Can chiropractic help my sleep apnea?
Sleep disorders are a significant problem for many Americans. A lack of sleep can have an effect on your mental wellbeing and your overall health, so it is important to get sleep issues addressed as soon as possible.
Sleep apnea happens to be one of the most common sleep disorders, and it can often be a difficult issue to resolve. For those suffering from sleep apnea, regular treatment from a chiropractor can be one of the best solutions.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that involves pauses to breathing during sleep. Patients with sleep apnea can be diagnosed with central, complex or obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea results from the airway failing to stay open as the individual sleeps. With central sleep apnea, the brain is not properly sending the signal to breath. Complex sleep apnea is when a person has a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Several symptoms can help to indicate whether a person is experiencing sleep apnea. The following are a few of the most common symptoms associated with this sleep disorder:
- Chronic snoring
- Episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Dry mouth in the morning
- Gasping during sleep
- Restless sleep and insomnia
- Daytime drowsiness
- Irritability during the day
- Trouble focusing during the day
Along with there being several symptoms associated with sleep apnea, there are also a number of risk factors. For sleep apnea in general, increased risk is associated with a family history of sleep apnea, age and being male. For obstructive sleep apnea, additional risk factors include being overweight, neck circumference, smoking and nasal congestion.
Beyond having an impact on a person’s ability to sleep, sleep apnea can have several negative consequences. Sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, liver problems and metabolic syndrome.
How Chiropractic Care can Help
For cases of obstructive sleep apnea, one of the most common treatment options is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device. While these devices can help to keep the airway open as the person sleeps, they can be uncomfortable to wear during sleep.
For some patients, chiropractic care could provide a solution that does not require surgery or wearing a device to sleep every night. With treatment from a chiropractor, spinal adjustments will play an important role in addressing sleep apnea.
When the spine is misaligned, it can be difficult to get comfortable for sleep. By restoring the correct alignment to the spine, the patient will be able to sleep better and this should help to relieve some of the symptoms of sleep apnea. Furthermore, spinal adjustments can also help to promote a healthier nervous system, and this is another element to treating sleep apnea with chiropractic care.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, your chiropractor will be able to address your sleep apnea in other ways. They might recommend changes to your diet and lifestyle that could help to reduce or eliminate the symptoms. A chiropractor may also recommend exercise as a way to treat sleep apnea. Your chiropractor may also be able to provide advice for getting better sleep and recommend changes to your sleeping routine that may be able to help with addressing your sleep apnea.