Many don’t realize that chiropractors can help with sleep issues. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third of people who have undergone a chiropractic adjustment say they experience an immediate improvement in sleep.
The benefits of regular chiropractic care for patients with sleep issues include:
- Easing muscle tension that causes restlessness,
- Relaxing the body,
- Relieving pain and discomfort,
- Stimulating circulation and blood flow, and
- Improving central nervous system function.
Following a thorough evaluation, a skilled chiropractor can also provide advice on a better sleeping position, postural exercises, supportive mattress, and ergonomic pillow to help you sleep well.
Chiropractic Care Can Help Treat Sleep Disorders
Patients with some common, yet serious, sleep disorders are also finding relief with the help of ongoing chiropractic care.
This is the most common diagnosed sleep disorder; it refers to difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and getting enough sleep to feel rested. Insomnia may be the result of psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, using certain substances, and/or certain biological factors. But it’s also important to note that discomfort can contribute to this condition. According to the National Sleep Foundation, chronic neck and back pain are among the many medical conditions that cause insomnia.
Patients seeking help managing the symptoms of insomnia should first be carefully evaluated to identify the source of their sleep disorder. Combined with other therapeutic approaches, chiropractic care can be used to treat insomnia. Recent research suggests there is a link between insomnia and subluxations. Chiropractors can perform targeted adjustments to correct subluxations, or spinal misalignments. We use gentle adjustments to address the areas of joint and nervous system dysfunction.
This drug-free therapy effectively helps relieve pain and improve sleep quality. Patients immediately feel less pain and notice muscle relaxation. Clinicians also hypothesize that subluxation adjustment helps treat insomnia by balancing the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
The National Sleep Foundation says that more than 22 million Americans are currently affected by sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most experienced type of sleep apnea, occurring when soft tissues inside the mouth and throat relax during sleep and block the upper airway.
This dangerous condition causes momentary apneas – or periods without inhaling – several times each hour during sleep. Pauses in respiration can last 10 to 20 seconds, which is long enough to lower the level of oxygen in the blood. When the brain senses the drop in blood-oxygen levels, it wakes up the rest of the body to restart the breathing cycle. Apneas can recur more than 30 times per hour throughout the night, making it impossible to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. If left untreated, OSA can also cause brain damage from the lack of oxygen and contribute to a long list of other serious health conditions.
Subluxations and misalignments, which may be the result of injury, poor posture, or a sedentary lifestyle, are addressed with chiropractic therapy. The goal is to correct misalignments in the neck and upper body which may restrict respiration or contribute to airway blockage. Chiropractors use spinal adjustment to relax muscles, reduce tension, and promote proper breathing. Practitioners can also recommend breathing exercises focused on supporting healthy breathing habits while strengthening the soft tissues that cause snoring and apneas.
Anyone who suspects that they suffer from sleep apnea should talk with their doctor about sleep analysis and diagnosis. For help managing the symptoms of sleep apnea, patients can incorporate chiropractic care into their sleep health treatment plan.
What’s Keeping You Up at Night?
We can provide specialized chiropractic care plans for your sleep issues. We aim to help you fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and stay asleep longer.