Nearly 12% of Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder

Researchers found that 1 in 3 people who suffer from sleep disorder experience nearly immediate improvement in their sleep with chiropractic care (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics  March-April 2005; Vol. 28, No. 3.).  What’s more, current research shows that the most common sleep drugs are not better than a placebo.

A good nights sleep is more than a luxury.  Sleep is as important to your health as healthy eating and regular physical activity.  Whatever the cause of your sleeplessness, it can affect you physically and mentally.  Complications of insomnia included lowered performance at work or school, slower reaction time which increases the risk of things like automobile accidents,  depression and anxiety disorders, weight problems (insomnia causes hormonal imbalances that cause weight gain), lowered immune function and increased risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.  Studies show that people with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.
1 in 3 people who suffer from sleep disorder experience nearly immediate improvement in their sleep with chiropractic care.

The Sleeping-Pill Scam

While U.S. doctors are writing more than 55 million prescriptions for sleep drugs like Ambien and Lunesta every year, amounting to $4.5 billion in sales, new studies indicate that sleep drugs don’t work as advertised.  Current studies have shown that nonbenzodiazepenes induce sleep only 4.5 minutes faster than a sugar-pill placebo and only increase total sleep time by 11 minutes a night.  Lunesta yielded only 3 minutes more sleep per night than average.  In fact, in the last weeks of the study the data shows that the subjects who took the sugar-pill actually slept more!

For a deeper look at the general deception that occurs in medical studies, even in peer reviewed journals, check out “The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”, a revealing book by Marcia Angell, M.D., senior Harvard Medical School lecturer and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Causes of insomnia can include:

  • Mental or emotional stress
  • Physical pain or discomfort
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Caffeine
  • Irregular schedule
  • Stimulating activities before bed
  • Uncomfortable sleep environment
  • Use of your bed for activities other than sleep or sex
  • Worrying too much about not being able to sleep
  • Eating too much before bedtime
  • Certain other medical problems like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea
  • Certain medications

Some people brag that they have no problem falling asleep.  They’ll sometimes say “I can fall asleep anywhere.” But sleep experts say that it should actually take from 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep and that falling asleep very quickly, falling asleep while watching television or when you’re bored are signs of sleep deprivation.  This means that you may not be sleeping enough, or you may not be sleeping well.
At any time our stress level is the sum total of all the external and internal stressors affected our brain and body.  Internal stressors often escape our notice because we live with them all the time.  Our senses tend to acclimate to things like mild pain and low grade nerve and muscle irritation to the point that we cease being consciously aware of them.  Even so, these things can agitate our nervous system to the point that they interfere with our ability to relax and sleep well.

One of the most common unsolicited responses I get from patients after getting adjusted is how much better they sleep.  Why is this?  Most of the internal nerve irritation in the body comes from misaligned vertebrae in the spine.  My role as a chiropractor is to correct misaligned vertebrae in order to remove this nerve irritation. When nerves are free of interference the body is free to operate normally.  This allows the nervous system to relax.  Anxiety and depression often disappear, muscle tension releases, and sleep often returns to normal.

When you’re sleeping, the active and conscious centers in the brain are relatively idle while the healing and regenerative areas of the body go to work.  Being able to move freely while asleep is important. For this reason I recommend a more firm bed over a bed that’s too soft.  Soft beds can allow your body to for a little crater that can limit your sleep time movement and which can interfere with healing and recuperation.  Ultimately, the processes that are functioning while asleep are controlled by the central nervous system which is communicated through the spinal nerves. Interference, in the form of spinal misalignment, can irritate these nerves which can lead to poor sleep.

Recent studies on chiropractic using EEG (electroencephalogram) to monitor brain function show beneficial and normalizing effects on the brain following adjustment.  Releasing pressure on spinal tracts can affect function in the cerebral cortex itself.  Not only can such release affect sleep patterns, but mental function and alertness is often improved during waking hours.  Improved sleep is just one of many possible benefits that people enjoy when they get chiropractic care.