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Why Do I Care About Your Sleep?

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you likely remember my droning on and on about “chiropractors look for the cause”.  I say it all the time because it’s true.  Only focusing on the obvious is like replacing your tires that are wearing too quickly rather than getting a rotation and balance to get maximum mileage from them.  Often subluxation is causing your issues and being adjusted can do amazing things for your health and wellness.  Other times, something else is causing the subluxation and until the cause is found and corrected, no amount of adjustments is going to fully fix the problem.  Sleep is often one of the examples of this circumstance.  Not getting enough sleep can cause a lot of issues and chiropractic can help with many of them, but until your sleep hygiene is addressed, issues will continue to arise. 

From my concern, there are two main concerns regarding your sleep.  Quantity of sleep and quality of sleep (groundbreaking, I know).  In terms of quantity, or the amount; it’s pretty simple.  You need AT LEAST 6 hours of sleep a day and ideally you need between 7.5 and 12 depending on age and other factors.  Check yours here:                                                                                                                                                   
It’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  So many issues can interfere with sleep.  From stress and anxiety to sleep apnea to having young children.  And it is well-known that continuous sleep is best, but if you are a parent, you know that sometimes that is literally impossible.  So do you best.
The other issue (quality, or how restful) can play into how much sleep you get.  It can also cause other issues.  Correcting your sleep apnea, and there are several ways to do so will help you get better, more restful sleep and help you get the required amount.  Addressing pain might be necessary, in which case chiropractic care can help you sleep.  Making sure your mattress is supportive enough to allow you a proper night’s sleep.  A proper mattress may be causing your complaints as well.  It may not be supporting your spine which, in turn, can cause the same complaints you are seeing me for.  Another big issue regarding sleep is your sleep posture.  Improper sleep posture can single-handedly create problems for you that could result in surgeries and a lifetime of pain and suffering.
That isn’t hyperbole or being overly-dramatic.  Low back pain, headaches, shoulder pain, can all lead to various issues resulting in interventions that may be more drastic than necessary.  Proper sleep posture is pretty simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  Here are a few small, but significant changes you can try:

11.     Don’t sleep on your stomach.  From your neck being turned 90 degrees, to decreased natural curves in your thoracic and lumbar spine, sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst things you can do.  It can also cause health issues with your heart if you’re overweight.
22.    If you sleep on your side, don’t sleep with your arm above your head.  This can cause problems with both your neck and shoulders.  Instead sleep with your shoulders stacked and your arm in front of you.
33.    Make sure your pillow is supporting your head properly.  Whether you sleep on your side or back, your neck being in an unnatural position for hours on end can and will create issues.  Some people need to spend some money to find a pillow that’s right for them, but most of us don’t.  Just make sure it supports your neck and holds your head at a neutral position and you’re good to go typically.
DO NOT sleep like this.

  Correcting years of a poor habits won’t happen overnight.  And you may find that even if you fall asleep in a good posture, you wake up all willy nilly.  Don’t despair, rather keep at it.  Over time, your body will feel more and more comfortable with the healthier posture and you’ll sleep longer and longer in that position.  And if you’re suffering from subluxation, seeing a chiropractor while correcting sleep can do wonders for a couple reasons.  Not only are you not trying to go to sleep in pain, but you can share your struggles and get more personalized ideas on how to correct your sleep. 
Sleep and chiropractic are often very intertwined.  So much so that many chiropractors sell pillows in their practice.  What ever the problems with sleep, talk to you chiropractor about how you can be more rested and be more healthy.  I hardly scratched the surface of the importance of sleep and how that manifests to your spinal health.  Feel free to message, email or call me if you would like to know how I can help you sleep better.


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