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  • Writer's pictureMegan Cottrell

Unlocking Better Sleep with Craniosacral Therapy

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

how craniosacral therapy can help you get a good night's sleep, unlock better sleep with craniosacral therapy

"I slept 11 hours last night! Wow! Working on that sleep deficit for sure."

That's a message we recently received from Lori, a client who came in to address constant burning pain she was feeling in her feet. That pain was also keeping her up at night. Now, Lori notices that not only is her pain less, but she's sleeping better too!

The value of a good night’s sleep can be hard to quantify, but we all know that feeling of going without one - groggy, slow, irritable and distractible. Multiply that one night by dozens, and you can really start to feel the long term effects on your health and well-being. Lack of sleep has been shown to raise the risk of chronic illness, worsen brain function, negatively impact mental health, impact the immune system and cause hormone disruptions, among other effects.

That’s why it’s oh-so-satisfying to work with a client during a craniosacral therapy session, especially one who’s struggling with insomnia or sleeplessness, and have them fall into a blissful slumber right on the table. Even better, when they let us know how much of an impact it has on their ability to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed!

Lack of sleep isn’t just a problem for adults too - it can greatly affect children, from sleepless newborns to school-aged kids falling asleep at their desks. We’ve had great success helping families find better sleep for their kids, giving the whole family a better night’s rest. Read on to hear more about craniosacral’s impact on the body’s ability to experience a deep, restorative sleep.

How Craniosacral Helps Improve the Body’s Ability to Sleep

Maybe you’ve read all the sleep advice…. Go to bed at the same hour every day. Make it dark and quiet, or maybe throw in a little white noise. You might have sleepytime tea or melatonin next to your bed. Still, a good night’s sleep eludes you, and your body can’t seem to relax enough to fall asleep or wakes up over and over.

Your body might be trying to tell you something. A disruption in different systems of the body may be impacting your ability to find restorative sleep, and craniosacral therapy can address these body systems.

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle hands-on technique that focuses on the craniosacral system – the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. For more about what a craniosacral therapy session is like, visit What is Craniosacral Therapy? What is a Craniosacral Therapy Session Like?

Craniosacral therapy can impact the body’s ability to sleep in many ways, including:

  • Reducing stress. We all know it’s hard to sleep when we’re stressed out. While we can try to relax our mind, stress often lives in the body. Craniosacral gentle on-the-body therapy can help the body relax, reducing stress and bringing the entire body to a state of calm where it can better relax into sleep.

  • Balancing the Nervous System: Craniosacral therapy works with the body’s autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary bodily functions, including sleep-wake cycles. By promoting balance within this system, CST may help regulate sleep patterns and promote a more consistent and restful night's sleep.

  • Improving Physical Discomfort: If you’re experiencing pain or physical discomfort, it can be hard to sleep. So many of our clients have had wonderful experiences with craniosacral therapy reducing or eliminating pain, and one positive side effect is often better sleep. And with better sleep, they also experience less pain - a win-win!

  • Enhancing Circulation: Craniosacral therapy works on restrictions in the body that keep the cerebrospinal fluid flowing smoothly. By optimizing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and addressing restrictions in the body, CST may contribute to better circulation, ensuring that vital nutrients reach the necessary areas for repair and restoration during sleep.

  • Emotional Release: Unresolved emotions and trauma can manifest physically and impact sleep. CST, through its gentle approach, may help release emotional tension stored in the body, providing a pathway for emotional healing and potentially improving sleep quality.

Better Sleep for Babies and Children with Craniosacral Therapy

If you’re a parent, you know how lack of sleep can affect the entire family. Whether it's a baby waking repeatedly through the night or a young child struggling to get to sleep, tired kids and tired parents make for difficult days and nights. Lack of sleep can also affect our kids’ health and make it difficult for them to function in school and with friends.

We treat many babies and young children who have a tongue tie, and so many of our families find that one huge benefit of craniosacral therapy is their baby’s improved sleep schedule. Babies that were waking every hour or struggling to get to sleep begin sleeping in 4-6 hour stretches or longer, peacefully falling asleep without strain. For tired, stressed tongue tie parents, it’s a game changer! While we’re addressing the tension in the body caused by the overly tight midline tissue, the relaxation and tension release the baby experiences also allows them to sleep better, deeper and more easily. In addition, many of these babies are now able to feed more effectively, getting more to eat with less air swallowed, helping them stay more full and with less gas.

We see similar results in colicky babies who don’t have an oral restriction like a tongue tie. The decreased tension in a baby’s body and a better regulated nervous system allows them to sleep better and longer.

We have also had many families with school-aged kids bring their children in for emotional regulation issues, ADHD and ability to function in school, and so many of these families have seen their child’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep improve. This improved sleep in turn helps their symptoms, helping them stay more regulated and focused and in a better mood. We all feel cranky and unpleasant when we don’t sleep well, but often children aren’t able to identify this as the cause of their distress. When you’re tired, everything is harder! Improving their sleep with the gentleness of craniosacral therapy can greatly improve the quality of family life.

Our owner, Kelly, often brings her own children in to see our other therapist, Teagan, to help them sleep better, longer and more soundly. It makes a big difference in the quality of their family life!

Craniosacral therapy helps babies sleep all night.

Get a Better Night’s Sleep With Craniosacral Therapy!

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, we’d love to see you in the office for a craniosacral session. For a new patient, make sure to book an intake session so we have extra time to talk through your medical history and answer any questions before we begin your first session. Although our clients usually start seeing some benefits right away, additional treatments are usually necessary to sustain and deepen those benefits. Book a session today, and move toward better health beginning with easier, more restful sleep.



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