What is a sleep disorder?
A sleep disorder is a change in conditions that affect your sleeping habits and negatively affect your health. Sleeping less than seven hours a night is even considered a sleeping disorder. The problem of too little sleep and other sleeping disorders is widespread. 27% of people in a Consumer Report survey said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. An estimated 164 million Americans struggled with sleep at least once a week.
Common Examples of Sleeping Disorders
Some common examples of sleeping disorders are restless leg syndrome, jet lag, and insomnia. Restless leg syndrome is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, mostly when sitting or laying down, which is a significant issue when you’re trying to sleep if your legs suddenly feel like they need to go for a walk. Most of us are familiar with jet lag or have at least heard of it.
Jet lag affects our circadian rhythm, which is the internal clock that tells us to stay awake or go to bed. When we travel through multiple time zones, our circadian rhythms get thrown off. Insomnia, simply put, is the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Insomnia has many possible causes including stress, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep habits.
At first glance, it’s easy to say sleeping seven hours or less per night doesn’t seem like a very big deal. The reality is, it is very serious. According to the CDC, sleeping less than seven hours per night can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, arthritis, depression, and diabetes.
Other common conditions associated with sleep problems include heartburn, lowered immunity, musculoskeletal issues, kidney disease, mental health problems, neurological disorders, respiratory problems, and thyroid disease.
What Causes Sleeping Issues?
There are several factors that can cause sleeping issues. Busy lifestyle, poor nutrition, screen time, a snoring partner, chronic pain, chronic illness, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety all impact our sleep hygiene. Some of these have easy fixes and some of these are a little more complicated.
In Colorado alone, it is estimated that 30% of adults experience a short sleep duration. The CDC also states that 38% of adults between the ages of 25-54 experience this the most. Unfortunately, that means all of the busy working professionals are the most at risk.
How Regular Chiropractic Adjustments and Massage can Help Sleep Disorders
Regular massage and chiropractic sessions have been found to improve sleep quality. These natural therapies trigger the release of serotonin, drug-free. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps you feel calm, fall asleep and stay asleep. Studies have shown higher levels of serotonin in adults increase melatonin and help to reset the circadian rhythm. Chiropractic and massage have been found to benefit children’s and adolescent’s sleep habits as well.
Massage and chiropractic also address major physical disturbances. Chronic pain, poor posture, headaches, and injuries can all be treated successfully by these therapies. A few ways they help is by reducing inflammation and blood pressure by promoting healthier circulation. Decreased muscle tension and improved joint range of motion allow the body to be more comfortable in more positions, including laying down.
The more comfortable our bodies can be in bed, the better our sleep quality will naturally be. This is very important to not only athletes but anyone that spends long hours doing repetitive movements, like an office worker sitting at a desk. When we sleep, the body recovers and heals.
Perhaps one of the best ways chiropractic and massage help with sleep disorders is the stress relief they provide. Massage and chiropractic naturally reduce depression and anxiety by removing stress from the body. Keeping the nervous system calm and at the peak, function helps combat insomnia, jet lag, and restless legs.
Tips to improve your sleep:
- Cut down on the screen time before bed. Blue light emitted by our phones and other devices stimulates the brain.
- Keep your bedroom calm. Too much clutter, TVs, bright lights and noises can be over stimulating.
- Cut back on late-night sugar and caffeine. Loading up on sugar or caffeine in the evening does the opposite of what we want before bed.
- Stop drinking beverages an hour before bed. It’s easier to stay asleep if you don’t have to make the middle of the night trips to the bathroom.