Hey parents, we want to talk about sleep today… or should we say lack of sleep. Let’s discuss the importance of sleep for you and your child’s health and well-being. Sleep is crucial for the immune, digestive, and cognitive systems. It impacts your kids social-emotional maturation and development. It is alarming to know that almost 50% of us have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Not enough people are talking about this!
Lack of sleep causes irritability, difficulty focusing, and decreased energy levels. These challenges are even more severe for children as their brain is still developing and learning to regulate emotions, focus, and behavior.
During sleep, the brain repairs, recharges, and prepares for the next day. It’s essential for brain development and learning. Unfortunately, it’s common to see parents and children struggling with exhaustion. Leading to unhealthy habits like excessive caffeine consumption in adults and behavior struggles in kids.
As neurologically-focused chiropractors, we prioritize improving the sleep quality of our patients. We must address sleep as a primary concern. That’s why the popular tagline, “America runs on Dunkin,” is concerning. It’s exposing a significant problem with our culture’s addiction to caffeine because we aren’t getting enough sleep!
So what we want to do is help you get to the root cause of your family’s sleep challenges. This information is relevant to families with infants, little ones, grade schoolers, teenagers. Even for you, mom and dad, if your sleep is not great either. If you have tried everything from magnesium, melatonin, essential oils, diffusers, probiotics, every white noise machine, and blackout curtains, and are still not able to get your child to sleep. We think that this one thing we’re about to dive into is the missing link.
Whether we are working with brand new little babies or older kiddos, the very first thing we work on is sleep. We focus on the root cause rather than just treating symptoms. Our obsession is to help your child get a good night’s sleep and, in turn, help them improve their motor planning, speech, behavior, and emotional well-being.
Lean in with me because we want to explain what may be causing your sleep challenges. And what we can do to help. This may get a bit deep into neurology, but we will keep it simple. Falling asleep and staying asleep both come from the same problem – an overactive, overstressed, overstimulated sympathetic fight or flight nervous system. During the day, it’s normal for our bodies to be on the gas pedal. With the nervous system being a little bit more fight or flighty as we go through our daily activities.
However, as nighttime approaches, our body’s central and autonomic nervous system senses our circadian rhythms, and starts to activate what’s called the parasympathetic system. This is nicknamed the rest, sleep, and digestion side of the nervous system. It’s the opposite of the fight or flight system. The parasympathetic nervous system helps us wind down and prepare for restful sleep.
Unfortunately, when children experience early life stressors such as birth interventions like forceps, vacuum extraction, C-sections, or induction, they may experience physical trauma to the nerves and muscles in the brainstem and upper cervical spine. This area of the body houses and protects a very important nerve called the vagus nerve, which is in charge of rest and digest functions.
The vagus nerve branches from the brainstem area, makes its way through the neck and into the thorax, and helps calm our heart rate and respiration, as well as activate digestion. It also goes into our social, emotional, and cognitive functions, slowing the brain down when it’s activated. If the vagus nerve is not functioning properly, you may struggle to shut your brain and body down, causing restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
This is a sign of vagus nerve dysfunction, also known as subluxation. This is simply our chiropractic term for stress stuck on the brake pedal with the vagus nerve shut down. We frequently see this in children who have suffered physical trauma to the upper neck at birth or in accidents. As well as anyone at any age that experiences constant pressure and tension on their neck and shoulders. Due to activities such as looking down at their phone or working on a computer for extended periods of time.
This issue, commonly referred to as “tech neck,” is a major contributing factor to why the nervous system may become stuck on sympathetic fight or flight overdrive. Preventing the brake pedal (parasympathetic nervous system) from functioning properly.
As chiropractors focused on neurological care, we prioritize the consultation and case history to understand your challenges better. From colic to sleep issues to sensory and behavioral challenges, we recognize that these issues often stem from an overactive sympathetic fight or flight system and a vagus nerve brake pedal shutdown.
These issues can lead to cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and brain-based challenges.
At the core of our care is our unique approach to adjustments. We like to call them neuro-tonal adjustments. They activate the vagus nerve and the rest and digest system. Our goal in the first week, month, and 100 days of chronic issues is to activate the vagus nerve and restore basic building blocks of health, like sleep.
Our approach to care has led to regular and common improvements in sleep and overall health, as reported by 65% of our patients within the first month. Improvements in sleep lead to improved mood, cognition, gut health, and more. This is especially true for older children with neurological challenges.
We recognize that healing happens in the order in which we get sick. Issues with sleep, digestion, and immunity are all under the control of the nervous system and the vagus nerve. By addressing the sympathetic fight or flight subluxation and reducing stress and noise, we can restore the function of the vagus nerve and the rest and digest system.
If you’ve tried other approaches without success, we believe that neurologically focused chiropractic care may be the missing link for your health. We invite you to learn more about our approach and how it can benefit your child’s health.
Our INSiGHT neurological testing can measure the amount of stress on your or your child’s nervous system, and determine if the vagus nerve is dysfunctional or shut down. This will give you the answers you need to help you get the restful sleep you need.
Neurologically-Focused Chiropractic Care is the best solution for sleep challenges. More effective than other natural remedies like magnesium or melatonin. If you’ve tried everything and are still struggling with sleep issues, we encourage you to reach out to our office today.
Getting your child the sleep they need is essential for their overall health and well-being. Once your child is sleeping well, the whole family will benefit from better sleep and improved mood. Please share this information with other families who may be struggling with sleep challenges. We are here to provide hope, answers, and drug-free help.