How To Get a Better Night’s Sleep: A Springfield, IL Chiropractor’s Perspective

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Introduction to Sleep Care

Here at the Springfield Wellness Center, we truly understand the importance of sleep. Human beings spend ⅓ of their lives sleeping. It is not just something we decide to fit into our busy schedule if there is time, it is a necessity. Unfortunately, however, 50-70% of Americans are not getting the sleep they need, due to a sleep disorder or some other cause. Getting a good night’s sleep is not just about waking up feeling refreshed – there are also major health implications and benefits that are derived from sleep. Conversely, there can be serious health consequences to chronically not getting enough sleep.

Sleep in Springfield, IL

Better sleep has been shown in numerous studies to be a health-promoting aspect of life. It can help decrease blood pressure, maintain healthy body weight, and reduce the risk for heart disease and diabetes. It allows your body’s tissues and organs to repair and rejuvenate. Quality sleep provides more energy and focus the following day, as well as reduces stress and improves mood. The benefits are simply countless. On the other hand, there are many consequences that come with lack of sleep including memory issues, trouble with decision making, weakened immunity, increased risk for depression and anxiety, and increased risk of serious diseases such as cancer. The contrast could not be more clear and yet the majority of people simply do not get enough sleep.

If you are one of these people who are not getting enough sleep at night, you need to get to the root cause of what is causing your lack of sleep. Is there an underlying condition or sleep disorder that is disrupting your ability to sleep or sleep well? Do you have an excessive amount of life stress that keeps you from settling in? Are you in pain and is that limiting your ability to relax and sleep deeply? These are all important questions that need to be acknowledged and answered in order to fully understand yourself and why your sleep is inadequate. Finding the answers to these questions and implementing the right solutions to these problems is ultimately the key to a better night’s sleep and a healthier you.

How We Treat Sleep Problems in Springfield, IL

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

As a patient at the Springfield Wellness Center, your new patient journey will begin with a consultation with one of our doctors. This is where you really have the chance to elaborate on the issues you have been having and how long these problems have been persisting in your life. Our doctors will listen to you and want to also understand how a lack of sleep has been affecting the quality of your life. Has your work been slacking? Are your relationships suffering? Sleep deprivation affects people in different ways, and the chiropractors at the Springfield Wellness Center want to get to know you better so they can help you better.

After the consultation is over, the doctor will perform a thorough examination to further understand your physical problems. For many people, sleep deprivation comes as a result of some kind of musculoskeletal complaint such as lower back pain or neck pain. This examination allows the doctors to get to the root cause of that problem so they can help address it and get you back to sleeping better and reaping the benefits from it.

Specific Chiropractic Care

If one of our chiropractors has confirmed that you have a problem that chiropractic can solve, they will begin care as soon as possible so that the healing process can begin. Chiropractors help people every day with problems such as headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, lower back pain, and sciatica. Coincidentally, these are some of the most common pain causes of sleep deprivation because they make it very difficult for a person to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Chiropractic adjustments help the body relax and let go of muscle tension. They also improve nervous system function and can allow the body to go through the correct healing phases during sleep. By having a healthy, high-functioning spine and nervous system, great sleep can come naturally, and with it, numerous other health benefits that can help you live a vibrant lifestyle.

Sleep Springfield, IL

Custom Therapeutic Exercise

Another important aspect of our care at the Springfield Wellness Center is therapeutic, corrective exercise. This exercise is designed to help enhance the results people get by stabilizing and strengthening the spine so it can hold its chiropractic adjustments better and longer. This balance in the spine keeps it safe and functioning at the optimum level. Additionally, exercise has been proven to help people sleep better. So, being able to provide a service in our office with such a broad scope of benefits is truly a wonderful thing. The vast majority of our patients who are under chiropractic care and perform regular exercise report sleeping better and feeling more rested in the morning. When the body is given what it wants and needs, it is able to rest and recover in a similarly effective and efficient way!

Massage Therapy

Another service in our office that helps to enhance sleep quality is massage therapy. We have multiple massage therapists on our staff because the demand for massage is so high – and for good reason! Massage therapy is one of the best ways to alleviate muscle tension that builds up in the body over time which causes pain, stiffness, and posture problems. Feeling looser and more relaxed are two critical components of winding down at the end of the day before going to sleep because carrying that muscle tension and stress around is not a comfortable thing.  Many of our patients receive regular massage in order to continue to reap the health benefits from massage therapy, of which one of the most prominent is improved sleep and feeling more rested. Getting better sleep means having more energy at work, with your family, or while spending time on hobbies that you enjoy. It’s all about having a better quality of life.

