sleep

Shyt, Shower, Shave

The man in my bed waking up next to me this morning AKA My Port Drinker AKA my husband, let out a big sigh as he rolled over to turn off his alarm.

And then I sighed.

I sighed because he sighed.

I don't like it when he sighs.

It's like a trigger that goes off inside me when I hear a hint of a grumble from him.

"What?" I said.

"Gotta go to work."

Yup.

Waking up and breathing is work.

Arising from a night's sleep, and then all the bombardment of thoughts in your head - that's a lotta work too.

A few weeks ago, we bought a new car.

Actually, it's not new at all.

It's a really old car.

But new for us.

And it works fine.

Part of the risk of buying a used car is that you don't actually know how well it runs.

Until you drive it a couple days, and then discover that it has enough problems that causes it not to pass its MOT.

(insert eye-rolling emoji here)

So, after a whole lotta car drama (long story), it's been in the car garage for the last 72 hours.

I am without a car.

I know. 

I'm spoiled.

But that's not the point here.

Not having a car when you are very used to and dependent on having one in this corner of the world in Southwest Nappy-Valley London (is that what they call it in this region?), forces you to step off the hamster wheel and start engaging your brain differently.

When we're on that hamster wheel, like goes like this:

Open eyes.

Wake up.

What's the first thing you think about?

You gotta pee.

Toilet!

While on the toilet, mums are probably hearing their kids yelling and screaming, and your body starts groaning and twitching because your mind is racing more and more with all the things that you have to do that day.

What's next?

Your brain thinks, "Shower."

"Food."

"Kids need food."

"What's today?"

"Kids need to get dressed. Did I wash their uniform yesterday?"

Kiss hubby goodbye.

"Oh god, what time is it?"

"School drop-off."

And your brain just goes 'round and 'round the hamster wheel.

Day in, day out.

But wait - what happens when your car breaks down?

Something pushes you off that hamster wheel.

You actually have to engage your brain differently and make other plans.

Change your thoughts, change your actions, change your brain.


Take your morning route for example.

Just changing your journey causes you to think differently. 

You’re off the hamster wheel because you went a different way to work. 

Think about it - you see different people, make changes in your scenery, and shift your point of view.

You’re not on zombie auto-pilot, which is how most people look every day doing the same thing over and over again.

So even though I’ve been without a car these last couple days and it’s a bit annoying, I’m actually noticing new things about my daily routine.

New refreshing thoughts have popped in my mind.

I even went to eat at a lovely cafe and I sat there to people watch for a few minutes. 

That was fun!

So, give it a go - activate your brain to create new connections, new synapses, and more growth.

It keeps your brain younger and lets your body experience new surges of hormones, emotions, and thoughts.

If you haven’t been adjusted for a while, make that a change in your routine!

A chiropractic adjustment is good for your brain and body in so many ways!

See you soon!

— Dr MaryAnne

The position you're doing in your bed isn't ideal

What's your favourite position in bed?

No! Not that kind of position.

Get your head outta there - although we could revisit that topic for another conversation. 

I'm talking about your sleep position.

Do you sleep on your stomach?

Back?

Right side?

Left side?

What's the best way?

People ask me this all the time.

Actually, sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to the side (with no pillow) and your arms at your side is a good position in which to sleep.

(Cue the shock horror music)

The structure of your neck bones naturally allow for that movement of turning your head to the side.

This is a normal (and comfortable) position.

But let me get into more detail here.

It's not so much your position, rather, it's the posture in which you sleep.

For one thing, most people don't have a good firm bed.

And I'm not a huge fan of the memory foam beds.

Think about it. 

If you already have a crazy crocked spine with horrible posture, why would you want your bed to constantly mold to that posture all night long, every night?

Doesn't make sense to me.

Your bed isn't supposed to fix you.

It's supposed to support your spine in the best way possible while you catch your Zzzzzzzzz.

Your bed needs to be slightly firm, with good even support as you lay down. 

You could have a firm mattress, and then have a soft thin layer on top to 'cushion' the firmness of the mattress.

Your pillow shouldn't be this huge lump that distorts and contorts your head into a forward posture. 

Kinda like this guy: he's not looking very happy.

 

Here's what laying on your back should look like. 
 


Having a firm pillow underneath your knees would be very good for your low back.

And the pillow should have an indent in the middle so the bulk of your head sits in there allowing for your neck and spine to be aligned without having your head pushed up and forward.

Here's a good picture of how you should NOT be sleeping. Take a look at how while sleeping on their sides, their heads are STILL in the forward position! 

