Chiropractor care is often used to treat back and neck problems. But it can also be used to improve your overall health.
In fact, it might be surprising to learn that chiropractic care may improve your quality of sleep.
The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors that affect your health. We all want a good night’s sleep, but it is easier said than done for many people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every three adults in the United States report they do not get enough sleep.
Although sleep needs vary, most people need between seven and nine hours every night. But it appears about a third of adults are falling short. Regardless of the cause, lack of quality sleep can lead to a variety of problems. Both your physical and emotional well-being can be affected by poor sleep.
A variety of consequences can develop if you do not get enough sleep. Poor sleep can lead to memory problems, irritability, and depression. A lack of sleep can also decrease your ability to fight infection, which means it’s easier to acquire illnesses.
Sleep deprivation also increases your risk of getting into an accident. Driving in a drowsy state is thought to be a factor in thousands of car accidents each year in the United States.
Reasons for Poor Sleep
It’s clear we need sound sleep to function optimally, yet many of us don’t get enough sleep. Millions of people are walking around sleep-deprived. Why is adequate sleep so hard to come by for many people? Lack of sleep can occur due to several reasons, including:
Poor sleeping habits: A lack of shut-eye may develop due to poor sleeping habits, such as drinking too much coffee or caffeinated soda before bed. Going to bed at different times each night can also throw off your natural sleep rhythm. Sleeping on an uncomfortable bed can also affect sleep.
Pain: Chronic pain is also a big factor that affects sleep. Pain can make it difficult to fall asleep. Even if you manage to get to sleep; pain can jolt you awake. Although pain medication is an option, it can have negative side effects and lead to dependency.
Stress: Stress can also affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. If you’re worried or tense, it can increase stress hormones in your body, which can prevent your body from relaxing enough to fall asleep.
Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders are also the cause of poor sleep for millions of people. Sleep disorders may include conditions, such as sleep apnea, which involves obstruction of the airway during sleep. Restless leg syndrome, hypersomnia, and sleep-wake disorders can also rob you of the rest you need.
Treatments for sleep problems often vary based on the cause. Some sleep disorders may improve with conventional treatment. For example, sleep apnea may be treated by using a CPAP machine, which delivers pressure into the airway to keep it from becoming obstructed.
In other instances, traditional treatments for sleep problems, such as medication, can have unwanted side effects. Sleeping pills often have side effects including headache, prolonged drowsiness, and lightheadedness. Some medications for sleep can also be addictive.
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How Chiropractic Care Can Improve Sleep
One treatment you may not have considered for sleep problems is chiropractic care. When many people think of chiropractic care, they think it’s mostly for back pain. But chiropractic treatment can also improve the quality of your sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 33 percent of people who have chiropractic care report immediate sleep improvements. That’s one of the great things about chiropractic care. Results are often felt the right way.
Chiropractic care can improve the function of the central nervous system. The central nervous system plays a key role in how efficiently your body functions. When your central nervous system is functioning optionally, it improves your overall health and your body performs better. It’s easier for your mind and body to relax so you can fall asleep.
A chiropractor focuses on correcting spinal misalignments and improving the health of your spine and entire body. You might wonder what that has to do with sleep. Pain, tension, and stress all affect how well you sleep. If your body is in better alignment and pain is eliminated, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and sleep sounder.
In addition to treating pain and decreasing spinal problems, a chiropractor can also provide recommendations and tips on how to get better sleep. For example, your chiropractor may suggest a certain type of pillow or mattress. He or she may also recommend certain sleep positions based on any spinal problems you have.
Although chiropractic care may not always be the answer to sleep difficulties, it may be worth a try. Even if it does not treat your sleep problems, it will likely fix any spinal misalignments you have and improve your overall health.