Sleep Modification Coaching

As doctors, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job is being able to educate our patients on healthy living. One way we do that is through sleep education and helping people understand how to get a better night’s sleep. First, it is important to make your room a sleep sanctuary. Make sure the temperature and lighting are appropriate, and that you have a mattress and pillow that work well for you (everyone is different!). Also, avoid using devices such as phones, computers, or iPads about one hour before going to sleep, as they can be an unnatural stimulant and can make it difficult to settle in to sleep. You also want to consider the position in which you sleep. With this, the most important thing is that the spine is in a neutral position. Sleeping on the back or sides is the best way to accomplish this. If possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it requires your head to be turned one way or the other. Tips like these can make a big impact on people’s ability to sleep well.

Common Causes of Poor Sleep in Springfield, IL

Sleep Apnea

One of the most common sleep disorders affecting Americans is sleep apnea, with over 22 million people diagnosed. Sleep apnea occurs when a person randomly stops and starts breathing during sleep. It can be obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by airway issues and is secondary to other conditions such as obesity, or it can be central sleep apnea, which is a neurologic problem where the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe. It is a scary and potentially dangerous condition that many times requires the use of a CPAP machine to regulate airflow. Some people experience apneas over 30 times per night, which can be a great disturbance to having deep, restful sleep. Addressing the root cause of sleep apnea can make a drastic difference in the quality of one’s sleep. Losing weight and improving posture are two of the best ways to help decrease sleep apnea naturally.

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Insomnia

Insomnia is the most commonly diagnosed sleep condition in existence, affecting over 30% of adults. It is defined as having difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or difficulty getting enough sleep. It is commonly caused by different medical and psychiatric conditions, but can also be due to unhealthy habits and even pain. At the Springfield Wellness Center, we have helped many people who suffer from pain-related insomnia start sleeping better and more restfully. By addressing the root cause of their pain, we are also addressing the root cause of their insomnia. Chiropractic adjustments help to balance chemicals in the brain that aid in sleep. They also alleviate pain allowing people to feel more comfortable and settle in to sleep. If you have struggled with insomnia and are looking for other treatment possibilities, chiropractic is worth trying!

Stress

Let’s face it, everybody experiences stress to some degree. Whether it be family, work, finances, relationships, or something else at the root of that stress, the bottom line is it affects people in an adverse way. This is especially prevalent when it comes to sleep, as stress is a major disruptor of a healthy, good night’s sleep. Stress causes the release of cortisol, which is a hormone that can disrupt sleep. It also affects the quality of your sleep, meaning you are not as rested the following day. And what can not feeling rested the next day cause a person to feel? Stressed! As such, it can be a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and stress that for some can spiral out of control. Working to address the causes of stress in your life is a key way to improve your sleep on your own.

Lower Back Pain

For many people, their lack of quality sleep is simply attributed to being in too much pain to get comfortable enough to sleep. This is a sad reality because the body needs sleep to heal properly and pain is a barrier that keeps them from sleeping well and being able to heal and recover. Lower back pain is the most common musculoskeletal problem, affecting over 80% of Americans at some point in their lives. Lower back pain is commonly caused by things such as subluxation (misalignment), disc herniations, or arthritis. Treating the cause of these pains can not only have a great impact on someone’s quality of life, but it can also significantly affect the quality of their sleep as well.

Headaches and Migraines

Similar to lower back pain, headaches and migraines are another type of pain that prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep. Chronic headaches affect millions of people every year, and many people rely on going to sleep to help get rid of the headache or migraine. Unfortunately, many others aren’t able to get comfortable enough to sleep and it has a devastating effect on their quality of life. Lack of sleep itself can cause headaches, and if someone already has headaches during the day, then it becomes a never-ending cycle of pain and discomfort. Breaking this cycle is essential for these people to get their lives back. Chiropractic is a wonderful way to fix the cause of headaches and get back to feeling like yourself again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chiropractic in Springfield, IL help with sleep?

Yes, especially if your sleep issues are due to pain from things such as lower back pain, neck pain, or headaches. Chiropractors are experts at helping people with these issues, and many who get relief from these problems tend to sleep better as a result as well. If you haven’t tried chiropractic yet, you are missing out on numerous health and wellness benefits.

Can being out of alignment cause insomnia?

Being out of alignment has the potential to cause pain, and pain is one of the most common causes of insomnia. Addressing the root cause of the pain could end up helping you sleep better and more restfully. Chiropractic is the only way to restore proper alignment of the spine.

What is the best sleeping position?

The best and most ideal position to sleep in is on your back, as it allows your spine to stay as neutral as possible. If this is not possible for you, the next best position would be on your side, as this also keeps the spine in a relatively neutral position. It is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach as the spine cannot stay neutral due to the head having to be turned one way or the other.

What is the worst way to sleep?

Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position to sleep in because it does not allow your spine to be neutral. Your head has to be turned either to the left or right in order to breathe while you sleep. This puts a lot of stress and tension on the muscles of the neck and shoulders, and can often create more problems as a result.

Why is sleep important?

You spend ⅓ of your life sleeping, it is arguably one of the most important things that human beings do. It is when our bodies heal and our cells and tissues regenerate. It is when we grow and develop as young kids and adolescents, and it is how we renew our energy for the coming day. Human beings cannot survive without sleep!