Having trouble sleeping? It might be something more than just having too many things on your mind or too many cups of coffee. It might be something much deeper, and something that can be fixed by the hands of a chiropractor!
Hello everybody! Dr. Bob Salamon here! Today we are going to talk about sleep issues and how chiropractic care can help you sleep better at night. To do that we need to talk about the two most important hormones affecting our sleep patterns. One is cortisol and the other is melatonin.
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands, which sit on the kidneys. The adrenals produce more cortisol in the morning, when your body senses daylight. The cortisol increases your blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels, and prepares your body for the activities of the day. The adrenal glands produce cortisol to help wake you up and feel refreshed in the morning. As the day goes on your cortisol levels begin to drop, and an increase of the second important hormone begins. That hormone is melatonin.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. As the day comes to an end and your cortisol levels drop, your hypothalamus in the brain sends a message to the pineal gland to produce more melatonin. This will make you drowsy and will eventually put you to sleep. So as the day progresses, cortisol levels decrease and melatonin levels go up. In the morning, the opposite occurs.
What does this all mean? First of all, you want to make sure you have the right production of cortisol and melatonin at the right times. Believe it or not, what regulates brain function and what regulates the cortisol and melatonin production are nerves that come out of your spine. If these nerves are not working properly, then you may have a situation where not enough melatonin is being produced at night and you have trouble falling asleep. You also might have an issue of not producing enough cortisol in the morning and you have trouble waking up.
How does a nerve stop working properly? It's pretty simple! It's called a subluxation. A subluxation is when a spinal bone misaligns and irritates or pinches a nerve that exits an opening between one vertebra and another.. When this happens, the messages between the brain and the body and the glands are not transmitting as they should. So, in this case, these two glands (the pineal and adrenal) may not produce melatonin and cortisol in the proper amounts and at the proper times.
Chiropractic care is designed to realign the spine, correct the subluxation and allow the nerves that connect the brain and body and deliver messages back and forth to one another to function properly.. When the brain and the body are connected, good things happen! In this case, hormones get produced in the right amounts at the right times, allowing you to sleep better and wake up more refreshed in the morning!
If anybody is out there is suffering from insomnia or having any other sleeping issues, give us a call or look us up. We'd love to talk to you about it. I've personally had lots of patients who come in after their first adjustment and say, "I haven't slept like that in years!". I hope this blog helped explain the physiology behind sleep issues and how chiropractic can help these issues, and I look forward to seeing you in the office!
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