According to the Sleep Health Foundation 1 in 3 people suffer from at least “mild” insomnia1. To put this into numbers more easily understood National Public Radio (NPR) states that insomnia affects 60 million people every year2. As far as Public Health crises go, this is one of them.
People falling asleep at the wheel due to lack or poor sleep increases chances of collisions. In fact the Mayo clinic went as far as to point out slowed reaction time as a causative factor3. Poor performance at one’s job can also be due to insomnia.
The weather being darker longer in the winter and especially in the more northern states such as Washington find it harder to feel fully awake. Most likely, especially true for us Washingtonians, we will lean towards drinking coffee in the morning and some of us throughout the day. This will also increase your chances of having insomnia3. We all know people suffer from it.
There’s the “tossing and turning” or the “get to sleep but can’t stay asleep. The “can’t get to sleep at all watching the home shopping channel and debating if getting a set of knives that also double as tupperware” is the worst and it seems most of us have been there at least once. The tossing and turning and unable to sleep usually stems from other things going on.
First, many people are actually in lots of pain and this disrupts their sleep. Laying on their back, side or stomach may cause their shoulders, back or neck to hurt. They may also be suffering from pain either in their shoulder, back or neck and sleeping in their regular position may inflame or make the pain worse4.
Difficulty breathing such as sleep apnea and snoring can also cause one to wake up multiple times a night5. Snoring can also affect not only the one snoring but also the person sleeping in the same room as those snoring. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea speaking with your medical doctor or naturopath about what options you have and getting a sleep study and perhaps even a sleep apnea machine can help. Sleep apnea is almost always found in the obese so weight management via good diet and regular exercise is key.
Emotional stresses from everyday issues such as relationships, jobs and children can all start to come back to haunt you during the night and keep you awake. Meditation practices, deep breathing and exercise can help one cope with some of these. Exercising not before bed but in the morning or afternoon can help assuage some of these fears and anxieties you may encounter during the night. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Checking your medications to see if they may contribute to insomnia” is also important3.
Trying to keep a bedtime habit or routine can help with this as well3. Watching television only early in the evening and then staying away from phones, tablets and computers as the night goes on is important. Blue light which comes from all of these screens can tell your brain that it is day light out still when instead it should be preparing for bed. Orange light or even yellow tinted glasses can help with this. They not only decrease the glare on these computer screens but also help your eyes and brain begin to change to more of an evening setting and preparing for sleep.
As for pain, ice and or heat may help, however it is not getting to the root of the problem. The reason for the pain could be any number of things. Stemming from a car collision or a fall or a repetitive motion done at your work or your house.
An important option would be to get it checked out. As Structural Chiropractors, at Foundation Chiropractic we evaluate and see what could be the underlying problem causing your neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches, lower back pain, etc. We do this by taking a thorough history, x-rays and may perform other detailed testing to determine the potential presence of a Foundational Shift in the spine. After careful and detailed analysis we will be able to determine the primary condition (Foundational Shift) that’s causing the secondary condition (pain).
It is like looking at a house. If the foundation of the house ifs slightly off, even by a half inch, that will be enough to cause the windows to not shut properly over time or the door hinges to creak which one could fix using some WD-40 ® or you could get to the root of the problem and fix the foundation. Here at Foundation Chiropractic, as Structural Chiropractors, we look at the foundation of the body to see if anything is misaligned which could be causing issues elsewhere.
If there are structural shifts and misalignments in the spine they could be the cause or contributing to issues occurring such as pain, discomfort, headaches and neck pain. Getting the misaligned vertebrae adjusted back into place can help relieve the inflammation being put on various areas of the body and decrease pain. If pain is a contributing factor to not being able to sleep through the night then getting to its source and correcting it will help you to get a better night’s sleep
- http://sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/Insomnia.pdf Opens in new window
- https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90638364 Opens in new window
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167 Opens in new window
- https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/12/managing-insomnia-for-those-with-chronic-pain/ Opens in new window
- http://www.neurokc.com/general-article/insomnia-may-be-more-of-a-breathing-disorder-than-previously-thought/ Opens in new window