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This page includes:

1) Dr. Orcutt’s personal recommendation for mattress selection
2) The American Chiropractic Associations recommendations for mattress selection.
3) Dr. Orcutt’s chapter on sleep from his book. Dr. Orcutt's E-book

After many years of requests I am finally recommending a mattress for my patients. Mostly because of continuous accumulative injuries I see daily in the exam room caused by poor mattress selection. Also, because the technology for new non-toxic, non-spring mattress is finally here.The link below will take you to the company website of the mattress I sleep on. It is a simple latex (natural rubber) that will not gas off like the posture-pedic or tempur-pedic mattresses many patients complain of. You will have more consistency and control over the density of the mattress you order and it will last longer than most other mattresses. Sweet dreams.
Dr. Orcutt

Dominick A. Palamenti
Vice President-Store Manager
Savvy Rest Natural Bedroom
3001 Telegraph Ave., unit C
Berkeley CA 94705
Organic Mattresses, Bedding and Fine Furniture

The Third Factor of Health: Sleep

"What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing in a green island, far from all men’s knowing?
More healthful than the leafiness of dales?
More secret than a nest of nightingales?
More serene than Cordelia’s countenance?
More full of visions than a high romance?
What, but sleep? Soft closer of our eyes!
Low murmurer of tender lullabies!
Light hoverer around our happy pillows!
Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows!
Silent entangler of a beauty’s tresses!
Most happy listener! When the morning blesses
Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise."
- Keats

The third healing factor is what most of us do not get enough of. That’s right, sleep. Poor sleep habits affect our immune system, mental acuity, mood and overall performance. Day in and day out, we tax our mind-body organism in many ways. It is only through sleep that our body is able to rapidly replace its tissues to keep up with our daily demands and stress.

Most of our tissue replacement occurs during our REM cycles. On average we may get 6 to 8 REM cycles per night. If we miss out on these REM cycles, our body is unable to replace much needed tissues to keep up with our demand. Tissue replacement is your energizer bunny. It’s what sustains your physical existence. Tissue replacement is a central focus for anti-aging scientists who study ways to prolong our cellular function.

Did you know if I were to shake your hand seven years from now, it would be an entirely different hand than the one you have now? On average, it will take seven to ten years for our body to replace all of its cells. Also, different types of tissues will regenerate at different speeds. For example, the lining of our digestive tract will replace its cells in 24 hours, while tendon cells can take an average of 6 months to a year. You can imagine how significant this is when rehabilitating injured tissues or correcting spinal patterns. You would need to know an average of how long it will take for new tissues to replace and support your body's frame and alignment. If you wait too long to rehab an injury or misalignment, you will develop scar tissue that can limit your range of motion and restrict your life activities. If you rehabilitate too soon, you can re-injure that tissue, worsening the injury and prolonging recovery time. The following chart will help you to get an idea of how your different tissues heal in time.


Acute Inflammation: 3-4 days
Tissue Repair: 2-6 weeks1
Tissue Remodeling: (Functional tissue restoration) 3 weeks- 1 year
Angiogenesis: New capillary formation is imperative for healing to occur; it requires 6 months to complete1.
Ligament Healing: 50% in 6 months, 80 % in 1year, 100 % in 1-3 years1
Muscle or Tendon: 10 days-10 weeks1
Proprioceptive Adaptation: (Body position in space) 8-10 weeks234


1. Pfeiffer, Magnus, B., Concepts of Athletic Training, 3rd ed., Jones and Bartlett, Inc., 1998
2. Mattacola CG, Loyd JW. Effects of a 6-week strength and proprioception training program on measures of dynamic balance: A single case design. J Athlete Train 1997; 32 (2):127-135.
3. Edward R. Laskowski MD, Karen Newcomer-Aney MD, Jay Smith MD. Refining Rehabilitation With Proprioception Training: Expediting Return to Play. The Physician and Sports medicine, Volume 25 Number 10 October 1997
4. A. Caraffa, G Cerulli, M. Projetti G. Aisa, A. Rizzo. Prevention Of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Soccer: A Prospective Controlled Studie Of Proprioceptive Training. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, chapter 4, pp. 19-21 Springer-Verlag 1996
Your tissues will heal within the above timeframe. This is, of course, assuming you are getting the right amount of nutrients and sleep. Most Americans get an average of six to seven hours per night. It is estimated that most Americans are sleep deprived. Albert Einstein would sleep on average, 10 hours a night. Few would call him lazy. He knew the secret to recharging the mind-body of a genius.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.” ~Irish Proverb

Almost every day at our clinic, a practice member will mention their challenges with sleep. It’s a common complaint. However common, this does not make loss of sleep normal. Here are some facts and recommendations that have worked for many people.

