Don’t Snooze and Lose
By Dr. Kailey Fargo, Chiropractor
Do you wake up from a long night’s sleep feeling unrested and agitated? Do you wake up multiple times per night for no apparent reason? Do you have a partner that tells you that you are a loud snorer? Sleep apnea could be the silent (or not so silent) cause of these issues. There are many different types and causes of sleep apnea but the main commonality is that they all involve disordered breathing during sleep. In short, the person has short and repeated episodes of breathing cessation, followed by quick gasps to regain airflow. This impacts the person’s ability to connect their sleep cycles and prevents them from getting the proper amount of REM and deep sleep. This explains why many people with sleep apnea wake feeling tired, irritated, achy or fatigued.
Physically, the cause of sleep apnea is collapse of the larynx, or back of the throat, when the muscles and nervous system relax due to low muscular tone. CPAP machines help create negative pressure in the back of the throat, preventing collapse, while oral appliances keep the jaw in place to promote proper airway function. But what about getting after the cause of the low muscle tone in the throat and jaw posture? Chiropractic care can help tremendously with both of these things. If a person has subluxations, or misalignments, in their neck, many functions in the head and neck may be disrupted due to nervous system interference. By removing the subluxations, proper nerve flow between the brain and nerves will be restored, allowing seamless communication to the mouth and surrounding tissues. Chiropractic adjustments also help to relieve tension in the neck and jaw, helping to stabilize tissues in the area and promote better breathing posture. Chiropractors may also advise on optimal sleep position for the individual, helping with proper alignment for better airflow.
If you think you or someone you know might be suffering with sleep apnea, consider exploring Chiropractic care to help optimize your body for better sleep.