That's a no-no.

When sleeping on your side, with a proper pillow, try to straighten your whole body out, give your body a nice big stretch as you allow yourself to prepare your body to fall asleep.

This is my favourite part of my bedtime.

Laying down, ON MY LEFT SIDE (which is the better side for better circulation due to the location of the heart), stretch the body out straight, legs straight, point your toes and flex all your muscles to pull and extend you into a straight line.

Think about it: all day, your body is in a forward hunched position.

  • Sitting at your desk.
  • Texting
  • Reading
  • Slouching

We're in a constant state of poor forward posture.

When you get into bed at night, while lying on your left side:

  • stretch yourself out straight
  • bring your head back,
  • clench your butt muscles and leg muscles to pull your body into big stretch, 
  • then assume a relaxed position once you release that stretch.
  • make sure your head isn't in a forward position.
  • train yourself to fall asleep like this
  • your body will relax into a nice comfortable position


A good way to know how to sleep in a proper position is to observe a baby sleeping. They usually assume a good natural position.
 

Since you're spending 30% of your life sleeping, I think it's a good idea to 'learn' how to sleep well.

After all, we spend so much time learning how to improve ourselves while we're awake running around all day, so it's important to learn how to sleep well!

— Dr MaryAnne

Nobody puts Baby in a corner

Patrick Swayze said in Dirty Dancing, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

And ...

this has nothing to do with what I want to say. 

Well, it does, but only because my thoughts about this message also started with the word "nobody".

My thought is this:

"Nobody wants to be addicted to drugs for the rest of their life."

Right?

Or is that wrong?

Here's my dilemma:

A person I've known for about four years has been going through some tough times lately.

She's been battling insomnia, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Recently it was pretty bad.

I reached out to her because when I see someone I know having trouble, I always want to help.

I can't NOT offer to help.

But, she didn't come back to me, so for whatever reason, she didn't want my help.

She had been taking sleeping pills for months, and she even told me that she was addicted.

And those pills weren't working.

Lack of sleep does a big doozy to everything in your body, including your brain, so I wasn't surprised when she started to have panic attacks.

Long story short, it got bad.

Really bad.

Panic attacks every day.

Anxiety.

And on top of the sleeping pills (which weren't working) she started to take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills.

This is me getting stuff off my chest here: it was very difficult for me NOT to intervene and tell her that those pills were NOT going to get her healthy.

It took a few months, but fortunately, with some therapy as well, she's stable and feeling better.

The doctor had to figure out how to balance out her dosage for her pills to level things out so she's in a manageable state.

The problem is that this does NOT solve the problem.

Basically, she's relying on those pills to control her body and brain chemistry so she can 'feel' normal and seemingly function normal.

Are the pills the answer?

No.

Definitely not.

This frustrates me even more because I know this person and I care about her.

Yet, this is becoming a huge problem in this country. 

Nearly 30% of the population is on a regular dosage of anti-psychotics or anti-depressants.

That's crazy to me.

The drugs will not 'cure' the person.

The problem will always be there if the body doesn't do its own self-healing.

How long can a person stay on those drugs? 

Five years?

Ten?

Twenty?

It doesn't end well in many cases when those drugs are taken every day.

I predict massive problems that gradually pile on top of one another as the years go by.

My solution?

It's about changing a person's lifestyle.

Going to the root of the problem.

Listen, most of us adults have so much shit buried deep inside, and you have no idea what the hell is the problem.

When I have a person go through regular chiropractic care for 6 months or more, they are experiencing massive amounts of healing, not just from pain relief, but everything, including that deep shit you buried from when you were 6-years-old.

I'll be the first to tell you that my way is not the easy road, but once you take that route, and get through it, I bet you'll come out stronger than you ever have.

It's how I live my life, facing my problems and issues head-on, front and centre, not avoiding or pretending.

Chiropractic adjustments help you deal with that shit, not just the pain you feel in your back.

It's not about that.

There's so much more involved than just pain.

As for my friend, there's only so much a person will want to do, and as much as I wish I could help, I know I have to respect people's choices.

And then I always hope the best for everyone.

Stand by the people you care about, do what you can do, reach out, and maybe they'll accept your help in the future.

If not, then keeping standing by them.

You can just stand.

In the meantime, I'll keep writing and educating and telling people how awesome chiropractic care is.

IT'S JUST AWESOME!

So, when did you last get adjusted?

I'll see you soon!

— Dr MaryAnne