Less Light, More Sleep. Plus Pregnancy Prenatal Chiropractic Care, Covid-19 update

According to new research, sleeping with dim light in your bedroom at night raises blood sugar and heart rate. The dim light entered the eyelids and disrupted sleep despite the fact that participants slept with their eyes closed, said study author Dr. Phyllis Zee, director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Why is this a big deal?  Heart rate typically drops at night, slowing down during sleep as the brain is busy doing its nightly job repairing and rejuvenating the body. A raised heart rate at night has been shown in  previous studies to be a risk factor for future heart disease and early death.

High blood sugar levels are a sign of insulin resistance, where the body stops using sugar properly and the pancreas goes into overdrive, flooding the body with extra insulin to deal with the higher blood sugar level until it eventually loses its ability to do so. Over time, insulin resistance can ultimately lead to Type 2 diabetes. Other research has also shown a link to artificial light at night and weight gain and disruptions in metabolic function.  The lead doctors on this study recommend that you close all your blinds and curtains, turn off all lights in your room, including the bright light of your bedroom clock.  It is also important to dim your house lights an hour or two before bed to start preparing your body for sleep.  Ban any lights in the blue spectrum, such as those emitted by electronic devices like televisions, smartphones, tablets and laptops. Blue light from the blue spectrum is the most stimulating type of light.  If you need a light on at night for safety reasons, choose reddish or brownish light tones.  LED lights can be purchased in any color.

 

Chiropractic Thought for the week:  One of the most common disorders seen in the chiropractors office is pelvic misalignment.  The two thick joints where your sacrum articulates with your illiac crests (the big bones on either side of your waist) are called your sacroiliac joints (SI joints).  If the SI joints become fixated, misalign or subluxate the result can be a different array of symptoms.  The most common one being a sciatic nerve irritation brought on by the piriformis muscle in your buttock being stretched and irritating the sciatic nerve.  Other conditions that develop from an SI joint problem is unequal leg length and pelvic instability.  Pelvic instability is an issue of concern in pregnancy, because the SI joint alignment can cause tightening of the round ligament on the opposite of the body.  During pregnancy, the round ligaments support the uterus.  Tightening of this ligament can cause uttering restraint which reduces the area the developing baby has to move.  This can prevent the baby from moving into the head down position for normal childbirth.  This is why regular prenatal / pregnancy chiropractic care is so important.

 

On March 7, 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted a roundtable discussion about COVID treatment, early treatment suppression, vaccine risks, the collateral damage from school closures and lockdowns. His panel of experts included epidemiologists from Oxford, Harvard and Stanford University, a molecular virologist who helped develop the MRNA vaccine platform and a National Institute of Health research as well as 5 internal medicine doctors and the Florida Surgeon General.  The biggest take away from this discussion was that the Florida Department of Health updated its guidance, formally recommending against COVID vaccination for healthy children, 5 to 17. Florida is the first state to go against CDC vaccine recommendations.  According to one of the leading epidemiologists, that there’s a thousand-fold difference in risk between the lowest and highest risk groups. Children are at virtually no risk of dying from COVID, yet children have been forced to bear the burden of disease prevention.

 

Covid-19 update:  March marks two years that I have been writing about the covid-19 pandemic.  I have addressed the etiology of the disease, the symptoms and the risk factors involved.  I have written about how to boost immune system function to decrease your risk of severe covid.  I have written about masks, vaccines and many other topics.  I have tried my best to stick by published science and interpret the facts for you.  I have written about many controversial topics that have come up over the last two years.  In light of the decreasing cases across the country and in our area, it is time for me to go back to what I have been doing weekly for the past 27 years And that concentrating on writing topics to help you be healthier.  Atlantic County covid cases has dropped to a low of 247 cases in the last two week period.  At one point in December we hit a high of 13,000 cases in 14 days.  With a population of over 240,000 people in our county and only 247 cases over a two week period, it is safe to say that this virus has entered the endemic stage.  This basically means the virus has stabilized and it is at the point where it will be something we deal with on a regular basis (like the flu), but will not affect as many people. 

Here are my (possible) final thoughts on covid-19.  Please put an emphasis on immune system health.  Eat the right foods and take the necessary supplements that keep you healthy.  Exercise.  If the virus ends up having a “season” like the flu,  Protect yourself.  If you fit in the high risk category ( older age, pre-existing health conditions, overweight, vitamin D deficient) you need to do what you feel is necessary for your own health and safety.  If that is wearing a mask, self-isolating or getting a vaccine then by all means, do what you think is best to protect yourself.  The longer the virus stays around and continues to mutate, the virus will weaken.  It does that to stay alive.  It’s just what viruses do.  Like the flu, there will always be cases where covid-19 is worse in some than others.  There will be some who need hospitalization and unfortunately, like the flu, people may die.  And just like the flu, at times, severe cases of the covid virus may show up in people who do not fit the high risk categories. There is no explanation for this.  It happens.  It may have something to do with genetics, but it is not known.  As I said above the best course of action immune system health.  This means eating whole foods, making sure your vitamin D levels are normal.  Getting enough sleep and naturally, exercising.  People who take the time and make the effort to improve immune system function are healthier and are at a lower risk for suffering from severe cases of not only covid-19, but the flu, the common cold and many other of life’s illnesses.

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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