • using electronic devices like laptops and cell phones in bed
  • having a sleep environment with too much noise or light
  • caffeine
  • nicotine
  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • cold medicines
  • diet pills
  • certain types of prescription medications

One of the biggest overall contributors to poor sleep and insomnia though, is our diet. What you eat matters all day and night! So how to do you get your arms around your diet and better understand what you may need to change? Glad you asked! At Lotus of Life Chiropractic, we have a Nutritional Coaching program in place that is designed to help you do exactly that, with just the right mixture of information, assisted goal-setting, and gentle accountability. Want to sleep well tonight? Give us a call and get the details on the Nutritional Coaching program!