Better Sleep & Chiropractic Care

Research done at the University of Madrid Medical School in Madrid Spain and the Department of Health Sciences at the University of Jaen Spain, Plaza-Manzano (2014) and fellow researchers found a link between improving sleep disorders and chiropractic manipulation (adjustment). They concluded that certain neuropeptides, or transmitters in the brain increase when our patients get adjusted. The specific neurotransmitter is called Orexin and is commonly known as hypocretins.  “The hypocretins are thought to act primarily as excitatory neurotransmitters…suggesting a role for the hypocretins in various central nervous functions related to noradrenergic innervation, including vigilance, attention, learning, and memory. Their actions on serotonin, histamine, acetylcholine and dopamine neurotransmission is also thought to be excitatory and a facilitatory role on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate-mediated neurotransmission is suggested” (Ebrahim, p. 227). Many of you are familiar with serotonin, which is responsible for mood, appetite and sleep. Serotonin has been known for many years and recognized in the scientific literature for playing a role in helping patients get a better nights sleep. Chiropractic adjustments have proven to increase the orexin or hypocretins in the human body, which has a direct effect on the production of serotonin.  This now gives a verified scientific explanation to the results chiropractic patients have been experiencing over the last century.




  1. Sleep Disorder (October 2015), Retrieved from:
  2. Insufficient Sleep is a Public Health Problem (September 2015) Retrieved from:
  3. Sleep Statistics, (2016), retrieved from:
  4. Plaza-Manzano, G., Molina-Ortega, F., Lomas-Vega, R., Martinez-Amat, A., Achalandabaso, A., & Hita-Contreras, F. (2014). Changes in biochemical markers of pain perception and stress response after spinal manipulation. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 44(4), 231-239.
  5. Ebrahim, I. O., Howard, R. S., Kopelman, M. D., Sharief, M. K., & Williams, A. J. (2002). The hypocretin/orexin system. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine,95(5), 227-230.
  6. Whedon, J. M., Mackenzie, T. A., Phillips, R. B., & Lurie, J. D. (2015). Risk of traumatic injury associated with chiropractic spinal manipulation in Medicare Part B beneficiaries aged 66-69 years. Spine, 40(4), 264-270.

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