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Insomnia: Some Tips from the Chiropractor 

 November 9, 2010

By  Dr. John Vilkelis

 

I have recently seen statistics that say approximately 60% of American Adults suffer from insomnia or some other sleep disorder at some time in their lives.  Sleep disorders can have a significant impact on your health and can contribute to many health disorders including diabetes, high blood pressure, memory problems, weight gain, headaches, impotence and an impaired immune system.  Sleep is a necessity for the proper function of your nervous system as well.  If you are not getting enough sleep eventually your systems will begin to breakdown and fail.

When considering insomnia we need to look at the whole body system to determine the cause of the sleep disorder.  Blood glucose levels should be checked, oxygen delivery to the brain, hyperactivity of the brain, etc.  Sleep as a process in very complex and no one area of the nervous system controls it.

Now everyone that reads my posts knows that I want people to be healthy and happy and that can’t be achieved without the proper sleep.  To that end I have put together a few tips to help people sleep and stay asleep.

First, your sleep environment needs to be dark and quiet.

When you go to bed are you relaxed? Do you have a routine to help you relax and go to sleep?  Going to sleep at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning will help you develop good sleep habits and condition your body to be asleep between those hours.

Some dietary changes may be in order as well.  You may need to avoid caffeine after 5pm.  No eating at all 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

Avoid violent or distressing television programs before bed.  Never under any circumstances should you watch television in bed.  As you get drowsy and fall asleep your subconscious starts to open up and is very susceptible to suggestion.

If your mind is racing or thinking about your busy day, you need to stop that because that may be a large contributing factor to your insomnia.  Relaxation exercises a great way to counteract this problem.  Try talking yourself to sleep by stating out loud each body part is warm and heavy 3 times with a deep breath between body parts and repeat this until you fall asleep.  Many people can do this without speaking but speaking will add just a little more focus and distract your mind from whatever is racing through it.

Biofeedback may help to alleviate your insomnia as well as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Herbal remedies such as valerian root, chamomile and hops can be helpful as well as another supplement called melatonin.

Regular exercise will help you sleep better because it will improve your circulation and alleviate some effects of stress.

Chiropractic may help to regulate your nervous system to alleviate your insomnia.  The Journal of the American Chiropractic Association states, “Many patients do not tell their doctors that they suffer from sleep disorders, but it is very common for patients to advise their chiropractors that they sleep much better after being treated for a variety of conditions not usually associated with sleep deprivation. Chiropractic treatment in general is a good alternative for those individuals who do not feel rested and who do not wish to take prescription drugs to assist them in obtaining quality sleep.”

We would all like to avoid taking medication for any disorders if possible and I would recommend using them for insomnia as a last resort.

I hope this was helpful.  Please let me know what you think of this post.  I would love to share your experience.

Dr. John Vilkelis


Dr. Vilkelis has been in private practice for over 27 years. He has a reputation for truly caring for his patients and goes the extra mile to make sure people get the help they need. He accepts patients of all ages and is eager to help you get well and stay healthy. Give him a call today at (914) 618-4330.

Dr. John G. Vilkelis

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  1. Great information! Thank you- The melatonin is fantastic and natural. It works well alongside your recommendation of herbal remedies. I take it with “sleepytime” herbal tea and fell right to sleep! This with no morning drowsiness.

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