Chiropractic is popularly known for spinal care and pain management in the neck, back, legs and arms, but what about enhancement of sleep quality? Concerning that, chronic and long-term sleep disorders normally affects about 1.5 million Americans every year and also accounts for an approximate amount of $16 billion in terms of medical costs every year, without even including the indirect costs due to productivity loss and other additional factors. In addition, sleep deprivation may interfere with driving, work, overall quality of life, social activities and also, to a certain degree, the cause of some serious health problems. With more than 80 well- defined sleeping disorders, the insomnia disorder (difficulty falling asleep) is seen to be the most common followed by a disorder known as sleep apnea (an interruption in breathing when sleeping), restless leg syndrome and also narcolepsy.
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According to NIH (National Institutes of Health), sleep is considered to be a “neurobiological need”. Actually, the optimum amount of sleep that is needed normally changes with age. Infants usually need 9 to 10 hours at night and 3 or more hours specifically for naps. In the case of toddlers, they need the same 9 hours at night but 2 to 3 hours or less daytime naps. Also, school age children normally do best with 9 to 11 hours and in the case of adults, it is 7 to 8 hours. Failing to establish a sleep cycle or may be when normal circadian rhythm is interrupted, long-term problems may rise. This can actually occur due to the missing of as little as 1 to 2 hours a night of sleep.
Spinal manipulation, chiropractic care, exercise training, relaxation therapy, dietary supplements, acupuncture and massage therapy are all seen to be viable options that help in the efforts of making someone fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer and also improve the overall sleep quality. Here are some important recommended lifestyle coaching tips that helps in the facilitation of sleep improvement:
1. Establishing a sleep schedule.
2. Relaxing (maybe reading a novel before bedtime).
3. Having a regular exercise routine.
4. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and also nicotine!
You have to also know that sleeping aid medications may produce side effects that may be a culprit and also make someone become too sleepy the following day. There are some herbal supplements like Valerian that are available to help give you a better quality of sleep. When taken for about 4 to 6 weeks, it can really help in improving sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. It is usually combined with other supplements like lemon balm, lavender and skullcap.
Apart from that, melatonin is also another well-known herbal supplement that helps in dealing with insomnia, especially in falling asleep faster and also decreasing any interruptions of the circadian rhythm .The L-Tryptophan amino acid normally converts to 5- HTP and followed by the Serotonin ( brain neurotransmitter) and lastly into melatonin. The other popular forms of recommended therapy include the use of sounding machines and music therapy which can specifically help children and older adults. Exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga or Qigong are considered to be a combination of both exercise and meditation. When these methods are combined with a cognitive- behavioral therapy such as stimulus control and sleep restriction, it helps in giving some improvements when it comes to sleep quality. Using the nasal dilator strips were also identified to be so helpful for people with insomnia disorder and also sleep disordered breathing.
Generally, incorporating spinal hygiene into your lifestyle with quality chiropractic care will help provide better sleep for you. Plus, your spine will love you for it.
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