Chiropractic Helps Infants Sleep Better According to Pilot Study
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. This study was conducted in a chiropractic teaching clinic in Bournemouth, England and involved 117 infants who consecutively came in for chiropractic to the teaching clinic between June 2004 and January 2005.
In this study the parents of 117 infants who were brought in for chiropractic care, regardless of reason for care were asked to fill out a questionnaire on the children's sleep behaviors. The parents were asked to fill out these questionnaires on the 1st, 4th and 7th visits to the chiropractic clinic.
The amount and quality of sleep habits that were reported on by the parents and investigated by the researchers included, the total hours of sleep, the quality of sleep, and the time taken to settle into sleep. The researchers then collected the results and looked to see if there were any changes in the infants sleeping habits as chiropractic care progressed.
The results showed a marked improvement in the quality of sleep as well as a decrease in the time it took for the infants to fall asleep. The results did not show an increase in the total time they slept. At the first visit the parents reported that over 66% of the children in the study had difficulty falling asleep. By the 7th chiropractic visit the number of children who had difficulty falling asleep in the study had dropped to just 22%.
The children also experienced a deeper sleep as a result of the chiropractic care. On the chiropractic first visit before care was initiated, it was reported that 36% of the children were restless sleepers, 25% of the children were light sleepers, and only 39% were experiencing deep sleep. By the seventh visit the number of restless sleepers had declined to just over 7%, the number of light sleepers had changed to 29% while the number of children experiencing deep sleep had grown dramatically to 63% of the children in the study.
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, "This 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."
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