Sleep Solutions: A Spokane Valley WA Chiropractor's Perspective
One of the most common problems people report when visiting our office as a new patient is issues with sleep in Spokane Valley WA. Sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea affect some 40 million Americans and an additional 20 million report occasional sleep problems. Sleep problems and drowsy driving result in 1/5 car accidents, medical errors increase 400% when doctors work 24-hour shifts, and some of the biggest environmental disasters such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Chernobyl reactor explosion have all been linked to lack of sleep. So, if you personally aren’t affected by sleeping issues directly, you will most likely be impacted indirectly through someone else.
Sleep is an essential part of staying healthy. There are two reasons why it is important to get an adequate amount of sleep. One, sleep enables the brain to reorganize neural networks and clean up metabolic byproducts that have built up during the day. It is basically like your computer needs to install updates and reboot every so often to make sure it performs at top speed, your brain must do that daily to make sure all the tiny bits of information don’t get too disorganized and bog down the brain's ability to run all your bodily functions. The second reason sleep is essential is because it is the primary anabolic state of the body where it produces certain hormones that help to facilitate healing, repair, and enhance neural growth.
When people in Spokane Valley WA find they are struggling to sleep well they often just look to OTC sleep aids for some help. In fact, 41% of people with sleep problems report using at least 1 OTC sleep aid at night. This is not a good solution because sleep medications can come with some very dangerous side effects such as memory issues, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, vomiting which is why many of them carry FDA black box warnings yet they are still prescribed to people daily. Sleep medications have also been shown to increase the risk for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and all-cause mortality, which is why they should be avoided at all costs.
There are other safe, natural, and effective treatments that can help to improve sleep. Most people would not think about seeing a chiropractor to assist with sleep challenges, but the vast majority of our patients whether they knew they had a sleep problem or not report improvements in their sleep. Our chiropractors in Spokane Valley WA help to correct subluxations or misalignments in the spine that can cause pain or stress in the body impacting the ability of people to sleep properly. In addition to reducing pain and stress, spinal adjustments help to improve brain-body communication through the nervous system so all the organs, glands, and systems can function better. Your sleep cycle is largely controlled by various hormones produced in the body and interference with the nervous system can lead to imbalances in these hormones disrupting one's sleep. This is why chiropractic care along with other lifestyle factors including diet, proper routines, exercise are much better solutions to improve sleep disorders than just popping a pill every night.
How We Help With Sleep Problems In Spokane Valley WA
Comprehensive Consultation, Exam, and X-Rays:
Improving sleep begins with identifying the root cause which is why every new patient encounter at our Spokane Valley WA chiropractic office involves a comprehensive history to find out what has happened in the past such as traumas or lifestyle factors and present that may be causing the sleep issues.
Since the spine and nervous system controls everything in the body the next step in the process would be a thorough exam of the spine consisting of postural and range of motion analysis, orthopedic and neurological testing, bilateral weight testing, motion palpation, and if necessary spinal x-rays to measure the extent of the damage and or imbalances and formulate a custom care plan to help correct the spine.
Corrective Chiropractic Care:
Our office in Spokane Valley WA specializes in spinal corrective care. Only a small percentage of chiropractors have this approach and training. Commonly spinal or pelvic misalignments cause pain, stress, and other imbalances that can wake people up or prevent them from getting into a deep sleep. Our goal is to help people in Spokane Valley WA correct their spine and posture so they have less pain and stress and can sleep better through adjustments and a comprehensive exercise program performed in office as well as at home.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Program:
At River City Chiropractic we custom make a home exercise program and provide spinal homecare equipment that helps our patients get better and long-lasting results. Following a thorough exam/x-ray and report of findings our doctor at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA will create a home exercise plan that is specific to your posture, exam, and x-ray findings. With this program comes some special spinal rehab equipment to help our patients in Spokane Valley WA get better results, faster. We also have access to a database of thousands of stretches/exercises with videos that can be prescribed to our patients to help them with core stability, gait training, sleep positioning, or address any other muscle weakness or tightness concerns that may be impacting their sleep.
