There are more than 3 million cases of insomnia yearly in the U.S. alone and likely just as many that are unreported or untreated. Most people have experienced sleeplessness at one time or another for many different reasons; however, we differentiate insomnia as the persistent inability to sleep.
You are likely well aware of the importance of sleep in maintaining physical and mental health. But what happens when you can't sleep? It can be the start of a downward trend in your health and vitality. In people who experience difficulty sleeping we see a higher incidence of chronic conditions. About 40% of those suffering from insomnia are also diagnosed with a psychological disorder.
So, what is the cause of your inability to sleep and how is it best treated? Traditional treatments include different forms of therapy, medications, and devices designed to aid healthy sleep. If you have not previously tried these methods, you would need to consult your medical provider to explore these avenues.
I want to take the time to really focus on some healthy suggestions that might help you achieve more and better sleep naturally. These are not major secrets but you may be surprised how often people overlook these factors in achieving better sleep. The big idea behind these suggestions is that you need to make an investment in better sleep by making small changes that will promote a healthier lifestyle.
If you have tried these suggestions, let's take a second to consider the part of the body that controls the sleep and wake cycles. It's called the brainstem or the medulla oblongata to be precise. Some of you may remember the medulla oblongata from science class or from the Adam Sandler movie The Waterboy. According to the professor, the medulla oblongata was "what makes alligators ornery" instead of Bobby Boucher's answer that alligators were ornery because they had "all them teeth and no toothbrush." Anyway, your brainstem is all about your ability to sleep and much more as well.
Gottesmann (1) produced a paper that discussed the role of the brainstem/medulla as it pertains to sleep and being awake. Briefly, he concluded that the medulla oblongata affects both the quantity and quality of sleep. He also goes on to say that not only does the medulla induce sleep but that its functional ability is affected by sleep deprivation. This is particularly meaningful when you consider how much the medulla and brainstem is in charge of: mediating all neurological signals between the brain/body, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and more. Basically, the brainstem is critical to maintaining life.
Anatomically the medulla oblongata is located where the head and neck meet. It descends from a large hole in the bottom of the skull known as foramen magnum and further descends through the atlas (C1) and axis (C2) vertebrae at the upper cervical region of the spine. Here we have a weak point in the body that can adversely affect the function of the brainstem. Atlas and axis are shaped vastly different than the other bones in the spine which gives them a wider range of motion than the rest of the spine and the ability to turn your head to either side. There is also no disc between these bones but rather two moving capsules between the skull/atlas and two moving capsules between atlas/axis. It is for these reasons that slight misalignment or subluxation can occur and introduce abnormal stress on the brainstem. Does it stand to reason that stress on your medulla could interfere with your ability to achieve good sleep and even with your body's ability to function normally?
Upper cervical care is about correcting the subluxation that is causing stress on the brainstem. Many people with sleep troubles and other conditions related to the brainstem have received great benefit from upper cervical care including the ability to sleep normally. Upper cervical procedures are safe, non-invasive solutions to promote an individual's greatest health potential. Analysis of the problem-causing subluxation is done through neurological testing and x-ray study. During the care period, an adjustment or series of adjustments are administered to the upper neck to realign the upper cervical spine and free the brainstem from insult. Adjustment procedures do not involve twisting the neck forcefully or manipulating any other region of the spine.
The first step to initiating the care process is by scheduling a consultation with the doctor. The consultation does not cost anything but is a valuable meeting to determine if you qualify for care and if you are a good fit for this office. If you struggle with insomnia as many do and have tried other treatments without success, upper cervical care has helped people just like you. Call now to schedule your consultation or to find a provider in your area: (843) 399-0182.
The medulla oblongata of the brainstem as it descends through the foramen magnum of the skull.
The atlas (C1) vertebra as it relates to the skull and surrounds the medulla oblongata. Subluxation at this region is common and is a detriment to normal brainstem and bodily function.
We are taking the following precautionary measures in our office to ensure our office is an Oasis of Health:
We are open our normal business hours
No more Patient Clip Boards or Signing-In for the next few weeks to minimize cross-contamination (ie people touching less stuff in our office)
Chiropractic Tables Are Cleaned Between Each Patient
Children's toys have been removed from family room
Bathrooms are cleaned 2x/day
Surfaces in the office that are commonly touched areas are cleaned multiple times per hour (door handles, chairs, sink knobs, etc)
Patients that are sick are requested to stay home
Patients who are well are encouraged to make their appointments... chiropractic adjustments decrease stress on your body and increase immune system function
Staff that is Sick will not be allowed in the office