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Posts for tag: sleep

By Dr. Doug Williams
September 23, 2019
Category: Top 10

Dr. Doug's Top 10: Unplugging

A few weeks ago, we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and actually came across some areas with no cell service. Woot, woot!

The good news is: you don't actually have to drive all the way to the U.P. to turn off your phone or router at home. Read about all the benefits of leaving the tech behind for awhile in this post.

Read Dr. Doug's post on Unplugging

Yours in Health,

Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana

By Dr. Doug Williams
July 29, 2019
Category: Top 10

Dr. Doug’s Top 10: Protecting Your Sleep

This summer, we are revisiting the ten posts I believe have the greatest impact on day-to-day health. The choices are based on what we have seen in real life patients of the practice and the continuing unfolding of supportive scientific literature.

It is amazing how God puts us together. One of the things I have found fascinating are the paradoxes in health. To me, there is no greater contrast in the nervous system than between the need for sleep and activity. Activity (movement) is literally food for your brain: the less active you are, the less brain activity you have. In contrast, if you are active but don’t get enough sleep, you burn out the neurotransmitters in your brain! You need both rest and activity.

This post helps paint a good overview of how to create a space for healthy sleep in your life.

Read Dr. Doug's post on Protecting Your Sleep

Yours in Health,

By Dr. Doug Williams
March 06, 2018
Category: Sleep

What's Not to Get About Sleep?

If you are just joining us, we are in the middle of exploring the "Paleo" health concepts. Paleo originally came to the forefront as a movement that followed the way pre-industrial humans tended to eat. It has expanded over the last several years to include other items like, sleep, exercise and community, among other things. We recently finished up the section on eating, which you can review here. We are working through material from a special edition of Paleo Magazine entitled "Go Paleo, The Step-By-Step Guide."

This week, we are going to start looking at sleep, why it is important, what messes it up, and how to optimize it! I think you are going to get a lot out of this one, and, hey, who doesn't like to sleep!

We Are Hard-Wired for Day and Night

Before the advent of electricity, most human activity, both body and brain, stopped once it got dark. We were literally forced to rest. Our unique human physiology was actually created to maximize this! During the day, when we are exposed to sunlight, our systems produce various hormones and our brains operate a specific way, primarily to keep us alert and active. At night, we produce another set of hormones and our brains operate in a very different fashion, primarily inducing sleep and repair. This daily (and nightly) cycle is called the Circadian Rhythm. Circadian Rhythm is primarily regulated by exposure to daylight, but can be influenced by other things, like temperature. There is a great summary sheet on this topic by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

How Much Is Enough?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following sleep schedule:

Infant                    12 - 16 hours
Toddler                 11 - 14 hours
Pre-School           10 - 13 hours
School Age           9 - 12 hours
Teen                     8 - 10 hours
Adult                     7 - 9 hours

According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, 40% of Americans get less than the recommended minimum of seven hours!

This rhythmic sleep wake cycle was the norm for most people up until several hundred years ago. In the last one hundred years, we have taken things to a whole new level! Shift work, 5 Hour Energy Drink, Starbucks, computers and televisions, expanded social calendars and societal pressures can and do cut into this cycle, especially the nighttime (sleep) portion of it!

A Storm is Brewing

The Go Paleo Step-By-Step Guide lists the following issues related to sleep deprivation (not enough time in bed) and disruption (poor sleep when in bed):

  • Problems with attention
  • Problems with decision making
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with learning
  • Problems with problem solving
  • Problems with mood regulation
  • Decreased creativity
  • Increased depression, suicide and risk taking
  • Increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Issues with inflammation and the immune system

That is a lot of different things that can be related to not getting enough shut-eye. Quantity is a pretty easy concept. You know what time you go to bed and what time you get up. Quality of sleep is a little trickier though. Next week, we are going to cover some of the hidden things that may be affecting the time that you have set aside to sleep. Stay tuned!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana
By Dr. Doug Williams
July 30, 2017
Category: Routine
Tags: nutrition   anxiety   routine   sleep   health   well-being  

I woke up this morning at 5:20 am. It is Sunday. I didn't particularly plan on waking up at that time and I didn't have an alarm set. I rolled over and went back to sleep; after all, church didn't start until 9am! Over the last six months, I have changed my morning routine in order to participate in several running races over the summer and fall. A number of the races are in different states and require an investment of time and money, and I didn't really want to show up to unprepared. So, five mornings a week, I wake up at 5:20 am and try to do something that will move me towards my goal.

One of my problems is that, even though I want to run the races I have on the calandar, I like to sleep! One of the by-products of getting up early is that I almost always crash by 9pm. I don't have to look at a clock, I just know it's time for bed - if I want to get up at 5:20am to move towards my goal of running some races, I have to go to bed or I won't get up!

Another problem I've had with both getting up and going to bed early is that I have been hungrier than usual. That poses a dilemma: what do I eat!

Case in point: last Friday night, Dr. Sue and I were going to watch a movie on TV and she decided to make popcorn. Now, popcorn can be a fairly healthy choice, but you know what goes good with popcorn? Soda pop (don't be shocked: even your health care professionals don't eat right all the time!)! As I pulled the soda off the shelf and headed to the front of the store to check out, I realized that popcorn and soda go great with......... M&M's! They just happened to be on sale at CVS! I stood there for quite awhile - trying to decide between M&M's and Reese's Pieces - when it occurred to me - Popcorn: OK, Pop: OK for a Friday night, but if I add M&M's to the mix, it is going to be a lot harder to get up Saturday morning at 5:20 am and run for several hours! I left the M&M's for another day (believe me, there will be another day).

The last thing that I've noticed since I started getting up early is that, overall, I have been a little more relaxed. The staff might not notice it, but I know my wife does! I am, by nature, an anxious person, and when I get up early, go to bed early, eat right and exercise, I feel more relaxed and I know that transfers to being more present in the moment when I am working, studying, praying, everything.

What is my point in this week's post? Should everyone get up early so they can run some goofy race in Wisconsin? No way, I am not even sure I want to do that! The lesson I hope you take away is small routines can have really big ripple effects in your health and well-being. I didn't start out going to bed early, I didn't start out trying to eat better and I didn't start out aiming at becoming a little less anxious in life. No, I started out trying to get up a little earlier than I normally do, so I could reach a running goal, and it has had ramifications in a number of different areas in my life.

You don't have to start out trying to change everything about your life and health! Sometimes, you just need to pick one small thing,, be consistent and see what happens!

Yours in Health,

Doug Williams, D.C.
Care Chiropractic
Lafayette, Indiana