Let’s talk about sleep. There’s a good chance you’re thinking about sleep right now because so few of us get enough of it. Estimates show that about 40% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night. Doctor recommendations have changed a bit over the years. Most of us think of eight as the ideal healthy number of hours to sleep every night. That is still true, although the range has widened to seven-nine depending on age. What most doctors agree on, however, is that anything below seven is not enough for your health and cognitive function. Yet, close to half of us don’t even hit the minimum amount. Why is this?
Many would say they’re just too busy to get that kind of sleep. Between work, other responsibilities, kids, etc. it’s just impossible to get eight hours. But, what if stress is manifesting as insomnia?
Insomnia is a complicated condition because it can have many different causes. Some could be underlying medical issues, others could be related to your mental state. What you may not realize is that your chiropractor can actually help you manage your insomnia. Now, it’s understandable if your chiropractor isn’t the first medical professional you think of when it comes to treating insomnia. However, your chiropractor can treat your insomnia holistically through a variety of methods. By naturally combatting insomnia, you can get more satisfying sleep. Here is what you need to know about insomnia and how your chiropractor can help.
What is insomnia?
It’s important to recognize the difference between insomnia and the occasional difficulty falling asleep we all experience during times of anxiousness. At one point or another, we’ll have a night where we can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. If you have a job interview the next day or you’re waiting to hear back about some test results, it’s understandable that you’d have trouble sleeping. Insomnia is more chronic in nature.
Typically, it’s diagnosed through self-reporting. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for three or more nights a week for over three months, you’re suffering from insomnia. It’s believed roughly a third of the population suffers from insomnia in some capacity. Interestingly, those numbers diminish as we age. Young adults up to age 29 seem to have the most reported levels of insomnia. Those over 50 report less.
What typically causes it?
Insomnia is difficult to diagnose because it’s often a process of elimination. The first thing that needs to be addressed is if there is a medical condition of some kind that is causing it. For example, most likely the first thing that will be evaluated is whether or not you have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause disrupted sleep and persistent feelings of being tired. Hormonal imbalances may also be looked for.
Barring any medical causes, the root is most likely lifestyle related in some way. Figuring out what exactly is triggering it will be the key. If you’re feeling tired all the time, toss and turn all night, and constantly feel like you need a nap during the day, it’s time to seek professional help.
How can your chiropractor help?
Insomnia that is not related to a medical condition is often tied to stress. Now your concern is one of relaxation. But, this can be difficult. Often, what bothers us remains in our subconscious. Your chiropractor can address the physical symptoms of stress in the body and use holistic techniques to relax you for more restful sleep. For example, if your insomnia is tied to any kind of pain or discomfort, a gentle adjustment may improve it. Additionally, techniques like massage therapy and acupuncture can also provide you with the relaxation you need so you can get more easily get to sleep. Acupuncture in particular can greatly help conditions that are rooted in the mind.
What can you do at home to fight insomnia?
You shouldn’t rely on treatment alone when dealing with insomnia. You have to help yourself at home as well. Being sure to not eat heavily or drink a lot before bed will help. Make sure you aren’t doing work in your bedroom late at night. Your bedroom should be set up as a place of relaxation, free of distractions. You may even want to adjust your exercise schedule depending on how your body responds to it.
Insomnia is a serious problem despite its prevalence. While many people may not get the recommended amount of sleep, it’s important to understand that consistently getting less than seven hours is detrimental to your health. If it’s been awhile since you’ve got a full night’s sleep, you may not even remember what “normal” feels like. Contact us today to schedule an appointment about your insomnia. The team at Oak Brook Medical Group will help you treat your insomnia through a variety of holistic methods so you can feel well rested again. It could give you a whole new lease on life.