Common Sleep Problems Solved

by
Dr. Ariel Thorpe

Sleep issues are common but not normal. Regular caffeine and/or alcohol intake, an irregular sleep schedule, and too warm of a temperature in the bedroom can all contribute to poor sleep. While lifestyle habits are essential to improving sleep hygiene, there are additional measures necessary for specific conditions.

Sleep Apnea can occur when the tissue structures in the airway relax into a position that obstructs the airway, cutting off breathing intermittently over the course of sleep. This can lead to oxygen deprivation during the most important healing time of the day.

Improving the alignment and balance of the spine and restoring the natural curvature to the cervical spine can create ease in the soft tissues running through the neck. When the neck and head can lie in proper alignment during sleep, more restful sleep is possible.

Ensure that you have a pillow that supports your cervical spine. If you are a stomach sleeper, now is the time to retrain your body to sleep either on your side or back. The strain on your spine from sleeping with your head turned to one side can cause severe long term issues. If you sleep on your side, use a pillow that supports your head so that it stays in line with the rest of your spine. Measure the space from the edge of your shoulder to the base of your neck and make sure your pillow is that thickness. Back sleepers need support under the cervical curve; a rolled up towel under the neck can do the trick.

Insomnia, or trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, can be from a number of stressful causes. Mental stress, drinking alcohol & caffeinated beverages, and exercising too late in the day can all unnaturally ramp up the body too close to bedtime. Reliance on sleep aids and then withdrawal when trying to stop can also interrupt sleep.

In Hong Kong, females and people over 65 are more likely to have insomnia but only 10% of children and adolescents and 40% of adults suffering sought treatment, according to a 2014-2015 survey.

Chiropractic clients often report experiencing better sleep after adjustments. Increasing parasympathetic tone in the nervous system helps the body move into a rest-and-digest state more efficiently.

Restless Leg Syndrome is common but not well-understood as it does not have a definitive cause. The common thread among sufferers is the uncontrollable urge to move or touch the unsettled limb. While it can be distracting, irritating, and painful at any time of day, nighttime symptoms interrupt vital rest and recovery.

Chiropractic care can help relax muscles, reduce pain and discomfort, and increase blood flow to allow better oxygenation in the body. All of these states lend themselves to a better night’s sleep.

Good sleep hygiene is necessary to support your sleep and stave off any harmful, disruptive conditions. Make sure you are treating your bed like a tool for sleep. You wouldn't use a hammer to do the job of a screwdriver. So, don't use your bed for phone scrolling, work, or any other non-bed appropriate activities. Create the habit for your body and mind to associate your bed with sleep and sex only.

Sources:

https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/static/51256.html

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