Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘insomnia’

Trouble Sleeping At Night… Then Have No Energy During the Day?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, June 29, 2009

Too many of my patients, friends, family, acquaintences, and the rest of our society are complaining of difficulty sleeping at night, while needing some form of stimulant to function during the day. Are you one who began by needing a little energy during the day? So, you chose to drink a caffeine-laden soda, coffee, or energy drink… or took NoDoz… ate an energy bar… etc. This temporarily works to boost your energy levels. Now, because you’re alert during the day, you find yourself having difficulty getting to sleep at night. This, of course, leads to fatigue the following day… so you drink another soda or other stimulant of choice. And the cycle begins…

The psychoactive drug caffeine is the second largest traded commodity (in dollars) around the world (oil is the only commodity traded in higher amounts!). 48 million sleep-aid prescriptions were written in 2006, and that number has been increasing every year. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, over-the-counter pills, pain meds, energy drinks, so-called “health” bars, and a myriad of other consumables. Caffeine has a half-life of four to seven hours in the body, therefore, nearly half of the caffeine taken in at lunch is still in your system by the time you’re heading to bed.

Caffeine molecules bind to the same receptors that signal the pressure for sleep, thus hiding your body’s need for rest. Masking tiredness is a signature feature of caffeine. Caffeine also prevents adenosine from dilating the brain’s blood vessels (theoretically, to increase oxygen efficiency during sleep). That’s why caffeine is found in many over-the-counter headache pain medications, such as Anacin. If a headache is vascular in nature, caffeine helps relieve the pain by narrowing the blood vessels.

All of this activity caused by the caffeine also triggers the body to release epinephrine (adrenaline), another anti-sleep chemical. Adrenaline, among other things, increases the heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the pupils, increases blood sugar levels, and increases the blood supply to the large muscle groups in the body.

Caffeine is not the devil (that’s refined sugar), and can be used in moderation. However, caffeine consumption should end by noon. Often, the simple act of cutting caffeine after noon will be enough to allow your body to begin recognizing normal sleep signals from the brain. You’ll then have a much easier time of falling asleep at a reasonable time… and staying asleep for seven to eight hours.

P.S. – Found a new blog cycling site similar to the last one I told you all about. It’s called Condron, and has a few differences. Haven’t decided which one I like best yet. Check ’em out.


Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Personal news and answers about chiropractic for infants.

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, August 7, 2008

He’s finally here! That’s right folks… we are the proud new grandparents of our first grandchild! Born last night, Preston Scott came into the world at 8 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20.5 inches long. He’s got a full head of hair and some powerful lungs. We want to thank you for all of your prayers and blessings you’ve bestowed upon our family.

He’ll get his first chiropractic examination later this afternoon. Due to a long and difficult labor, and in relation to the violent nature of the birthing process, there is a good possibility that he’ll have some biomechanical insult that we can correct before it develops into something worse.

I often get questions about children and infants, and whether chiropractic care is safe and/or effective for them. The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, it is probably more safe for them than it is for adults. As youngsters, they don’t have the years of scar tissue and damage from injury and neglect. They’ve not developed abnormal eating habits or unhealthy diets that leave their bodies malnourished and toxic. They still have a great deal of flexibility due to the health and tensile strength of their ligaments. They haven’t developed degenerative spurs or arthritis like so many of my older patients.

In short, there are relatively few complications that can make a chiropractic case difficult. Chiropractors undergo specialized pediatric education and are actually legally licensed to deliver babies in most states. In addition to our education about the health and idiosyncracies of a pediatric case, we also undergo extensive training in specialized adjusting techniques designed specifically for babies, infants, toddlers, and children. I can assure you that it is just as safe… and just as important… to have your baby examined by and treated, if necessary, by your chiropractic doctor.

Although the primary reason for treating babies is to optimize biomechanical function of the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, bones, and joints), a wide variety of conditions have been documented to respond to chiropractic care. One of the most common is otitis media… otherwise known as a middle ear infection. The underlying reason this condition responds so well to chiropractic care is unknown, but I think it has to do with an optimally functioning nervous system which allows the immune system to work more effectively. Other conditions that have shown positve response to chiropractic care include: asthma, allergies, colic, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, and failure to thrive.

If you, or a member of your family, have a new baby in the family, I encourage you to take them to your local chiropractor for an examination. If you’re in the Kansas City area, we’d be happy to take a look at your new bundle of joy and verify that he or she is starting life on the right foot.

Thanks again,


Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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