Chiropractic Care May Improve Infants' Sleep

(January 2, 2009, Briarcliff Manor). A pilot study conducted by Joyce Miller and Matt 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. And according to Briarcliff Manor-based Dr. Robert Abbruzzese, in many cases, a disturbed sleep pattern is often accompanied by an infant's excessive crying.

Dr. Abbruzzese points to a pilot study published this year in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. In the study, 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 chiropractic 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 1st 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 difficulty falling asleep fell from more than 65 percent after the 1st 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 that warrants more scientific and clinical research,” adds Dr. Abbruzzese. “Chiropractic care seems not only to help children get a better night's sleep it also reduces the stress on parents. As we all know, stress has its own health challenges.”

Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Abbruzzese at 914-762-8800.