Aug 29, 2023
How I Sleep Through The Night Thanks to My Chiropractor
We’ve all had the unfortunate luck of encountering someone at the beginning of our day who, as we say, woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
It’s not a pleasant experience. Though, it’s not as bad as being that person who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s less about where we woke up and more about how we never really went to sleep. Or we ended up getting some sleep, just in 45-minute intervals with an hour and a half of restlessness in between.
As a chiropractor, I know that not getting enough sleep at night doesn’t just make daytime zombies and energy vampires; it’s seriously bad for our health.
Seriously. Yes, poor sleep leads to fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and decreased productivity, which alone would drive a person and their family and friends crazy, but it is also essential for our overall health and well-being. It plays a vital role in physical and mental recovery, memory consolidation, and the regulation of hormones. Sleepless night after sleepless night increases the risk of:
- heart attack
- high blood pressure
- a weakened immune system
A lack of sleep affects performance at work or school, memory, judgment, and sex drive.
Common Sleep Disorders
Insomnia takes the top spot as the most common sleep disorder, making it difficult for people to fall asleep, stay asleep, and get enough sleep to feel rested.
This frustrating condition could result from a medical or mental health condition, using certain substances, biological factors, or not so healthy sleep habits, like watching The Babadook right before bed.
The National Sleep Foundation – yes, there is a national sleep foundation – a well-rested team of experts on circadian rhythms and Casper mattresses says that chronic neck pain and back pain are one of the many medical conditions that can cause insomnia. It is hard to get to sleep when there isn’t a comfortable position to lie in without the howling heat of radiating pain, so that tracks.
The conventional model for treating insomnia is brilliant. Prescribe as much sleep aid medication as a person can carry home from the pharmacy.
Prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids may work for some people, but most of us don’t want to be dependent on drugs to fall asleep. Nor do we want to deal with the struggle of emerging from a Lunesta-induced coma or further medicating with caffeine or other stimulants to beat back the lingering grogginess. It’s just a vicious cycle of medication.
Jockeying for the title of sleep disorder king is sleep apnea, when the soft tissues in the mouth and throat relax during sleep to block the upper airway. This causes periods where people with sleep apnea aren’t actually breathing, some lasting 10 to 20 seconds, long enough to lower our blood oxygen levels. Our brain, the genius it is, will wake up the rest of the body to restart the breathing cycle.
Apneas can happen 30 times an hour! That’s a lot of the brain interrupting our sleep because it thinks we’re dying. It can also lead to brain damage.
50-70 million Americans struggle with sleep disorders, though while we’re in it, it feels like a party of one. But as we lay awake and look to the stars, we can take comfort in knowing that someone else is looking at the very same star.
Or, we could actually do something about it!
Chiropractic Care Can Help With Sleep Disorders
One-third of people who undergo a chiropractic adjustment say they experience an immediate improvement in their sleep. Immediate! That’s because chiropractic care:
- Eases muscle tension that causes restlessness
- Relaxes the body
- Relieves pain and discomfort
- Stimulates circulation and blood flow
- Improves nervous system function
Certainly, a chiropractor can help reduce neck and back pain, common culprits for insomniacs, and they can also help correct spinal misalignments, which may restrict respiration leading to apnea.
Chiropractic care can help improve sleep by addressing the underlying causes of sleep disorders. The nervous system, responsible for regulating sleep, runs through the spine. A misalignment in the spine can put pressure on the nerves and disrupt the nervous system’s normal functioning, leading to a variety of symptoms, including difficulty sleeping.
Natural Pain Relief
Pain and muscle tension make it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep. Chiropractors use chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy to reduce pain and muscle tension. By correcting subluxations – misalignments in the spine – chiropractors can relieve nerve pressure that may be triggering pain symptoms and restore balance to the body so the musculoskeletal system can function properly. This makes it easier to get comfortable and fall asleep without dependence on sleep aids.
Me lying in bed at night, thinking about something embarrassing I said in 5th grade:
Me lying in bed on a beautiful, calm, clear night, wondering if a rogue storm will come through overnight, cut out the power, and my alarm won’t go off, making me late for work:
To stress is to be human. It is a natural part of life, and sometimes, it keeps us alive. It can also keep us up. Stress is a common cause of sleep disorders, but chiropractic care is an incredible stress reducer. Not only by relieving muscle tension but also by regulating hormones like cortisol and releasing feel-good hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.
By naturally reducing stress, chiropractic care removes that critical barrier to sleeplessness.
Improve Nervous System Function
A healthy nervous system is essential for every single function our body performs, from the tiniest cell to the biggest muscles to the most critical organs. The less energy it needs to use during the day, the easier it will be for everything to slow down at night. Chiropractic care aims to improve the way the nervous system functions, improving the performance of every other body system. This not only improves sleep but reduces headaches, fatigue, and irritability.
We take sleep seriously. It is not a luxury but a necessity. The more sleep our patients get, the more time their body has to heal and regenerate and the healthier and happier they can be. Sleep unlocks our true potential.
Come visit us or schedule an appointment with one of our amazing doctors. We do everything to help patients get the best, most restful night’s sleep, short of tucking them in.