The majority people understand the value of sleep in general, and in particular how it can contribute to good health and development in children. As a chiropractor who treats children, a popular topic I end up addressing with moms is how to improve their child’s quality of sleep. Emerging research suggests that pediatric sleep disorders contribute to attention deficit, hyperactivity, mood disturbances and memory problems.1 Ensuring your child develops a healthy sleep routine is very important and chiropractic care may help.
A pilot study published in the March 2008 issue of the scientific periodical the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP), showed that infants sleep better when under chiropractic care. The study was conducted in a chiropractic teaching clinic in Bournemouth, England by a favourite clinician and teacher of mine, Dr. Joyce Miller. In the study the parents of 117 infants who were brought in for chiropractic care were asked to fill out a questionnaire on the children’s sleep behaviours. The parents were then asked to fill out follow up questionnaires on the 1st, 4th and 7th visit to the chiropractic clinic. The researchers noted that since the care took place over a 2 week period, that factors such as aging could be ruled out. In their conclusion the researchers stated, “The pilot study into the issue of sleep problems in children showed significant improvements (by parental report) in time taken to fall asleep, number of consecutive hours of sleep and depth and quality of sleep for children during a short course of chiropractic care. “
Chiropractic care for children includes gentle manual therapy the muscles and joints in the spine. Imbalances of the spine can occur during childbirth, from tumbles or falls, or from other daily activities. If the imbalance is left untreated inflammation may occur which can irritate the nerves and add stress to the nervous system and the body’s ability to function properly. The purpose of a chiropractic adjustment is not to treat a sleep disturbance but to help restore normal functioning to the nervous system so the body can function optimally.
Many parents of children with sleep disturbances are searching for nonpharmaceutical alternatives. Chiropractic care is low risk and is it a great option for such parents and children. As a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, I would suggest checking out their website www.icpa4kids.com when looking for a chiropractor to treat your children. You can also find individual case reports which add to the body of evidence indicating that chiropractic adjustments may help children with sleep problems.
1. Gozal D, Keirandish-Gozal L. Neurocognitive and behavioral morbidity in children with sleep disorders. Curr Opin Pulm Med, 2007;13(6):505-9.)
Dr. Sarah Chajka HBkin, DC, Webster Certifiedbelieves chiropractic care is beneficial to all ages. If you have more questions about chiropractic care whether it’s for pregnancy, back pain, infants or something else, we invite you call the Health Centre of Milton to book a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chajka today.
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