If you can't seem to get a good night's sleep, there's some good news. Booking a visit with a chiropractor won’t just soothe your achy back—it may also improve the quality of your shuteye. While chiropractors generally aren’t thought of as being experts on sleep issues, one-third of people who have a chiropractic adjustment report that they experience immediate sleep improvement.
Is this treatment right for you? If it’s pain that’s keeping you awake—whether it's back pain, neck pain or headaches—then maybe. Chiropractic care helps alleviate discomfort and improve relaxation and blood flow. So if a lower backache is what's causing you to toss and turn, then it may be worth a visit. But if it’s, say, anxiety that’s keeping you up, then you’re better off finding a different type of specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Not only can a chiropractor diagnose and treat spinal problems to relieve discomfort, but he or she can also offer suggestions for getting better sleep. Your chiropractor may tell you which particular sleep position is best for you (most chiropractors discourage snoozing on your stomach) and whether a chiropractic pillow or a more supportive mattress might be the key to ending your restless nights.
And adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Forty percent of infants experience deeper slumbers after just one session with a chiropractor—a fact that every parent will love, considering that about one out of four babies has sleep troubles. And it’s likely that once your tot is sleeping well, you’ll get a better night’s sleep, too.
Intrigued? Luckily, chiropractic visits are covered by most health insurance plans, so there’s no harm in finding out whether the treatment works for you—especially if you’re someone who prefers natural treatments to medication. Your physician may be able to refer you to a chiropractor who is properly trained and licensed.
Just check with your general practitioner first to make sure that it's safe. Certain people, including those who are experiencing numbness or tingling, those with cancer, those with a slipped or herniated disk, and those at high risk for stroke, might want to avoid the chiropractor.