A pilot study conducted by Drs. Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal evaluated whether routine chiropractic care in infants had also improved the patients’ sleep pattern.
Sleep problems plague about 25 percent of all infants; they are measured by the time it takes the child to settle down, the amount of consecutive sleep hours the child accumulates and the quality of sleep. All this can add a great amount of stress to new parents. In many cases, a disturbed sleep pattern is usually also accompanied by an infant’s excessive crying.
In a study pubished this year in the Journal of Clincal Chiropractic Pediatrics, 116 infants, who were in chiropractic care for various health challenges, were rated on their sleep behavior during the course of their care. Of the infants, only 10 percent had initially come to the chiropractor because of dysomnia or sleep disturbances, while the majority of the children received chiropactic care for excessive crying.
The parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on their child’s sleep pattern after the 1st, 4th and 7th visit to the chiropractor on the amount of hours the child slept, the quality of sleep and the time it took for the child to fall asleep. The data was analyzed and showed a significant improvement in the children’s sleep pattern after the adjustments.
After the first visit, almost 40 percent of infants slept deeper. That percentage jumped to more than 60 percent after the 7th visit. The percentage of children who had difficlulty falling asleep fell from more than 65 percent after the first visit to just over 22 percent after the 7th visit. Most children had received adjustments to the upper cervical spine.
This is an important finding and warrants more scientific and clinical research. Chiropractic care seems not only to help children get a better night’s sleep, it also reduces the stress on parents. And stress, as we all know has its own health challenges.