Wellness Education and Lab Testing:
In order for someone to get and stay well it is very important to also look at other lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, toxicity, and stress to find other contributing factors resulting in sleep disorders beyond problems with the spine. At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we regularly host educational classes on nutrition, stress, toxicity, weight loss, sleep, and many other topics to help our practice members make needed changes in those other areas. In certain cases, lab testing can be performed to investigate on a deeper level any other imbalances in hormones, or gut health that may be also causing problems with sleep and formulate a lifestyle treatment plan to help the body heal from the inside out.
Common Causes of Sleep Disorders in Spokane Valley WA
The foods you put into your body and when can greatly impact your sleep. The typical American diet tends to be high in sugar, carbs or processed foods, caffeine, and or alcohol. Regular consumption of these foods especially later in the day or after dinner will affect your digestion and the hormones that promote restful sleep. Instead, for a restful sleep, one should skip the late-night snacking, and meals later in the day/dinner should be low glycemic (low sugar/carbs) and high in healthy fats especially foods that contain tryptophan such as nuts, seeds, chicken, turkey, or lentils. Tryptophan is an amino acid that serves as a building block to produce the hormones serotonin (happy hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone).
Many people in Spokane Valley WA don’t have a consistent time they go to bed or wake up in the morning, which can affect their body’s circadian rhythm and thus their ability to get good sleep. Not only that, but the majority of Americans watch TV or spend time on their computer or phone before bed. These electronic devices emit blue light which disrupts melatonin production needed to produce sleepiness. The content people consume on these devices if watching the news or using social media can often be very negative or provocative which tends to cause feelings of stress or anxiety for people and impact their ability to sleep. So it is best to have a consistent bed and wake time each day. Avoid any electronics at least 1-2 hours before bed instead read, journal, meditate or do something that helps you unwind or destress before going to bed.
Over 80% of all doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses. Stress is at an all-time high in Spokane Valley WA and that is not good for sleep because when the body is stressed or in fight or flight mode it produces more of the hormone cortisol which is usually lowest at night when sleeping and then it increases early in the morning to help arousal. Cortisol also increases blood sugar levels, while decreasing digestion, and the immune system which is the opposite of what is needed for restful sleep. To help reduce or minimize stress make sure to exercise regularly and incorporate some destressing activities in your evening routine such as reading, journaling, pray to help you get in a better state to facilitate sound sleep.
A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebrae or hip bones of the spine which prevents normal motion and posture. These misalignments over time can irritate or damage the spinal nerves resulting in pain, numbness, and headaches amongst other problems. Back or hip pain can be a common reason why people in Spokane Valley WA can’t fall asleep or wake up at night. At River City Chiropractic, we locate subluxations of the spine or extremities that are causing the pain, and through chiropractic adjustments paired with therapeutic exercises help people correct their subluxations over time so people can sleep better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a chiropractor help with sleep?
Yes. Chiropractic care very often can help improve sleeping issues. Many people can’t fall asleep or wake up at night due to back or hip pain which often is caused by spinal misalignments known as subluxations which chiropractors help to detect and correct. The first step would be to have a thorough evaluation done to determine the cause and extent of damage to the spine, but improved sleep is one of the most commonly reported benefits of people under chiropractic care.
When should I see a chiropractor in Spokane Valley WA for sleep problems?
Right away. When your body does not get adequate sleep there are several significant health consequences that accumulate over time such as the increased risk for chronic illness, weakened immune system, decreased sex life, along with premature aging. No one wants to experience any of these problems so visit River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA to see how we can help correct the cause of your sleeping problems.
How much sleep do I need and what are some signs I need more sleep?
The average adult needs 7-8 hrs of sleep per night, teens 9-10 hrs and newborns/infants 15-18hrs of sleep per day. Some signs that you may not be getting enough sleep include high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels, brain fog, weight loss resistance, weak immune system, moody/irritability, and the constant need for caffeine or other stimulants.
How can I improve my sleep in Spokane Valley WA?
There are a lot of things you can try to improve your sleep such as adding a consistent morning/evening routine, exercising regularly, improving your diet, investing in a good bed, no electronics before bed, blackout curtains, and also regular chiropractic care.
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