Many parents can relate to what it’s like to have an infant with sleep problems. They’re no fun for the infant, and a disturbed sleep pattern usually means excessive crying, which can add a great amount of stress to new parents.
While most babies will sleep through the night from three months on, some infants will have difficulty falling or staying asleep for longer than a few hours at a time.
Parents are usually told not to worry and that their child will eventually grow out of it.
Sometimes, parents are taught “behavioral modification” techniques, such as “letting them cry it out”, which provide little comfort to both parent and child. These approaches are often not the best solutions.
While it is may be difficult to pinpoint the exact reason your baby is not sleeping, there is new hope for parents of babies who simply can’t settle down enough to sleep through the night.
A pilot study conducted by Drs. Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal evaluated whether routine chiropractic care could improve an infants’ sleep pattern.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, investigated 116 infants, who were under regular chiropractic care for various conditions.
According to a 2010 press release from the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance detailing the results of the study, only 10% of those infants had come to the chiropractor because of sleep disturbances — the majority of the children received chiropractic care for spinal dysfunction, and their symptoms had been excessive crying and colic.
Specific, gentle adjustments were applied to misaligned areas of the spine (called vertebral subluxations) over the course of a few visits. The results were astounding.
The release explains that after the first visit, nearly 40% of infants enjoyed a longer (and deeper) sleep. After seven visits, up to 60% of the infants had showed such improvement.
While infant sleep may be a complicated issue, it would appear that chiropractic care seems to help some children get a better night’s sleep.
Chiropractic care for children is gentle, safe and effective. If your baby is having difficulty settling down before sleep, it might be worth a trip to your family chiropractor.
Source: Pilot Study: Can Chiropractic Care Improve Infants’ Sleep? Joyce Miller, DC, DABCO, Matts Klemsdal, Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Volume 9, No 1, March 2008