When did you last have a great night of sleep?

Patients come to Rushmore Family Chiropractic typically with physical problems. “My back

hurts” or “my neck is really sore”. But it’s essential that your chiropractor also know what

non-physical symptoms are bothering you as well.

Your spine acts as the supporting mechanism of your central nervous system. What is

experienced around your spine will often reverberate throughout the body and what the

body experiences outside of the spine may permeate its way in.

Sleep is a common area of concern. Did you know that there are as many as seventy

different types of sleep disorders and 60% of Americans suffer from insomnia? Insomnia

isn’t just about not getting enough sleep (although that’s alarming enough) it can also point

to other factors and illnesses. Insomnia can also lead to accidents and injuries, so it’s

important to know when our patients are not getting the rest they need.

When you don’t sleep properly your body’s central circadian rhythms become disturbed.

This can lead to increased levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone in your body. If

those cortisol levels remain high over a prolonged period they can actually decrease the

density of your bones and even your muscle mass. This will weaken your immune system,

store excess and unnecessary fat in your abdomen and often has a significant impact upon

your thyroid. Each of these contributes to overall poor health and yes, to back pain.

There are over-the- counter supplements that you can take that will help you to sleep. The

combination of Melatonin and L-Theanine are an effective method of helping to regulate

your sleep patterns. This “reprograms” your body and brain to fall asleep at the same time

each night, to sleep more soundly through the night and to wake at the same time each

morning. We would advise against taking anything more intensive than these supplements

as prescription medication for sleep can lead to dependency and other health issues (like

heart disease and certain cancers).

Rushmore Family Chiropractic also stocks essential oils from Young Living. To help with

sleep we might recommend Lavender or other calming oils.

Chiropractic care and wellness adjustments also help you relax. It improves blood flow

along with correcting maladjustments in the spine. Those maladjustments compress the

nerves along the spinal column which interrupts the communication between the brain and

the body. This leads to stress, which decreases quality of sleep.

The other recommendations we have for those who are suffering from poor sleep would be

to limit or cut out caffeine, eat no less than three hours before bed each night, avoid

television and other electronics an hour before sleep, commit to regular exercise, cut back

on alcohol consumption, set a routine for getting to sleep and waking at the same time each

day. And invest in a very good, supportive mattress and pillow! If you need a better pillow

to rest your head each night, come see us at Rushmore Family Chiropractic!