Nothing is more peaceful than a watching a baby sleep, and if you have children of your own you probably understand the impact and importance of sleep. Sleep is the time when your body channels its energy into growing, detoxifying, and rebuilding from the stress and damage that it endures throughout the day. The processes that occur during a sleep cycle are essential for staying healthy and maintaining proper function in the body. We know that sleep is an important part of being healthy, but sometimes infants just never seem to go to sleep, and there is a reason for that.
The most common reason many babies do not get enough sleep has to do with their nervous system. There is a study of 1,000 newborns who were examined shortly after birth that concluded 80% of infants had “KISS Syndrome.” KISS Syndrome stands for Kinematic Imbalances due to suboccipital strain and is caused during the birth process. During birth, the twisting and straining on the newborn’s head and neck can add pressure and distortion to the brain stem. Correcting this is extremely important because the brain stem is the main center for sensory processing and controls many of the automatic functions of the body, including postural muscle control, digestion, blood pressure, and much more. The main issue that brain stem distortion causes is an automatic response to stress called the sympathetic response, which most people call the “Fight or Flight” response. The sympathetic response is only meant to last a short amount of time, increasing your adrenaline and cortisol levels, but with brain stem distortion caused by KISS, this response stays on. What is a perfectly normal response to stress for a short amount of time turns into an exhausting experience that cannot turn off.
The fight or flight response is the number one cause of sleeplessness. The underlying structural cause of sleeplessness has been shown to be present in up to 80% of newborns giving good reason to have a baby checked for this structural condition. Not only does KISS cause an increase in the stress hormones that keep them awake and irritable, it can also cause digestion issues, postural dis-coordination, and is generally uncomfortable. If you have ever had an inconsolable infant who is crying and you have tried “everything,” then you need to think “KISS” and have their neck checked by a pediatric chiropractor.
As delicate and sensitive as infants are, they are actually quite resilient and quick to recover. Many will respond positively after one gentle adjustment, and most will have their issues resolved within a short series of adjustments. If you have any concerns about your irritable child, have a pediatric chiropractor check them for any potential issues.