Not sleeping through the night can cause lots of agony. We all know sleep is important to our daily functioning, and watching the minutes tick by through the night can be frustrating. Unfortunately, many adults, and even children, can suffer regularly with sleepless nights leading to cranky mornings and yawning during the day.
Many individuals try sleeping tips found via Google and/or take a medication to help them sleep. While the list of tips and medications is lengthy, I think most people know they should not need to do/take something in order for their body to accomplish one of their basic primitive needs like sleeping. But they just don’t know what other options are available to help them sleep!
Let’s start by asking what could be going on with your body if you are not sleeping.
The answer begins with the fact that generally, an inability to sleep as you normally would occurs when there is an improper chemical balance within your body. And what throws off the chemical balance needed to sleep? Stress.
Three types of stress affect our bodies:
1. Chemical stress (for example, chemicals in food, beauty and cleaning products, and medications, and pollution in the air we breathe)
2. Physical stress (repetitive motions using improper posture, such as sitting hunched forward with your head leaned in looking at a computer screen for eight hours a day, seven days a week, or even sports or working out)
3. Emotional stress (things like relationship issues, money issues, schedule issues, and work stress).
When the chemical imbalance develops as a result of one or more areas of stress, the normal messages from your body going up to your brain are interfered with, and you can’t sleep. These messages travel via the nerves in our body.
When your nervous system, made up of your nerves, brain and spinal cord, become stressed and overwhelmed by more than it can handle, it can become stuck. The area where the spine is stuck and communication between brain and body is interfered with, is called a subluxation.
This situation is similar to a circuit breaker in your house. Each circuit can handle just so many appliances before it “breaks” and the connection is lost. There is still power from the source coming into the house, but if the circuits are overwhelmed, that power can’t get to the appliances to make them work. In order to reconnect things, the circuit needs to be flipped back on.
When your body is under too much stress it becomes subluxated, just like the circuit breaker flipping. The chiropractic adjustment is designed to flip the switch back on, and reconnect the body part to its power source, the brain.
When talking about sleep issues, the most common place for the nervous system to be subluxated (circuit breaker flipping “off”) is in the upper neck, just below the back of your skull. This area has a nerve called the vagus nerve that regulates sleep in the body. If the vagus nerve doesn’t have power it cannot tell the body to sleep, resulting in frustrating sleepless nights.
We were caring for a mom not too long ago who would start her bedtime routine around 9:30/10pm each night incorporating some of the sleeping tips she had found via Google. Some nights would even take a sleep aid medication.
Unfortunately, every night she would still toss and turn and be awake until 1am…2am..3am. She would finally fall asleep mere hours before her alarm went off in the morning to get her kids ready for their day.
When she first came in to see us, her upper neck was subluxated. No surprise, considering what we just discussed about the neck being the location of the vagus nerve. After a couple of adjustments (which is how we turn the circuit breaker of the nervous system back to the “power on” position), she was able to fall and stay asleep within 30 minutes of lying down. We were able to help retrain and reset her body to keep her upper vertebrae in place and not go back into the “off,” or subluxated, position.
By taking this inside-out approach to calming your nervous system—your body’s main control system—you can restore your body’s natural brain/body communication, and thus normalize your sleep experience.
At Whole Family Chiropractic we want to help you find the why behind your issue, and help your body correct what is not functioning normally. Our neurological, torque release adjustments are not just another band-aid covering up a malfunction that is preventing you from enjoying life, but rather they enable your body to restore the normal function it was created to have in the first place.
At Whole Family Chiropractic we encourage you and your whole family to reap the benefits of chiropractic care. We believe that starting from birth, your body is designed for amazing health. Aside from a healthy lifestyle, your body must have a healthy nervous system in order to experience optimal health (such as a good night’s sleep!).
It is the nervous system that controls and coordinates all growth, all development, and body function (sleep being one of them). Don’t suffer another sleepless frustrating night. Wake up refreshed from deeper sleep as one of the the benefits of specific, neurological chiropractic care!
See Nerve of the Week: C1 for more details.