Can Chiropractors Help with Sleep?
It’s recommended that each of us get between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Sadly, for many getting the adequate amount of sleep each night is a significant problem.
Chronic sleep deprivation causes inflammation systemically in the entire body, raises insulin and cortisol levels,Increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
A recent Harvard University study links sleep deprivation to several health related problems including:
Weight gain: Those who had less than six hours of sleep at night gained weight and ended up having a higher BMI. There is now a link between type two diabetes, obesity, weight gain and lack of sleep.
Heart disease: Poor sleep habits or insomnia affects blood pressure and there are now several studies linking sleep apnea and heart disease to lack of proper sleep.
Mental disorders and high stress levels: Insomnia and sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety, elevated cortisol levels(the bodies stress hormone)and chronic stress.
Shortened life expectancy: recent epidemiology studies showed that sleep deprivation and getting less than five hours of sleep per night increase the risk of death by around 15 percentage.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to increased risk of causing a car accident, increase of accidents on the job, and a decrease in quality of life.
So, can chiropractors help with sleep?
Sometimes, spine pain is the cause of a patient’s lack of sleep because the pains keeps them awake.
Whether it’s back pain , neck pain ,arm pain, headaches , or shoulder pain , chiropractic care can be the solution that allows you to sleep better through the night and wake up with less joint pain and stiffness.
Chiropractic care or not only helps relieve spine pain but also relaxes muscles which helps your body increase circulation and increase stress reducing hormone.
Chiropractic adjustment can help immediately reduce pain and induce muscle relaxation. If pain is the underlying cause of lack of sleep, this will allow the body to rest better at night.
In a recent paper published by Lennar Vernon, he suggested the chiropractic subluxation and insomnia could there be a connection. He reported that by removing subluxations from the spinal vertebrae through chiropractic adjustments that the endocrine system and nerve impulses were positively affected. This chemical and neurological dysfunction caused an in balance in brain chemistry causing insomnia in participants.
By removing the vertebral dysfunctions through chiropractic adjustments , participants in the study showed an increase in dopamine and serotonin levels and were able to get improvement from insomnia.
Most chiropractors will also offer advice on using the proper pillow and mattress. In my office, most patients are recommended proper stretching and strengthening exercises to address muscular and biomechanical dysfunctions that lead to spine pain. This overtime can help reduce spine and muscle pain at night which causes lack of sleep.
If you are suffering from insomnia due to pain at night there is hope. Chiropractic care decrease spinal pain and stiffness while relaxing sore, tight, tense, and inflamed muscles to help you sleep better and wake up with less stiffness.
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.