Five Important Tips to Improve Sleep Quality

Good sleep quality is vital for everyone—we all feel and function better when we are well-rested. Our emotional health is much better and we basically just enjoy life more. Plus our immune system functions better when the body gets enough rest every night and that means we are more resistant to infections and diseases! It’s just better all the way around.

To help my patients and the whole community, I’m offering five important tips to help you sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

TIP #1: For the majority of people, the healthiest position for sleep is on the side with a pillow between your knees. This position minimizes the stress on your spine and helps relieve pressure on your knees. The pillow also helps keep your spine, hips and pelvis in better alignment. If you suffer from back pain, this is particularly important.

Of course, after you’re asleep, you will probably move around but get yourself into this position whenever possible.  

There are special pillows available for placement between your knees. You might find that these stabilize your position more. For most people, any pillow that is comfortable will work fine.

TIP #2: Make sure your neck is supported so that it is not in a flexed position. That means that you don’t want your head pointed down, like it would be when looking at a book in your lap or a keyboard. It’s better if it has a slight extension, so your head is extended backwards just a little bit. You spend so much of your life with your head in a flexed or forward position so if you can position it so it’s extended back a little, you’re not in the same position you were in for the whole day.

When a person curls up in an almost-fetal position, this puts the neck in that flexed-forward position, so try to avoid it. Also, if you are sleeping on your back, avoid having so many or such firm pillows under your head that your neck is flexed forward.

TIP #3: Minerals, minerals, minerals! These help the body relax and that improves the quality and duration of your sleep. In fact, the depletion of these minerals can make a person feel stressed and can tighten their muscles, which can prevent a person from getting to sleep or staying asleep.  

Most important minerals for sleep are calcium, magnesium and potassium. There are many electrolyte and mineral formulas that provide these calming minerals, plus sometimes they also include other trace minerals. We stock many different formulas for our patients in our St. Louis office.

TIP #4: There is an ideal schedule for your body to go to bed. For the best quality sleep, turn your lights out (and your television or tablet off) by 10 PM. If you absolutely can’t do this, then get to bed with the lights out no later than 11 PM. (The darker you can make your room, the better.) This schedule will harmonize with your body’s natural rhythms and provide your best chance for deep, restful and healing sleep. If you stay up later, you are likely to get a second wind and that can make it hard to relax into sleep.

Also, remember that your body detoxifies itself while it is sleeping. That’s another reason why getting the right amount of good quality sleep on the right schedule is so important.

TIP #5: Keep your spine well-aligned and flexible with regular chiropractic care. Your body will be the most capable of relaxing into a good, deep sleep when it is not stressed by misalignments or stressed muscles and nerves.

Caring for the St. Louis Community with Chiropractic, Nutrition and Pressure Point Therapy

I have been privileged to serve so many people in the St. Louis area, helping them maintain good health with the multiple therapies I have been trained in. When my patients feel good, have healthy lifestyles and can relax, they tell me that their sleep improves, too.

I find that even Pressure Point Therapy can help my patients sleep better. This therapy involves detecting the small, tight knots of pain embedded in muscles. The exact right amount of pressure on that point for the right duration can resolve that knot of pain and improve both daytime and nighttime relaxation. I am the only chiropractor in the Greater St. Louis area that offers Pressure Point Therapy.

To experience Pressure Point Therapy at no cost, contact my office at 314-310-8359 to schedule an appointment. We might also be able to recommend the relaxing minerals you need while you’re here as another way of improving your sleep. I hope to see you in my office soon.

About Dr. Dustan Mattingly: Dr. Dusty discovered chiropractic after it helped him recover from an injury he suffered while in the military. Chiropractic eliminated his neck pain, sparing him the ill effects of painkillers and surgery. He graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and then went on to study additional chiropractic techniques, the specialized treatment of sports and accident injuries and nutrition. He also mastered the art of Pressure Point Therapy to improve patients’ response to treatment. With this specialized technique, he found he could provide increased relief from pain and muscle dysfunction and help a patient recover more quickly from the effects of stress or injuries.

By Dustan Mattingly, December 18, 2023