Thursday, November 29, 2012

Better Sleep is the Best Medicine

I want to start off by saying sorry for the time between posts.  It is after Thanksgiving, and our retail business is like others, busier now than most of the rest of the year.  Through the end of the year these post might be a bit longer than what we would like, please bear with us.

Our store is next to a pharmacy, and they are our good friends.  In fact the owner has purchased one of our beds.  Throughout this post, make sure you understand that doctors and medicine are important parts of a your health.  In no way are we discounting that.  In previous posts we always recommend that you talk to your doctor.  That being said, we do believe that sleep is overlooked in a healthy life style.

I have known people who get up at 4:30 AM to go to the gym, because their life is so busy.  That is not necessarily bad, but remember sleep hygiene and schedule that trip.  To give up the proper amount of sleep can be detrimental to what you are trying to do at the gym.  Sleep is when our bodies recover from activity, and when our minds retool for the coming day.  To avoid sleep will make the workout less effective than it should be.  Nature and biology have us set to sleep for 7-9 hours each night; that can not be changed in the short term.  So in this example, if you go to bed at 11 PM and get up at 4 AM your sleep cycle is incomplete, if that is when you can exercise, then keep in mind your bed time is around 8 PM.

Modern medicine has done amazing things since the early 1900s.  Doctors know more now than ever before in the history of man.  Pharmaceuticals are coming through the pipeline at amazing speeds.  Research by drug companies has helped us to live longer and be more productive.  Our expected life span is well over the 63 years of 1935.  However, sometimes I think we rely on science to solve things that may not be a problem if we took a holistic approach to our health.  For example, I remember my grandmother telling me that her doctor called Chiropractors 'bone crackers' and she would never go to one. 

Most people today see a place for chiropractors in the health care system, some insurance even pays for chiropractic care.  Chiropractors generally try to help health issues through proper alignment of the skeletal system of our bodies.  That is a pretty natural approach.  And while there are limits to what chiropractors can cure (like the common cold), at times their approach is successful.  And chiropractors do not prescribe medication, making what they do pretty natural.

It is our opinion that while there certainly is a place for medication, that place is in emergencies, or when all other things have been tried.  Some medical professionals are way to eager to prescribe for a problem, rather than take the time to try other things first.  They make the same either way.  Drug companies are sales organizations, they stay in business by selling their products to the general population, but patent drugs have to be prescribed, and because of this their sales force visits doctors all the time, touting the benefits of their products.  It is natural for the doctors to then think first of medications, the really good doctors still want to try other natural things first.

Drugs can interfere with normal sleep.  Which then need more drugs to encourage sleep, it's a catch 22.  Many ills, especially skeletal ills can be helped by proper sleep on a good bed.  Like ours, so here comes the ad:  Comfortaire will align your body in good posture as you sleep, reducing tossing and turning, promoting productive sleep; and helping to reduce back pain, especially morning back pain.  And the individual adjustability of Comfortaire insures that both partners have their optimal sleep surface, it's like two beds in one.

Talk to your doctor, perhaps a dietary change, or even a mattress change may help what ills you, without drugs.  But please keep visiting our neighbors, they work real hard for their customers!

Sleep Well! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving and the Holidays

Before we get to sleep during the Holiday Season please let us first thank you.  The reader, who if not reading would make this pointless.  Thank you!  To our small business, Hannah's Better Beds, who makes it possible to write this.  And thanks to our family who put up with a crazy business owner.

If you have read these blogs, you will know that sleep is best when it is on a regular schedule.  Often times in this season that is very hard, bordering on impossible to keep a regular schedule.  The good news is that we can survive!

The key is to try.  Not everyday is too crazy that we can't be on our schedule, the days when we go over the hills and cross the river, will challenge, but by keeping a regular schedule at other times, and the fact that for the most part we want to be there will help our bodies cope with the stress.

And don't forget the kids, the more regular their schedule, the less likely they will be cranky at grandmother's house.  They will be looking to you for leadership, help them rest sufficiently to really enjoy the season.

A nice short blog today, but we wish you a Happy Holiday.  Thanksgiving is a truly unique American Holiday, let it bring us together as a culture and a nation.  But, no matter what holiday you observe, may it bring your family closer together and foster the love that all families deserve! 

Sleep Well!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Politics and Sleep

This past Wednesday night was probably the best night sleep President Obama got in a number of weeks.  We are sure it was better than the challenger, Mitt Romney.  Sleep is affected by our waking lives.  It is a natural thing.

Conversely, we suspect that Monday night may have been the worst nights sleep either candidate got, because of the stress levels of a National Campaign.  Again it is just nature.  Our bodies and minds react to our lives.  We can perform in times of stress and sleep deprivation.  However, when the stressful time is ended, it is important to get good sleep.

On the campaign trail, there were nights that the candidates slept on planes, or trains, or buses.  There were different hotels every night.  There were events, some of which went well in to the night.  There was little concern given to a sleep schedule, there isn't enough time.  And yet, we the voters require that they look youthful, and full of energy.  The key here is to get productive sleep.  By knowing there is an end to the campaign, our bodies can often allow us to push a little harder.  And we are sure there was some scheduled down time for each to relax.  In our everyday lives, except in stressful times, we should schedule our sleep.  Going to bed and waking at the same time helps us to sleep productively.

Controlling our sleep environment also helps that sleep productivity.  The environment includes things like the bed we sleep in, the linens, and the room temperature.  It also includes even the color of the walls and window treatments.  Most important of all may be how much ambient light is in the room.  We have all heard for instance that President Obama is the first "Blackberry" President.  He likes to carry and keep in touch with his smart phone.  Which is great, as long as it is not on and in the room, when he is sleeping.  The light from the screen could disrupt sleep.  If it rang it would obviously disrupt sleep.  At the very least turn off the ringers and turn it over to block the light.

Noise levels in general are an important consideration.  In the candidates case, aides may be in the next room, making calls while the candidate tries to sleep.  In our case, our room may be on a road with cars and or trucks passing by.  It is important to control the noise level in our rooms.  In either case a noise canceling appliance may help to create white noise and ensure a more suitable environment for sleep.

Consider your bed as well.  An adjustable firmness bed, like Comfortaire, will help make the mattress, at least, familiar every night.  It will also help maintain posture as we sleep.  Our store would love to help these men sleep better!  But you do not have to be a President to get a great nights sleep on a Comfortaire bed, all you have to do is stop by our store.

And while the President probably slept well on Wednesday, the stress of his job will cause sleep disruption that Mitt Romney will not experience moving forward.  As we deal with loss, and compartmentalize it, our sleep patterns will become more normal again.  The stress is over, security is much lighter, than for a candidate.  We once drove by a house in Plains, GA, the home of then ex president Carter.  The secret service solution to noise cancellation... Build a big wall between the house and the street!

Sleep Well!