Sometimes an adjustment is exactly what you need for a good night’s rest. It’s true, chiropractic can really help with sleep! A lousy sleep happens every once and awhile… but if it becomes chronic, it is time to seek help. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, poor work performance, a weakened immune system, and even delayed reaction time. Not to mention it makes it difficult to function throughout the day.
Many know that we need roughly 8 hours of sleep each night, but the quality of your sleep is equally important. While you are sleeping and resting, your brain is actually hard at work. You have 4 sleep cycles, and each has an important role for your body. For example, stage 3 is considered your deep sleep which is critical for hormone regulation and physical repair (2). Without getting into a deep sleep, you are more likely to feel down and get sick. Stage 4 is where memory consolidation occurs (1). It is critical that you progress through all of the 4 sleep cycles a few times throughout the night so that your body can do its job and you can feel well rested!
This is when chiropractors come in. While chiropractors do help with neck and back pain, routine chiropractic care helps with:
Decreasing muscle tension
Promoting overall relaxation
Decreasing pain and discomfort
Chiropractors can also discuss your sleeping position, pillow, or mattress and suggest changes that may help. Certain sleeping positions can cause discomfort, as can a pillow that isn’t correct for you. In fact, if you sleep 8 hours a night, that’s roughly 1/3rd of your life spent sleeping! This means your pillow is incredibly important, and often a simple change that can make a big difference.
Aside from chiropractic adjustments, at home stretches can also be beneficial for eliminating tension at the end of the day. Stretching can also help to improve posture over time. Poor posture can lead to headaches, pain, and a decrease in range of motion. All of these symptoms can work against you and make for a difficult night’s sleep.
Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity! Certain life changes such as bringing a new baby home can certainly throw off our sleep temporarily, and that is okay. Long term, however, it is important that you are maintaining a solid 7-8 hours and getting in quality sleep.
“Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep.
“Why Sleep Is So Important.” Harvard Business Review, 23 July 2014, hbr.org/2009/01/why-sleep-is-so-important.html.