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The Connection Between Chiropractic and Better Sleep

Sleep is essential for good health, yet millions of people around the world suffer from poor quality sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, but many struggle to get this amount of rest.

Not only does poor sleep quality have a short-term impact, but it has been linked to a range of chronic health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mental health issues. Fortunately, chiropractic care can be an effective way to improve sleep quality and promote better overall health.

Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, drug-free approach to wellness that focuses on improving the function of the nervous system. A healthier nervous system supports better adaptability to physical, chemical, and emotional stressors, thus helping improve sleep.

This is supported by research, which has shown that chiropractic care can be an effective way to improve sleep quality. In one study, “One third of the 154 patients who completed the semi-structured interview reported their sleep pattern was changed immediately after their chiropractic adjustment. All but 1 of these 52 patients reported improvement.”

So, How Does Chiropractic Care Lead to Better Sleep?

  • Balances the Nervous System: The nervous system plays a critical role in sleep. Chiropractic care can help balance the nervous system by improving communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When the nervous system is balanced, the body can better regulate its functions, including sleep.
  • Improves Adaptability to Stress:  Stress and anxiety can interfere with sleep. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the muscles. When the body is relaxed, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.  More specifically, chiropractic adjustments“…may activate the parasympathetic system to counterbalance the activity of the sympathetic system.”  The parasympathetic system is the rest and recovery system, while the sympathetic system is known as the fight or flight system.
  • Alleviates Pain: Pain can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Chiropractic care can alleviate pain by addressing the underlying causes of pain, such as subluxations in the nervous system. When pain is reduced, it becomes easier to get higher quality of sleep.
  • Improves Respiratory Function (Breathing): Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea, can interfere with sleep. Chiropractic care can help improve breathing by reducing restrictions in the muscles and tissues of the upper respiratory system. When breathing is easier, sleep quality can improve.

Please note that chiropractic is not a treatment or cure for any issue specifically, including poor sleep.  But if you are struggling with sleep, it is worth considering chiropractic care as part of your healthcare regimen. By addressing underlying causes of sleep problems, such as pain, stress, and breathing issues, chiropractic care may help you get the restful, restorative sleep your body needs to function at its best.

Additional Suggestions for Better Sleep

In addition to chiropractic care, there are other things you can do to improve sleep quality, such as practicing the following healthy sleep habits:

  • Routine bedtimes,
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed,
  • Not eating after 7pm, and
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, such as shutting down your phone and other screens at least 30-60 minutes prior to bed.

Resources

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15129207/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33170171/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15855906/

Dr. Kalaba is a chiropractor in Tucson, AZ, practicing gentle chiropractic care and providing health tips to help you live the best rest of your life.

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