I’ve noticed that most of my patients that come in, although they come in for a wide range of conditions, I always ask them about how they sleep. I would say at least 50% of my patients admit that they do not sleep well. They don’t wake up rested in the mornings, and that’s a serious problem. I mean, that’s and epidemic.
I decided to do a little research, so I went and Googled it, and Google results show 27% of people in the United States do not sleep well at all every night. 68% say they struggle with sleep at least once a week, meaning they don’t sleep well at least one night a week. That can be a serious problem because you recover from the previous day when you sleep, right? We’re constantly fighting gravity. We’re using muscles, we’re walking, standing, sitting, and our body heals when we get into stage four deep sleep.
If your body’s not getting into deep sleep, then you’re never fully recovering, you’re never fully healing, and that’s going to lessen your immune system. It’s going to definitely interfere with your mental function when you’re at work and when you’re with your family. Your concentration, obviously, is just how you function through the day.
One of the incredible side effects that we found from even people that come into our office that say they sleep well, is that they usually sleep better. The reason is because the area that we focus all of our attention on, as upper cervical chiropractors, is the very top of the neck, and that’s the brainstem area.
Well, it just so happens the sleep center, the area that controls your sleep, sits right in the heart of the brainstem. If there’s even a slight misalignment here, just a little bit, it can actually interfere with how your brain shuts down. It shuts down from front to back through the four stages of sleep. If there’s a bone out of alignment, just even slightly, it can actually interfere with that process.
Now, what does that mean? Well, it could keep you from sleeping at all. I’ve had people that have gone days, weeks, with zero sleep, or it can actually just maybe not allow you to get into stage four deep sleep. Maybe you have a real active mind, and you dream a lot. You’re asleep but you still wake up and you’re not recovered. You’re still tired when the alarm goes off.
The way your body’s designed, with seven to eight hours of sleep, you should actually wake up refreshed feeling 100%. Before even your alarm goes off, you should be waking up, and you should be energized and ready to go. If you’re not feeling that way, then believe it or not, there could be just one little misalignment at the very top of your neck that could be interfering with your whole sleeping process.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, I don’t have any neck pain. I don’t have any headaches. How could I have something out of alignment in my neck?” Well, the brainstem itself actually doesn’t have any pain perception. You could have a bone putting severe pressure on the brainstem, and it could be affecting the nerves that go to your stomach or your colon or your heart. It could cause blood pressure, poor immune function, it can affect your energy, and it can affect even how your brain works without you ever having any neck pain or headaches.
If you’re not sleeping as well as you think you should, your energy is not as good as you think it should, or your immune system is poor, and maybe you’re getting frequent colds or getting sick a lot, then there’s very likely the possibility that a misalignment at the neck, that maybe came from some trauma years ago, a slip, a fall, an accident, a sports injury, could be affecting your overall health because of that one little bone at the top of your neck.
If you’re having problems sleeping, like I just said, or your energy or your immune system is poor, or you’re just not feeling as well as you think you should, you owe it to yourself just to get it checked out.