Can Chiropractic Care Help with Sleep?
Sleep is our body’s need for rest and repair, and is essential at every age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body and fortifies virtually every system that runs in our body. When our body is deprived of sleep, this can result in major repercussions on your health. Short-term sleep deprivation can lead to decreased mental acuity, brain fog, limited productivity and fatigue. The biochemistry of our blood and the hormones our body secretes changes when we are sleep deprived. Stress hormones become elevated, like cortisol. Long-term effects can correlate to many chronic health conditions that we see in our society such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes among others.
How Much Sleep Should We Be Getting?
The National Sleep Foundation advises that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young kids, and teenagers need more sleep to enable their growth and development. Individuals over 65 years of ago also should get 7 to 8 hours per night.
General recommendations for how much sleep you need is the first step, next it’s important to reflect on individual needs based on factors like activity levels and overall health. Equally important is the quality of sleep you get throughout the night. For example, eight hours of unrestful sleep will still leave you sleep deprived.
Some questions that can help you assess your individual sleep needs include:
- Do you feel productive, healthy and happy on seven hours of sleep? Have you noticed eight or nine hours of sleep allow you to function at a higher level?
- Have you been diagnosed with coexisting health issues? Are you at risk for any disease due to family history or your current health state?
- Does your work or daily activities require alertness to perform them safely? Do you feel tired and fatigued throughout the day?
- Do you have a long history of sleeping problems?
- With an open schedule, does your sleep schedule differ drastically than on your workday?
Start with the sleep recommendations for each age group and then apply your above answers to find your optimal amount of sleep.
What Improves Your Sleep Quality?
- Practice a relaxing routine before bedtime to make it easier to fall asleep quickly. Reading a book, meditating, or deep breathing exercises are great examples.
- Disconnect from electronic devices and blue light exposure for a half-hour of more before bed. This includes cell phone, laptops and TVs. Check the settings on your phone and disable blue light during evening hours (iPhone Night Shift)
- Choose a mattress that is supportive and comfortable for you, one that minimizes your tossing and turning throughout the night. The proper thickness pillow to allow for proper neck curve and head support. Contact a properly trained healthcare professional for guidance
- Properly address chronic pain syndromes to allow your body to rest and repair. Find a chiropractor to become a part of your healthcare team!
Sleep and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care, through spine adjustments and rehabilitation, has shown to decrease the body’s sympathetic response. By alleviating pain producing nerves (nociceptors) through spinal adjustments, this stimulates mechanoreceptors in our spinal joints that stops the pain producing cycle. The result of this is a suppressed sympathetic nervous system and stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. This takes our bodies from “fight or flight” mode to “rest and digest” mode, allowing us to gain better quality sleep during the night.
Proper spine alignment and biomechanics are extremely vital for our overall health. From the way we stand and properly move, to the quality of sleep we obtain, it is a necessity to take care of our spines throughout our lives.
Chiropractic care is what you might be missing. The elite trained Chiropractic BioPhyscis or CBP® team at Optimal Spine & Posture in Boise, ID can help you with your sleep and overall health needs. Get in touch today to discuss your options of maximizing your basic health functions and enhancing our overall health potential.