Realistic Sleep solutions for realistic people

9-Minute read

THE specific BLOG

Dr. Alex Mosley 

Owner and Clinic Director

I like to think of myself as a realistic doctor.

Like, a doctor that lives in real life, and therefore, provides real-life solutions.

Recently, I had a patient who came in for chronic and severe GERD (acid-reflux stuff).

He told me prior to seeing me, he went to his primary care doc who sent him to a gastroenterologist who then gave him an antacid prescription which didn’t help.

My patient went back to the stomach doc since the meds weren’t helping and his follow-up solution was for my patient to stop eating dinner because the evening time was when his symptoms were at their worst.

My patient owns and works in his own carpet and upholstery cleaning business. He’s a very skilled laborer who works all day and gets done with work in the evening.

I think it’s obvious that forgoing dinner for him is not a realistic solution. And at the very minimum, definitely not a long-term one.

Alas, this is NOT a blog that contains tips and more information on acid-reflux solutions (although, we do have those), it’s a blog about realistic solutions.

More commonly than patients just coming in for GERD or acid-reflux, the majority (and by majority I mean virtually all) of people who come in for some sort of chronic pain or chronic health issue all have one thing in common…

Their sleep sucks.

It’s so common in my office for people to walk in having been sleep deprived for years, it’s now something I never forget to ask about in detail whenever I am first going through a patient’s health history.

We all know or at least have heard how important sleep is for the health and longevity of our lives, so I won’t go into the mechanics of why that is. What I will say though is you have no chance of getting healthier, reaching your goals, or living life with thrivocity (yes, that’s a word I just made up; thrive-ocity) if obtaining the right quantity and quality of sleep is an issue for you.

Short of actually allowing me to help one’s body fix the prime thing that would correct sleeping and health issues at their source – restoration of the central nervous system – here are several realistic solutions for better sleep.

1.ROUTINE

Whether it’s a sports team, a self-made millionaire, a weight-loss journey, or achieving financial freedom, all success stories lead back to routine. A routine can be boring, yes, but when you have the right one, you also have a formula for winning. It’s a set of repeated habits and behaviors that enable you to achieve a desired outcome.

Part of a winning sleep formula is making sure you have the behaviors that contribute to a good night’s sleep.

The sleep recommendation is 7-9 hours per night.

For your edutainment:

Jennifer knows she must wake up at 7:00am in order to get ready, commute and make it on time for work. Jennifer works backwards and finds out in order to get seven hours of sleep, she must be in bed by 11:00pm since it takes her a little while to actually fall asleep, and she wakes up a few times throughout the night.

While reflecting on how to get better sleep, Jennifer also realizes that she falls asleep faster and tends to wake up feeling more rested when she doesn’t watch a show on Netflix or the news right before she goes to sleep. She decides to read the book her sister has been talking about for months instead. She also notices she wakes up more rested and much more calm when she doesn’t look at her phone in bed before she falls asleep. She decides to use the Do Not Disturb mode so she won’t be tempted to check her email or her social media and risk getting sucked into the blackhole phone vortex.

That night, Jennifer has a great night’s sleep — better than she’s had in weeks. She’s inspired to come up with more healthy habits to incorporate into her new bedtime routine. Tonight, she’s going to have a cup of tea while she reads her book and writes down all the things she needs to do tomorrow so she’s not thinking about them while trying to fall asleep.

Jennifer has created a winning formula. She’s established and is already evolving her routine to become even better!

This is something anyone can do. It takes a little discipline and willpower to stick to, but if you’re ready to actually sleep, a routine is crucial.

2. SLEEP AIDS

Sleep aids can be a gamechanger, but one should not become addicted nor dependent on a sleep aid. Below is a list of natural sleep-aids that may help your quality of sleep.

*Disclaimer: not all aids are created equal, especially those that you put into your body.*

  • Diffuser – Not to be confused with a humidifier, a diffuser disperses essential oils into the air, such as Lavender and Roman Chamomile (both great for sleep). Your body reaps from the aromatic benefits!
  • Essential oils – The brand I personally use and recommend is dōTERRA, and you can find them here.
  • Humidifier – These simply add moisture to the air which can be helpful for chronic congestion and/or sinus issues.
  • Sound machine – A machine that plays a variety of white noise sounds (like static) or, even better, pink noise sounds. Pink noises are more pleasant frequencies like falling rain or a whirling fan. Studies have shown pink noise helps with deep sleep versus no noise at all.
  • Pillow – Having the right pillow is uber important, especially if you’re a side sleeper. No one likes to wake up with pain. This is the pillow we recommend.
  • Temperature setting – Your body temperature drops as it goes into Sleep Mode, and ideally, the room temperature should also be low to help you stay in Sleep Mode. The general recommendation is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fan – A fan can help initiate sleep by dropping the temperature setting or at least blowing cool air around as well as the noise it creates.
  • Breathe strip – These help open the nasal cavity which can help with nighttime congestion or sinus issues. *Bonus* – your partner may love you more if your snoring goes away! 🙂
  • Melatonin – Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone we already have, and taking a boost has been shown to help people fall asleep on occasion. While this brand isn’t totally additive-free, my partner loves it.
  • CBD – This supplement has been dramatically increasing in popularity for a myriad of issues, and honestly, isn’t something we hate on. Not to be confused with marijuana, when this oil is used in the correct form can have the same benefits as taking Melatonin.

Okay, I think that’s enough homework to get you going, especially for you self-starters!

Again, these are all REALISTIC items that will help you get where you want to go. Making a routine costs you no money, while the sleep aids range in cost from super cheap to more expensive. Regardless of where you start, you’ll be better off later than you are now!

Reach out if you have questions or if you’d like a recommendation personally tailored to you. I’m at your service! xx

 

Live Life,
Dr. Alex
alexandra@thespecific.com
(512) 761-7608

Cheers in health,

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