Sleep disorders are extremely common, and one of the most prevalent is insomnia. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep. Although this may not sound like a particularly serious problem, insomnia can have a significant impact on our ability to function day to day if it is something that we experience regularly. People who suffer from chronic insomnia can find it hard to wake up in the morning, feel fatigued during the day, find it difficult to concentrate and are at greater risk of irritability, mood swings and depression. You are also at greater risk of being involved in an accident due to tiredness which can lead to a lack of necessary attention being paid, such as when driving or operating machinery.
Most people will experience insomnia at some point during their lifetime. For many patients, it resolves itself, but for others, professional intervention is needed to help them regularly achieve adequate rest and sleep.
How much sleep do I need?
Everyone needs different amounts of sleep based on their individual circumstances. Generally speaking, adults need between 7 and 9 hours per night to function optimally, whereas children need anywhere from 9 to 13 hours. If you have a baby or toddler, don’t be surprised if they are happy to sleep anywhere from 12 to 17 hours every day!
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia can be triggered by a wide range of different things. Some of the most common include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Being too hot or cold
- Uncomfortable bed
- Taking recreational drugs
- Side effects of medication
- Alcohol or caffeine consumed before bed
- Nicotine use
- Jet lag
- Working shifts
How can a chiropractor help treat my insomnia?
Although chiropractors are not thought of as being experts on sleep issues, studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can facilitate a significant improvement in the quality of patient sleep. This is because chiropractic care can enhance the body’s central nervous system. Our central nervous system is essential for ensuring that we use our energy efficiently. The more efficient our body is, the less energy we waste and the easier it is for our body and mind to relax and wind down.
When we undergo spinal manipulations and adjustments, it releases tension that has built within various areas of our body, including the spine, joints and central nervous system. The more relaxed these areas are, the easier it is for us to disengage our brain from conscious thought and fall asleep.
If you suffer from mobility or pain issues that prevent you from falling or staying asleep, chiropractic care can help alleviate these too. Your chiropractor can determine the root cause of the problem and use spinal manipulations to reduce pain and inflammation and improve mobility so that it easier to get comfortable at bedtime, which in turn will make it easier to fall asleep.
Finally, your chiropractor can help you determine a sleep position that works best for you based on your individual needs. It may also be that you would benefit from a specific pillow or mattress to keep you comfortable and enable you to relax.
If you are struggling with insomnia, you don’t have to put up with perpetual tiredness nor rely on medications to help you sleep. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, medication-free treatment that can help you achieve quality rest and sleep. Contact our offices today to find out more.