Sleep disturbances from an osteopathic perspective

Sleep disturbances from an osteopathic perspective

In today’s society, many people find themselves suffering with some type of sleep disorder or disturbance. Difficulty getting to sleep, waking up frequently, or having poor quality rest are all signs of affected sleep. The cause is often multifactorial, but can be contributed by factors such as stress, anxiety and pain.

From an osteopathic perspective, taking an individualistic and holistic approach is essential. Pain is often a cause for poor sleep, and may trigger a cascade of stress responses which further exacerbate the original problem. Addressing the root cause, and reducing pain can help restore balance to the body and promote better sleep. In addition to this, high levels of stress can alter cortisol levels, the well known stress hormone, which may further add to poor sleep. Whilst stress is essential for daily function, it can be detrimental to the body when exposed for prolonged periods of time. Treating the nervous system, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, can help the body to normalise these responses to healthier levels, and therefore aid in better sleep. 

The musculoskeletal, nervous and even visceral systems are often areas that an osteopath will assess and treat. This can be done through both structural and cranial work, and then supported with supplementary advice to utilise at home. Mindfulness, mediation and exercise can all be beneficial in restoring sleep, and will be recommended appropriately by your osteopath. 

Providing your body with the tools to function as well as possible is important during stressful and difficult times. Do not hesitate to see what an osteopath can do to help you. 

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