Quality of sleep is as important as quantity of sleep. As you can see, if your quality of sleep is poor due to disturbances, you may not get all of your REM cycles. This will affect your tissue replacement and wear you thin with lowered immunity. Environment affects our quality of sleep. Do what you must to create your optimal sleep environment, even if it means moving your residence. It’s that important!

When it comes to alarm clocks, consider the following. Who wants to wake up to an alarm? Its soooo……alarming! Be kind to your mind-body and invest in several of the new clocks that wake you up with the sound of wind chimes, the ocean, soft meditation bells or even gradual light. Alarm clocks with L.E.D. lights are emitting Electro Magnetic Frequencies (EMF) which are harmful to our electromagnetic polarity. We get enough daily EMFs from other sources. We don’t need to sleep next to it. Get rid of any unnecessary EMF sources, including your L.E.D alarm clock.

Sleep is best when the mind is calm. In fact, it is recommended. If you cannot fall asleep due to an overactive mind, get up and sit in a chair in another room. When you feel ready to fall asleep, return to bed. Your body automatically releases chemicals in the horizontal position to help you fall asleep. If you get in the habit of overriding the chemical assistance with an overactive mind in the horizontal position, you can eventually retrain your mind-body to be active horizontally, robbing you of your sleep. You can interrupt this pattern by letting your mind-body be active when it’s predominantly vertical.

If you find yourself checking the clock every hour to see how much sleep you’re not getting and stressing out about it, stop! Accept that you’re not ready to sleep, get up and have a good time. Remember how fun it was to stay up all night as a child. Resolve that you don’t care if you sleep or don’t sleep and trust that when you do, it will be enough for now. Having this attitude and giving yourself this permission takes away the stress of not sleeping. Usually it’s not long before you fall asleep anyway. Give it a try.

Don’t forget to rest. Rest? What’s that? It’s not something you do in the Rest Room. Many people do not rest at all. This is a mistake. Resting is not sleep. However, physiologically, it is just as important as sleep. Rest is time to relax and still the mind and body without falling asleep. Rest is a sort of not doing that seems to accomplish a greater balance in our lives. Rest will reset your energy level without interrupting consciousness. Rest leads us naturally into deeper breathing without activity. This bathes our tissues with oxygen and relaxes our nervous system. If you happen to fall asleep, great! However this is a sign you are not getting enough sleep. Rest requires no interruptions, and the conscious decision that it’s okay to do nothing even though you are reaping the benefits of rest. This may present a challenge at first for the drivers and overachievers. However, these are the people that need it the most.

Here are some additional helpful hints to falling asleep:
• Take naps. Not only will naps improve your daily performance, they act as training to falling soundly asleep quickly. The more you train, the better you get at it. With enough training, you can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. This has been proven. You can even program yourself when to awake.

• To fall asleep, listen to a book on tape that is not so boring you tune it out, or interesting enough to keep you up. This helps distract your own thought patterns just enough to fall asleep. Memoirs on tape work great.

• Try some vigorous exercise early in the day. Vigorous exercise will fatigue your body and pull you into sleep with less effort at the end of the day. Your body knows it will need sound sleep to replace the tissues that have been exercised.

• Don’t eat at least two hours prior to bed time. Eat lighter meals that won’t clog you up.

• Read before you go to sleep. This one is my personal favorite. Read something technical that taxes the mind just enough to distract your personal thought flow, but not enough to lose your interest. If you’re lucky, in a few moments, you will have just enough energy to turn the light out before slipping away into deep sleep.

• Release your mind of your endless To Do List and problem solving before going to bed. Resolve to continue it tomorrow with renewed vigor from a good night's sleep. Better yet, ask the universe, God or the powers that be in your belief system to help you with your list. Then relinquish any thought on the matter until the next day. Often, you will find effortless solutions awaiting you when you revisit your daily challenges. This magic will happen for you if you are willing to have faith and let it go. Remember, the universe is conspiring to help you and can do so faster when you let it. The Law of Attraction states if you focus on problems, that is what you will attract. Focus on solutions in a healthy way that allows you sleep and flows with the universe instead of banging your head against the wall and loosing sleep over it.

• Melatonin (it works with a percentage of the population), certain herbs and teas can help to send you off to la la land with no harmful side effects.

Lastly, my Grandmother’s favorite solution to help you sleep - drink a glass of raw milk before you go to bed. It always worked for us. Sweet dreams.