Our friends over at Tuck.com wrote this great article for us! Here are a few ways to help improve your sleep starting tonight!
“Difficulty falling and staying asleep, restlessness, and early waking are all problematic symptoms of insomnia. If you're struggling to get the seven to nine hours of sleep you need, a chiropractor can help you identify the source along with a treatment plan. While a chiropractor takes a holistic approach to your sleep health, we’re covering just three areas – pain, sleep position, and breathing issues – where chiropractic treatments may bring relief.
Pain Relief and Sleep
Many of us spend hours at a desk, which easily builds weakness in major or supporting muscle groups. A chiropractor looks at how your whole body works together. Your treatments may start with a spinal adjustment but may also include massage therapy so your muscles support your spine correctly. Your areas of tension, stiffness, or acute pain will depend on the source and location of your discomfort, and a chiropractor will tailor recommendations based on your specific needs.
A chiropractor may also recommend regular exercise. Exercise can improve all areas of your health by reducing stress, strengthening your muscles and cardiovascular system, and wearing out your body so you’re more tired at night.
Sleep Position Recommendations
The human body requires certain environmental conditions for high-quality sleep, which is why a chiropractor may ask about your sleep environment and personal sleep habits. That includes:
Complete Darkness: Light, both natural and artificial, can suppress sleep hormones, which means blackout curtains may be recommended.
Silence: A white noise machine or other sound neutralizing devices may help to prevent noise disruptions.
Cool Room Temperature: The body naturally drops its temperature at the onset of sleep and a lower room temperature helps maintain that. However, you still want to be comfortably warm, which in the winter may necessitate extra blankets or a sleeping bag for comfort.
Your sleep position along with your mattress and pillow could also be causing wakefulness. For example, stomach sleepers often experience lower back pain, especially with a soft mattress. On the other hand, neck and shoulder pain may need a chiropractic pillow that better fits the natural curve of the spine.
Allergies and sinus congestion can contribute to wakefulness or poor sleep quality, and a chiropractor can help there too. After an assessment, the chiropractor may perform a spinal adjustment that corrects your posture. With the spine aligned, the lungs are free to fully expand for better day and nighttime breathing.
Keep in mind that some sleep problems may be related to an underlying sleep disorder. Regular chiropractic visits can help you determine if you need more aggressive intervention.
Focus on Healthy Sleep Habits
You will see the best results when your chiropractic treatments are fully supported by healthy sleep habits like a consistent bedtime. The brain is wired to adjust to your preferred schedule. A consistent bedtime helps the brain identify and recognize when to start your sleep cycle. Predictability also helps your body appropriately respond to the release of sleep hormones.
You’ll also want to watch what and when you eat. A healthy, sleep-conscious diet that consists of fresh fruits and vegetables complemented with lean meats gives your body the nutrients to function as nature intended. When you eat your meals at regular intervals throughout the day, you help solidify your routine so your brain recognizes when to start the sleep cycle. You can also try to keep your last meal of the day light and early to prevent indigestion or heartburn from disrupting your sleep.
Regular visits with the chiropractor may be the ticket to better sleep. As you identify your problem areas, you'll be given individualized care that directly addresses your needs. With time and better sleep habits, you'll get the sleep you need so you can live an energized life.”