Raise your hand if you can’t sleep.
It is estimated that some 50 to 70 million Americans—approximately 1 in 3 adults—aren’t catching those necessary Zs. And unfortunately, there is no overstating the importance of sleep: Chronic lack of sleep is scientifically proven to increase inflammation in the brain and halt the regeneration of cells that happens while our bodies and brains are at rest. Continued insomnia puts us at risk for disease and shortens our life expectancy.
So why can’t we sleep? Well, stress is a big factor, so are computer screens, over work, and poor posture, all of which cause inflammation and ramp up the autonomic nervous system, which is reserved for flight-or-fight scenarios. When the ANS is consistently activated for long periods of time, the system cannot regulate, and thus throws many of our body’s systems out of whack. Think about this: If your brain and body are always on high alert—Run! There’s a tiger coming!—you’re hardly prepared to get some peaceful shut-eye.
Chiropractic adjustments—along with some simple lifestyle modifications (no digital devices before bed!)—can greatly improve sleep. This happens by sending impulses into the deep centers of the brain where the circadian rhythms for sleep and wakefulness are regulated. Chiropractic care removes the always-on inflammatory cascade that inhibits normal nerve communication in the brain and allows our bodies to restore their natural rhythms. Nighty-night!